I got myself again into something I completely don’t understand. Or maybe I understand, but I have no clue how to get out of it.
So I got myself this job on oDesk a few days ago. And I was amazed as, and I think I wrote about that before, I don’t have good experience with sites like that. And the start was kind of weird, as I just wanted to do something, something simple, so I applied for a job that mentioned, among other things, The Philippines. And I put an, in my opinion, low rate, as to just build ‘something’ on oDesk, as it helps to build e.g. a reputation with good feedback.
And to my amazement shortly after I got an e-mail and found myself having an interview with a customer, someone who wanted my services. And it was a bit a weird conversation, as he was looking for someone for longer term. But the hourly rate was a big issue for him, and also for me. But anyhow, I needed the money, and somehow he was interested and needed some work done, so we decided on some small test, where I put somewhere in the comments of oDesk something like ‘test project to get to know each other’.
And while this all was happening I found myself working on a mini-project already, which was about some, according to me, non-issue in programming. So I found myself spending like two hours figuring out what the client wanted, where in the end the real issue was a ‘one minute’ program change that I had also kind of done in the first minute. And to my amazement the customer was very happy, where I felt very awkward, as in my feeling we just spend two hours on a ‘non-issue’. But somehow it made me very happy, as I know this is exactly the thing I often makes mistakes with, don’t understand. How other people can be happy with something that is ‘nothing’ for me.
And I need to think now what happened after, but yes, it came back, as it was late in the evening for me (and somewhere afternoon for him) and he wanted something else done, so we agreed I would continue with another project the next morning. So he we discussed what he wanted to be done and we agreed I would work on it the next morning.
So the next morning I was very happy to have work and first opened my e-mail to see if there were further instructions, which there weren’t. So the next morning, yesterday, I just started to work, only to find out shortly after that there was indeed an e-mail indicating that the work already had been started by someone else, so that my services were not needed. Of course this made me very disappointed, as I could really use the work and also just liked having a paid job again, since quite some time. Anyhow, there was nothing I could do, so I just stopped the work and went on with other things, including helping a friend in the afternoon with preparing for hanging speakers and paintings on the wall, as she just has a new house. And after a meeting about my current own project DoctorsConnect and a meeting with another client.
And to my amazement I received a phone call from my oDesk client around six pm indicating that there was work available and if I would be able and willing to work. So again, as I could really use the money, I indicated I expected to be home about four hours later and could work for him.
And the four hours became something like six hours, but around midnight I turned on my computer and was ready to work. And the first assignment was to make final changes to the stuff that another, the other, oDesk employee apparently had made. And I didn’t fully get it, as it appeared the page was almost finished, as letting someone else make changes in a design and html code didn’t make any sense to me, as working on someone else’s code is often very time consuming, which in this case it really was, as the other person had used quite a weird way to create that page, a way that I guess most web developers wouldn’t understand straight away. But as my client was very happy with the other employee, as he had been very happy with my earlier work and as, for me, it was a cheap, hourly contract, I decided just to follow, to do what was asked without complaining or giving any advice or whatever. Just do the best I could within the limits that were given. And of course reporting very faithful my activities in the oDesk tool for hourly jobs, as I just felt a ‘stupid’ worker being hired for programming and html skills. Especially I didn’t want to comment on the other person’s work, as my client appeared very, very happy with him, even though I thought his solution was very bad. But the client had indicated that he didn’t mind about code quality, as long as it looked as he wanted. So again, no reason for me to complain, as especially this kind of situation, maintaining very bad code from another person, where I didn’t even have access to part of it, can make even the simplest change very time consuming.
So I started making the requested changes, only to find out that also the instructions for the changes were giving in a way that took me quite some checking and reading and re-checking to try to figure out what my client exactly wanted. And of course I was very tired, which I indicated to the client, including a remark that this meant that things would take more time than usual. And which he agreed with, as he made clear he really wanted it done right now.
So I decided to give up even my daily posts and the sending of my daily quote and my hours of sleep, where you may know that not doing my daily tasks related to Inspiration for Success is a big thing for me. But I need the money and I was very happy that God had sent me this job and I wanted to satisfy the customer and show that I was really determined to make it work, so I decided to keep working until my client appeared offline and didn’t respond anymore and my colleague indicated he was going to sleep. And as I got more and more sleepy and the instructions were less clear than I thought they were I decided also it was enough around four am, I think it may even have been four thirty am.
