Further to previous discussion…
I replied to the inquirer that WordPress was a very good option for charities and non profits to set up easy clean looking websites very quickly and at their price (as in $0) noting too that I’d be happy to add all supplied content for her at an hourly rate – I’d anticipate such a thing taking a day or so to do so the expected cost would be well under $1000 dollars. Admittedly, to gauge their commitment to the project I’d inflated my usual hourly rate to what is closer to standard tech rates. I should quote higher prices as a rule, I’m worth it, but because the business stuff is supplemental to my regular income I don’t usually bother, it gets me a bit of repeat business/word of mouth etc.
Anyway, I wonder if my polite inquirer forgot that they are connected to me on one of my social networks or if the following comment on their page was a passive way of dissing my suggestion – they certainly never replied to my email. I wonder if they’ve even checked out wordpress and seen the great stuff on there…
"Polite Inquirer is looking for a website designer to work pro bono for their charity." (tense/gender changed toprovide a bit of anonymity)
I’ve done pro bono before, in fact, one job I did has turned into a great internet friendship (hi Gem!) which is far more valuable than any monetary remuneration would have got me. But this whole situation has got me wondering once again at the sort of culture that develops in churches in which people seem to think that because you’re a Christian you should cut them some kind of slack. The unfortunate outworking of this, sadly more often than not, is a feeling of being taken advantage of or worse still, actually being taken advantage of…
So, consider this next question research, given that not all my readers are church goers; Do people in your workplaces/clubs/service organisations/wider social circles have expectations on you to offer your skills/professional expertise and experience to do work for them for nothing or for a substantial discount etc? What are your own expectations on others with skills you don’t have?
Truth is, it’s been so long since I worked in a secular environment I wonder if I haven’t lost a bit of perspective. And please, don’t think I don’t do friendly discounts or help for actual friends… but for people who I know who I’m more ‘acquainted with’ than ‘friends with’ I do sometimes think such expectations are a bit ‘on the nose’.
What do you think?
People I know who are hairdressers are always expected to their friends and family’s hairs for free or for drastically reduced mates rates. Apparently the mates rates/freebies thing is expected most from hairdressers and mechanics.
I have an uncle who never forgets what anyone he meets does in case they can do something for him later. In stark contrast, my cousins are married to plumbers, electricians, builders and my mother never asks them to do anything for them even though they offer all the time.
I would feel awkward asking someone to do something for me for free. Unless they’d offered and then I would still be all, “Oh, only if you’re sure!” and all that.
As a freelance writer, I always joke and say “I put the free in freelance” – and many a true word spoken in jest.
I can’t even tell you how many times I’ve had to write stuff for nothing. I’m getting to a point where I’m so sick of living in virtual poverty, I am considering either quitting writing altogether and going into an entirely different career (NO idea what I’ll do though… I’m even worse at everything else!) or to try and get a full-time position at a newspaper. However, I KNOW I’m not suited for life at a newspaper. I’m not a hard news person and I don’t cope well under extreme pressure. (Not to mention the type of internal politics one has to deal with, according to many of my friends who are in the newspaper/tv industry.) And unfortunately one has to have years of newspaper experience before they’ll even consider you at a magazine. So, that is pretty much what’s going on in my mind.
(Sorry, this is a monologue. And I’m still not done.)
As for you, darling Dee… I am so ashamed for all the times that you’ve bailed me out for no remuneration. And I OUGHT to be ashamed, because I should realise better than ANYONE how frustrating it is! I hope you know that it’s not going unnoticed. And I vow to you that I WILL pay you back one day!
Red Darling, if you think for a minute that you fall into the acquaintances category above the friends one then you’re sorely mistaken. You are so far from this person’s attitude that you’re galaxies apart. The free stuff I do for you didn’t even register in my thinking because of that!! Totally off the radar!
Much code tweaking love to you!
You are such a sweetheart.
I knew that your post wasn’t aimed at the likes of me, ha ha. But I felt compelled to tell you that – contrary to my actions (or rather, in-actions!) – I am trying my best not to abuse your kindness and that every single time you bail me out? Is more appreciated than you will ever know…
I can’t stop thinking about our situations. I am really at that point where I feel “something has to give.” YOU have certainly given more than enough of your skill and talents. And to certain people, I have as well. Thing is, when – in my case – you’ve allowed yourself to be abused by someone for a long time, and you’ve reached a point where you KNOW that they don’t respect you anymore (even though they still use your services, and hell, why won’t they if they get it for a pittance or even for nothing), how do you turn things around so that you can get your due in compensation and respect at such a late stage? Without them outright firing you? Because I need that pittance…
So, any ideas?
Well, I’d be starting to build up other streams of income and incrementally increase your charges so that if they do pull the pin there’s something else behind you… It is a bit nerve wracking, particularly if there are other people are waiting in the wings who’d happily take that pittance if the payers decide you’re getting too big for your boots… it’s tricksy. I’m sorry you’re stuck in that boat because you are worth more. Seriously.
Boy, but my words ‘something has to give’ were prophetic. Because that something that had to give? It gave… or rather (more accurately put)took away… oh, crap! Will e-mail you later. For now I’m just in panic and shock.
Hmm, the registration e-mail hasn’t come through for me to login and comment.
Hee hee, am stoked I get a mention! And have never forgotten that initial kindness you bestowed upon me!
You know, I feel sorry for my housemate Rob – being a sysadmin, and an excellent one at that, everyone he knows always runs to him whenever they have any sort of tech problem (me included, though I always stress that he can always deal with my stuff when it’s convenient for him).
Sadly, people don’t often come to me for their poetic crises – it doesn’t really happen all that often, haha.