Worst Bosses Gallery

Friday, September 20, 2013

Why Free Work Prospects Can Kiss My...

Lately, I've had a lot of work on my plate...and I'm looking for more.  However, I learned a pretty nice lesson about trying too hard when it comes to securing clients.

There was someone on oDesk with five stars on their profile that contacted me.  They wanted someone to do product descriptions.  This was right up my alley so I sent them a few samples.  

But this was not good enough for them.They sent over a six-page guide on how they wanted their sample descriptions formatted.  This was a requirement for getting hired.

And normally, this is where I would thank them (yeah, I'm courteous in BS situations) and move along. 

There were three reasons why I stuck around for the "fun"-

  • They were local to me (may lead to something permanent)
  • They promised long-term work (may not get a benefits package but you never know); and
  • They had five stars.

Now on LinkedIn, many of my group members had a different take on how clients get four or more stars.  Even better, my original samples were formatted almost the same as the guide that was given.  And, I was starting a new class - IN PERSON (and as of this writing, I have not received my financial aid check).

So, I submit and check and double-check my work.  I just made the deadline and heard nothing for the rest of the day.  Not even a confirmation of receipt.  

The following week, I got a message from the contact who thanked me and let me know they would keep me in mind for future projects.  It smelled strange and I felt vindicated but I wanted to keep my cool.

I replied that I normally pass on these requests for this reason as I do not know what the prospect will do with my efforts.  I ended by telling them that I was not interested in having a relationship with anyone who did business this way.  Mind you, she contacted me.

She replied with a generic response about it not being published.  I would love to post her information as a way to warn others but that is my cautionary account and this was less than a month ago.

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