I currently work as a 1099 sub contractor doing freelance bookkeeping. My boss does not want to give me an email account and asks me to email on her behalf. She gets on me for grammar, capitalization, etc. She states it needs to be professional. If someone gets back to me, she says I need to notify her of responses immediately. On some occasions, she asks me to draw up a draft and then she will go in make changes and send. She doesn't let me talk to people.

She is now questioning how long it is taking me to do my tasks.

This has been going on for 6 months now.

How can I politely ask for more empowerment (my own email account and an introduction to the company I am supporting)?

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    This is probably not what you want to hear, but the truth is that the composition of the question you have written on your own behalf here suggests that you may need to make an effort to improve your written communication skills before you will be entrusted to directly communicate with clients on behalf of the company you contract for. Additionally the possibility exists that apart from writing quality they may have policies which simply prohibit an external contractor from being in direct contact with their clients. With care you may be able to ask about your boss's specific concerns. – Chris Stratton Aug 3 '19 at 20:05
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    I would set up a forward rule that anything arriving from a name or domain gets forwarded directly to her - that way she gets any feedback from the other parties and you don’t forget... Oh, and don’t use your personal account - make an account specifically for this... – Solar Mike Aug 4 '19 at 8:47
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    Where are you located? What is a "1099 sub contractor"? – Niko1978 Aug 5 '19 at 5:22
  • @Niko1978 1099 is a form of contracting the USA. It basically means you're not a direct employee, you're working on a contract as an external resource. In many cases the day to day activities of a 1099 employee are similar to a direct (W2) employee, but they're typically used for short term projects or other temporary work. – dwizum Aug 6 '19 at 12:54

I don't see anything amiss in what you've stated in your first paragraph. You're a contractor. You're not "entitled" to be empowered. Your job is to do what the client asks of you.

If your spelling and grammar are lacking then either work to improve them or have whatever software you use perform spelling and grammar checks for you, or use a third party tool to do it.

As for your client questioning how long it takes you to perform your tasks, make detailed notes about how long each task takes you and then have a conversation with your client and review these notes. Get their input and opinion on how long they think these tasks should take to see if their expectations are realistic or not.

  • The spelling and grammar are definitely lacking, if you take a look at the unedited version of the question you can see it clearly. I see that the boss is clearly investing time and effort in somebody that's not even an employee to help improve written communication skills. While I agree with you that OP shouldn't feel entitled to anything the answer below is more productive. OP should be worried about when the boss is going to decide they're not worth the investment of her effort and time – Juliana Karasawa Souza Aug 6 '19 at 8:11

I'm going to give a slightly mean answer: your boss is trying to help you succeed, and you're not trying.

I mean, take a look at the awesome edit BSMP did to your Original Post, and how many mistakes they fixed? That's presumably what your boss is having to do with your on-the-job communications as well. And, well, I can completely understand why she wouldn't want you communicating to any clients directly. Because the way you wrote was completely unprofessional and wouldn't convey a good image to a client.

So what is your boss doing? She's giving you a chance to improve and prove it by doing a good email draft. I'd be surprised if she's not actually hoping you actually listen to her, focus on composing clean articulate messages, and generate some emails she doesn't have to edit.

As it is, I'd worry less about your frustrations about your boss... and worry whether the boss will decide she doesn't need a freelance bookkeeper that can't be trusted to communicate professionally.

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