213

When your manager asks you to perform a task and you don't have time to do both that task and everything else you've committed to, tell him that. You can inform him of your workload and still be respectful. Try something like, "Sure boss, I'd love to do X, but I've already committed to do Y and Z, and I don't have time to do all three. Which tasks should I ...


205

Here's a counter question. If he thinks of a solution on the drive home, can he bill you because he was working on the problem? Programming is THINKING not typing. If you try to nuance this you will get NOBODY to work for you. If his machine freezes or crashes, do you want him to stop billing when he reboots? Are you going to time his bathroom usage and ...


176

It is perfectly fine to be hired as a contractor, provided that (a) you are treated as a contractor, not an employee (basically: nobody can tell you what to do, and you can at any time get a replacement to do your work), and the payment is adjusted (my rule of thumb is that as a contractor, your daily rate should be about the same as 1/150th of an employee's ...


133

Since this is an in-house production my employer is also the client and they are happy with the end-product so should I just forget about the problems and mark the project as complete? There's a saying that goes "do business as business is done". You are a contractor. Contractors do what they are told to do. Performance optimization, SEO, ...


100

Keep in mind that if you are moving from a contract position to a permanent position, your salary almost always will be less than your contracted rate. Here is a good comparison for why. If it's only $4k/year that's likely a great deal for you to convert to a fulltime employee. You can always negotiate with anyone, whether they will respond well depends on ...


89

Should we say something to management about this guy actually not being that great? That depends on your role. If you are a contractor brought in to work on specific projects, then you put your head down, get your own work done, and ignore the company politics and the abilities of the people around you. That's what you were hired to do. On the other ...


89

I'm assuming this is essentially just there to ID the car as belonging to a contractor in order to allow the client to manage parking? If so, would it be feasible to display the magnet inside the car? on the dashboard or similar? That way it's still visible but you don't have to worry about attaching it to the paintwork. If this isn't an option there are ...


86

Bring this question to a lawyer. If you believe that any laws have been broken, simply quitting could get legally messy since it is unclear what your employment classification is. A labor attorney would do a much better job of explaining what your options are in this situation than we ever could.


84

Officially, person 1 is in charge but I also work with person 2 so he is semi-officially in charge. That means person 1 is in charge. Person 2 is not. Getting additional compensation for redoing the product is not an option. All the more reason for you to convince person 1 that feature A should remain. Incidentally, this is why contractors typically ...


69

When a project has gone over the allotted hours, am I morally obligated to spend my own time fixing bugs or finishing the project? No. You are entitled to be paid for all of your hours worked. Even if the project runs over the allotted time, even if your work is the reason why it went over, even if you feel bad - you should still be paid for your work. ...


68

The first mistake was in working on an ambiguous task. What did the written contract say you had to deliver? That's what you deliver - no more, no less. The second mistake is to have multiple bosses. Talk to Person 1 and establish who is your SINGLE point of contact for this work. Direct any other people to this first person for questions which would change ...


57

Prior to this conversion they were paying a flat $20.00 per hour for your services. Now they're paying $20.00 per hour and additionally paying things like workers compensation, health insurance, 401k, payroll taxes, etc. None of these costs come out of your $20.00 per hour pay rate. The cost to them is greater than the $20.00 per hour they had been paying ...


55

I'd like to be diplomatic about this, but I can't think of a solution to suggest to my boss. Any advice? Ask if you can affix the magnet to the inside of a window, facing out. I've done this with parking stickers that I didn't want to permanently attach to my car. As long as it was visible, they didn't actually care.


54

and they are happy with the end-product As a contractor, you need to learn that while your client might do all sorts of dumb things, the decision to do those dumb things is ultimately their responsibility. Your job is to advise them and make sure they understand the cost and benefit of those decisions.


53

Well you're not morally obligated to do anything, depending on your morals :) If you look at the two ends of the spectrum, you have: Fix them for free and then be expected to do so ad infinitum; or Point blank refuse to fix them and (potentially) cause bad blood or even get fired. Of course, this is if you only take the black and white approach. I would ...


