Sunday, 20 April 2008

Using IT or losing IT.

Working freelance again is exhilarating. Jump into a job, say hi to the people, fix their problem, and never see those people again for a few months. Ideal way to have it actually.

One thing that is less than ideal is one company phoning to book me while I'm working at another's job, or finding two emails in my inbox for the same timeslot. That involves choosing, acrimony on the part of the person whose job I had to decline, and all sorts of play nice required to soothe things.

So recently and rather cheekily I made a booking sheet on Google Pages that refers the potential hirer to one Google calendar where I am putting all the things that chew into my work day, so: illness, other appointments, days I want off, etc.

Most of the companies that provide me with work have been enthusiastic. After all, they now have a clear preview of where I am and at what times, and they don't need to email or phone to find out if I'm available. So cheek has paid off, and the only thing that amazes me is that these companies haven't used Google's ubiquity and shareability themselves to form a resource scheduling system where the resources can book themselves out.

Strangest thing has been one reaction I've gotten. One contract manager has expressed that they don't think they should need to check a booking sheet every time they want a job done. I guess they are out of luck then, because with itinerant IT resources being scarce on the ground as we currently are, they've just missed out on using the very stuff they're supporting to make it easier to support it...

I guess they think I should just maintain myself at standby readiness for two - three weeks at a time so they can send me on the one job they have in that time of re-installing a printer driver or whatever.

Actually, what I reckon I should work on is a bidding system for my time so that I get more well paid hours and less of the almost "love job" hours. (Not that I'd abandon either just for the money, mind you, I like the freelance/contract work too much - but it would be nice to earn a bit more doing it... %)

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