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GEEZE Al,

Number one, ever heard that "brevity is the greatest part of discourse"?
You're going to need to learn that if you consult.  This falls into the "WAY
TOO MUCH INFORMATION" folder.  Remainder of comments inline...

In a message dated 4/5/02 5:04:46 PM US Eastern Standard Time,
MacWheel99@aol.com writes:


> I need an education in the differences in what is involved -
> responsibilities, relationships, finances, gotchas - between being an
> employee or being a subcontractor, probably both part time & telecommuting.

<<snip big gob>>

You forgot one other category -- consultant.  Often, as a subcontractor, your
employer pays insurance, taxes, retirement, and the like.  If you are
directly consulting, _YOU_ pay the employer's share of FICA along with
everything else and are responsible for collecting your own bills.

> For example, I have had managers, and end users, insist on some standards
> that I felt were not in the best interests of corporate computer security,
> or
> efficient use of resources, or accuracy in output, because of their
> experience, training, background & so forth.  They are the boss, so after
> an
> arguement, I comply.

If correcting these things is your job, then correct them.  You need a
"statement of work" that declares exactly what you're going to do for the
company, who you report to, and why.  Timelines are not necessarily
important, but if you make specific promises you'll need "Errors and
Omissions" insurance.
>
> <<snip another big gob>>

> I have been asked the question - do I want to work as an employee or as a
> sub
> contractor?  My answer has been that I have no idea, what are the
> differences?  Well, I feel like I have a grasp of some of them but not a
> good
> picture.

See above.
>
> As I do get a better understanding, then I will be asking people who know
> me
> quite well to advise whether I would be happy in this or that relationship
> or
> head in this or that direction.  I also plan to write up something like
> http://radio.weblogs.com/0001011/2002/03/28.html#a1164

People are either happy with consulting or they're not.  That is up to you
and your personality.  I like it, because it's like working a different job
every few months or so.  I enjoy meeting new people and learning new business
processes (not to mention new technologies that none of my "real" employers
would ever put out for).  In my own words my philosophical difference between
a consultant and a contractor is that a consultant's job is to eliminate the
need for their position, while a contractor's is to perpetuate that same
need.  I want to get in, transfer knowledge, perhaps do a little work, and
then get out.
>
> except where Robert Scoble is only describing what kind of a company he
> wants
> to work for & what he expects from them,
> I need to describe what I like & want to do for any company,
> I need to describe what often comes with the territory that I am NOT eager
> to
> be doing much of,
> and out of lists of what I have seen in my career,
> both what I desire & do not desire from the work environment.

Said "Statement of Work"...

>
> I have heard several examples of the differences between employee &
> subcontractor in which it becomes extremely murky ... how is this different
> from my professional career?

Now _HERE_ we need a little MORE detail ;-)!

>
> There is the question of degree to which my boss directs what I do.
> Well, for most of my career as am employee, it has been to keep the
> computer
> and applications running smoothly & doing such modifications as the end
> users
> might desire, to help them do their work more productively.  Technical
> details have been up to me for 95% of my bosses, their only input being
> relative priority of which of many possible things I might work on, and
> often
> it left up to me to determine priorities.
>
> The users, for who I do modifications, don't direct me either ... it is
> team
> projects.
> They try to communicate their needs, I try to understand what they really
> need in computer terms, often with the help of other users, I suggest
> things
> that I think are doable that would help them, we let our respective bosses
> know what is going down unless they object, primarily because bosses have
> veto power over what we work on, but the most important reason for me is
> because of the other users who will be impacted by whatever we are up to &
> we
> need the managers to help with consensus building, and if they ask for
> estimates I warn that this is never an exact science & there will always be
> surprises, but if they expecting something done in X weeks, I periodically
> revise when I expect it will be done, before the X weeks are actually up.
>
> <<snip yet another big gob not germain to the conversation>>

> I am interested in doing new work by telecommuting from my home computer,
> which might not be up to that task, since its acquisition & upgrades were
> sufficient to support past history home computer needs, but part time
> telecommuting probably needs something more.  It is Win 98 on Pentium III
> with about 3 Gig disk space unused (50% utilization), 320 Meg Memory,
> recently added a CD-Rom/Write drive (to experiment with backup that way),
> on
> the low end of display quality resolution (because I not like to futz with
> PC
> settings when switching to DOS games), bottom of browser & e-mail barrel,
> "high speed" Internet connection, protected by Norton Firewall.  I have
> several flaky challenges & not really want to move forwards to the next
> Microsoft flaky solution to some earlier Microsoft flaky problem.

Experiencing this myself right now.  Problem is, the computer has run fine at
three previous clients.  _THIS_ client's "Network Support Group" insists that
all my problems extend from the fact that A) I don't have a company PC and B)
I'm running Win98.  Well, one person _HAS_ a company PC and it doesn't work
any better than mine on dial-up, and another is running a WIN95 PC and is
experiencing no problems whatsoever.  Funny that this was never a problem
before.

Most clients will let you download their "corporate approved" productivity
tools (Office, Word, etc.) over the network, but you're better off with a
laptop and a local download if you don't have DSL or equivalent available to
you.
>
> I am told that Client Access to connect to some company's 400 is licensed
> so
> that the place I working for would pay IBM license based on number of users
> (sessions?) connecting ... i.e. "free" to the end user, but somehow I have
> to
> figure out how to get this to my PC & learn what the impact is going to be
> on
> my PC resources.

It's not bad, resource-wise.  Just wish that it didn't try to do a version
check when I'm not connected and provided simple control-key commands for
cut/copy/paste LIKE EVERY SINGLE OTHER WINDOWS PROGRAM ON THE PLANET without
having to remap the keyboard.

Regards,

Dean Asmussen
Enterprise Systems Consulting, Inc.
Fuquay-Varina, NC  USA
E-mail:  DAsmussen@aol.com

"The truth of the matter is that you always know the right thing to do.  The
hard part is doing it." -- Gen. H. Norman Schwarzkopf


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