April 5, 2011 by Rupesh
Last few week have been the most hectic ones mostly due to traveling, march ending pressure and meetings. not to forget the relief of world cup (yayy, we are champions). I also had to miss on two innings of GOD due to my travel and this is the only time I get into dillema between choosing to work for InOpen and watching him bat.
But as usual, I also had my share of really interesting experiences and surprises. This time is with hiring.
We are in a process of revamping our product website and were looking for some designers (free lancers). In the context, few days before I met a designer through a reference. As I have a keen interest in designs which InOpen uses so I personally look into it. As usual I explained what the requirements are, what kind of designs do we envisage, what are the existing websites which come close to our requirements , blah blah. On the first week I met this girl twice once over a coffee and other in her office. One more week passed by and she didn’t bother to respond. She responded saying she had few concepts for the home page. It again was quite vague, and there were multiple drafts which to me made no real appeal. I was anyways irritated due to long delays and meanwhile had contacted other designer whom we are doing good work with. Now here is where interesting things began
The designer suddenly became interested, punctual, hard working, dedicated girl. Whoa, I was taken back. I thought since the designer is of modern taste and an outsider to the project why not take her on a consultancy basis as I have a DTP guy and she can guide him for regular work. why not try ? I told her what my budget is and what do we expect her to do. She over the meeting told me the usual crap that how designers work and what are her charges. she told me she charges some 50 $ an hour. I just told that it seems pricey for a startup like us
Subsequently, I asked my HR to draft an agreement for the same, but told her to keep the price which we have budgeted.
Interestingly after some time I received a mail. The girl was disappointed with the price and she felt (also mentioning the TDS deduction). For me it was perfectly acceptable, as she is free to choose what is best for her.
What followed was strange, a week later came another mail. This time it was just idiotic. The mail just said “I don’t understand how can one take someones TIME and TALENT for granted and forget to follow up and don’t even bother to talk about the payment. i had given you the cost of the website home page design which is xxx/- rs but i don’t think you are interested in paying or even using the design even though you have liked it. but you should understand that i have already given enough time and energy to it taking your words seriously.
Whaaaaaat ? I failed to understand which website, what payment, my attitude, huh ?. Energy for that crappy design ? liked the design, when ?
It certainly was made in 10 minutes either assuming us to be idiots or her to be super smart. This time I had to reply as this arrogance was beyond my limits. I told her that its natural for companies to have a budget. Over that she questioned my attitude too ?, I simply told her that since she is not in my shoes she will not understand what my limitations and constraints are, so don’t even bother. I wished her best of luck only to think of never interacting with her anymore. I just cursed myself that what on earth made me think of hiring her ?
Now she wrote another reply, a fairly long one and even more hilarious
For proving how she can fit in my shoes, the mail said
‘ On a personal note i can say that i have high expectations from you specially when you are talking about seniority. I’m a share holder of the company xxxxxxx Pvt. Ltd which is a xxyr old business, i help my father and brother with it. I am a partner in yyyyyyy and E- solution which i started last year, which is totally handled by me. i own an Office in zzzzz. And I work as a Design Associate in abc.
Man !! It took me more than few minutes to digest such kind of childish rage. What more heights of self praise and ego to prove a point ? I just replied with one word email saying ‘chill’ and signed off. Yes, I can’t waste a second more on exceptionally talented people like this.
Now a third mail follows
‘ I think our attitudes do not match and so keeping both our interests into consideration, I think it would be best to close this project as it is and not carry it further. As far as the website is concerned, it would be great if you can tell me without any delay as to which day I can come and handover the design files to you and collect my compensation too. Kindly note that I wont be free on Thursday so lets keep our transaction for any other day ‘
I just thought 2 things, 1) when was the deal open ? and 2 ) for God sake, when did we finalize her website ?
– I had to write a mail again, asking the same question.
How can such a amazingly talented, blah blah blah be so pesky ?
Today when I was introspecting on it, this seems to me a growing problem and certainly non-trivial. Lot of my entrepreneur friends have experienced the same. They always feel baffled by freelancers and their weird way of functioning. Sometimes, they come up with such strange equations that its is impossible to comprehend them.
Do freelancers take rejection from company so badly to the point they can loose their mental balance or become a threat to the person on the other side.
Me and my web developer are shocked and thinking of taking precautionary security to protect us against such nuisance.
its always like ‘Hire me or I will shoot you’.
When will people understand that long term relationships are the ones which matters and not such kind of free lance work which are quick source of pocket money kind of cash. Why not take a stand first on stating things before hand, if at the end of the day you are going to crib about the same later. Please understand if you concentrate on work, no one will have a prob in rewarding you generously.
I had my personal share of problems with free lancers. Most of them are for reasons like ‘late and sporadic responses’, ‘take every project which comes their way’, charge as ‘Americans’, First communicate casually and then later suggest right ways of communication, Only vouch for self comfort zone. But one common trait is ‘insecurity’.
I suggest a simple algo for a clean working style
1. Define Scope of Work. Also define what areas you are not clear of and how will both parties go about the same ?
2. Pay 20 – 30 % advance, on mid way another 20 – 30 % and on completion and hand over pay remaining amount.
3. Most imp, come across a common lingua which will be understood and comprehended by both.
4. No casual communication, certainly not over chat.
but please my dear freelancers, do not fire on us