53

This first part is ALL you. You're complaining, but how many breaks do you take each workday? I'm guessing that it's zero. Eating lunch at your desk -- who made the decision to stay and work through lunch? And maybe, just maybe, you're working overtime after everyone else has left for the day -- who made that decision? Look in the mirror. If you are ...


46

Park your car elsewhere, and walk to the office. If the magnet is simply used to identifier contractors' cars, why not park in an adjacent lot (where nobody is looking for magnets) and walk to the building?


41

As a contractor, and assuming you're an hourly contractor (in the US you almost certainly would be), there is really one, and only one, place that you can record this. However, it's somewhere that a good manager would take note. In your timesheet, make sure to separate the hours worked developing new processes, and the hours worked fixing the issues. Then ...


41

There is a difference, but it typically goes the other way. When you are a 1099 you pay both halves of the FICA and Medicare taxes. When you are a W-2 your employer pays half. Additionally, you typically don't get much by way of benefits as a 1099, but you do as a W-2. Whenever I've looked at doing work under a 1099 agreement, I've asked for 25-30% more ...


37

Assuming this is a conversation for business purposes, then you need to be in on it. And long-term you should be getting everyone to talk in a language you can understand when you are involved. Keeping it simple is probably the best bet. Whenever a conversation you are involved with switches language, simply say "I'm sorry I don't understand [that language] ...


35

It sounds like here that the company has made a fixed price bid to the customer based on your estimates and now things have run over they are refusing to pay more. This is a common scenario and if the company isn't big enough to swallow the disparity then usually you'll be expected to provide the time to finish it. Whether you should is down to you, but ...


32

You pay humans to do work, not machines. This is an important factor to take into consideration. Some people take a break and produce much more work when they return vs. trying to push through. Bathroom breaks as well are part of the situation as humans have to relieve themselves. This is usually a "reasonability" analysis. Various countries and ...


30

Well, you are working in a foreign country and you don't understand the language. Did you consider taking a language course? Or even better, are you taking a language course? In many places in Europe, there are plenty of immigrants and therefore plenty of cheap language courses (just checked: Where I used to live, a 15 week course 45 x 3 hours German for ...


28

As an external consultant, my approach is to assume it's going to end at the end date and begin handover work with a week to go. (Depends on your team and if you have people you can handover to). I find that starting the handover process normally gets a very quick extension if it is the companies intention to keep you on.


28

But I'm terrified. I just don't know what to do and I'm very confused. Step 1: Don't be terrified. In the absolute worst case scenario, they let you go. So what? As a contractor, you've got a clear route to getting another gig through your contracting agency or a simple "I had some medical issues that caused them to terminate my contract early" when ...


26

What are billable hours? This is the first question you need to answer to know what the right answer is. Your question implies that you think billable hours are the time that was actively spent delivering a product or service to you. This is notably different from a definition where billable hours are the time that had to be spent in order to deliver the ...


25

Ultimately like others mentioned it isn't your job to make this recommendation. I've been in the same position you describe. A key difference between my position is management actively told us that the permanent employee was: The only developer they've ever trusted because he never let them down. Furthermore this developer had veto rights on my commits. ...


24

Meetings are part of the job - part of working. Part of your job is to clarify scope and intent of work - you wouldn't be very effective if you didn't do this. Of course you invoice for meetings - you wouldn't have them if you were not working. Don't confuse the end product of your work with how you get there - for example - as a developer, your job is ...


24

Never, ever, announce that you are leaving a company before you have the new job, and the new start date, secured. Announcing that you are interviewing elsewhere is a surefire way to be fired before you have your next job in hand. Wait until you have signed your offer letter at your new company. However, it is good practice to make sure that once you have ...


24

Not too much to think about here, you MUST talk to your employer. They will likely want to manage the message to their customer (your workplace), and may not want you to discuss it with the workplace. If you told the workplace first, the first thing they will do is contact the employer, so you'll look bad having not told your employer first. Your feelings ...


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