Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Love me, hate me, but please don't take me for granted.

The freelance law states quite clearly that work only comes in when you're busy - and the busier you are, the more people want a slice of your time.

That's how it definitely feels at the moment. I already have enough work to see me through to my summer holiday - with a regular project due to kick in as soon as I return. Within weeks, I'll then be back into my MA studies, and the careful balance I just about managed in the last academic year between work and uni.

So, I haven't been looking for new work recently - yet it seems to be looking for me. Yesterday I was offered two new projects - one I'm taking on this side of the holiday - and I hope I can pick up the other one too, although that's subject to the client negotiating a start date with their client for mid-August. A third client also contacted me yesterday and I just had to turn them down - and that didn't go down too well.

They're an IC consultacy/agency I've worked with occasionally in the past and seemingly had sold my services into their client without actually letting me know anything about the project. The first I knew was a call yesterday afternoon from an Account Manager asking me to come to a meeting this morning with the expectation I could pick up a project and run with it over the next month. Now in the past, I've done that - and that seems to be my reputation in the agency. Yesterday, I just had to say 'sorry can't do it......and perhaps next time you could check with me before promising me to your client.'

I thought that was the end of it, but today the MD called. At first, she was polite and positive, telling me I could probably get the work done in the next fortnight and suggesting that a bit of extra evening and weekend work could be quite useful in the run-up to my holiday. I still declined - and quite politely too. She got on a bit of a rant after that, and wasn't to be placated by me telling her that I knew nothing of the project before last night, and that I'd never have agreed to it anyway as I'm away over the fortnight that the main effort is planned (and who plans IC work in August anyway!??!?).

I'm feeling a tad hard done by now, the agency's fed up with me and their client must think that they - and me - are mad. And all because the business development person and account manager didn't actually check my availability before selling in my services. Just because I'm freelance, why should they assume I'm always available for work?

I hope people like the work I do and the way I work. I can live with it if they hate everything about me. But PLEASE don't take me for granted.

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