And then the whole thing also kind of didn’t make sense anymore, as what was the use continuing working on something nobody would see or use before the next afternoon, this afternoon, as my client is located in Europe. And I was just tired and I guess mainly because of that lost and confused, so the whole thing didn’t make sense, as it hadn’t done anyhow, as even when I began the whole thing it could have never been finished anyhow, unless I would have worked without sleep until noon or this afternoon today. So I also still didn’t understand the client, as I could have done the whole thing last Friday, or I could have done it today, fully rested and much more efficient. But, as I had decided to follow the client and as he also didn’t respond anymore I didn’t see any reason not to go to sleep, also as continuing didn’t make any sense anyhow, as the assignment was not clear enough.
So this morning I woke up very late and very stressed. And I felt very bad, as last night I basically hadn’t delivered anything, but, as I was working on an hourly contract and the client had asked me to spend the time, I didn’t feel I had done anything wrong.
Anyhow, after a while I decided to go to work and during my break I had decided to continue with another assignment the client had given me. An assignment I could do fully on my own, creating clean code as I am used to, also presuming I could do that much faster. And of course showing to the client that my way of creating stuff is good and more efficient. One of the reasons I wanted the job, also to challenge myself, testing if I am really that good.
And it took me more time than expected to create the basic thing, but as usual I just pushed through, even though the client also seemed to be a bit impatient. And I thought I kept the client updated of what I was doing, including samples of the work, and I presumed that the oDesk time tracking system was my ‘safety’ for the worked hours, only to find out that the client became more and more impatient and seemed to be more and more unhappy with what I had been doing.
So after finishing my initial draft of the second assignment, which I was very satisfied with, things started to feel more and more wrong. And the main issue seemed to be the assignment from last night, the work I did because the client had asked me to, even though it didn’t make much sense to me. My ‘following orders’, following the client, trying to satisfy the client on an hourly contract. Where I thought I had indicated that I was tired and that things probably would take longer. And where I had to deal with bad code of which the client had indicated he didn’t care about that. And where I had sacrificed my nightly hours, where I basically wanted to relax and sleep as I had had a very busy day.
So the situation got from bad to worse, where the client demanded me to refund the time from last night, the time that had cost me so much, even before, as I felt very pressured to go home when I was still in the city. And he demanded me to finish both assignments in one and a half hour, something I didn’t feel comfortable about anymore, as it was not clear to me anymore what he exactly wanted, especially related to the first assignment. And the whole thing had made me careful about the second assignment, as if he wanted multiple iterations for that page it might take hours, regardless how efficient I would be with the code, something I believe I am. So finishing an unclear assignment being tired, my Saturday coming to an end and the client not even willing to cooperate anymore giving feedback, where I became unsure of being paid anyhow for anything. No, that didn’t feel good, especially when the client started demanding a decision from me, choices between ‘bad’, ‘worse’ or ‘very bad’. Like finishing all the work, which would certainly take hours, meaning my weekend would probably be fully gone. A client not willing to cooperate like giving proper feedback, or things like refunding hours, like half the time I spent for the whole assignment where I already agreed on a rate I consider very low.
So it became later and later, also as I needed time to think and relax, and the client started pushing and pushing more, finally even calling me on my mobile, which I felt really offended about, as it is still my Saturday evening which I consider private. Or actually I consider all my time mine, as we didn’t make any agreements on which times to work. He only indicated 20 hours in the contract. So it appeared that I was actually working on a project basis and not on an hourly basis.
So after the phone call I found that he had called me on Skype. And it seems he felt offended I was not replying. But I was just away and I might have just replied when I would have been at my computer.
And keep in mind that this all happened on a Saturday, the latest part even Saturday evening. Where the client had indicated he didn’t want to pay me anymore, so I had also stopped the time registration. And he had indicated all my work was bad. And finally it seemed he wanted me to deliver the bad work. Which was basically available to him online. But he didn’t want to pay me (anymore).
So yes, I felt and feel lost. And yes, while writing the above I also realize a bit more how this must be for my client. But I think I also offered him fair solutions. And to me we are just not finalized with our negotiation. And yes, I understand he is under time pressure. But if he wants my time, especially in the weekend and especially in this situation, I think it is just fair to pay me. Keep in mind I didn’t commit my time. As to me 20 hours per week would normally be working days, unless agreed otherwise. But he also didn’t want to give ma a planning. And if my work is so bad, then why does he want it? Why doesn’t he just hire someone else.
Anyhow, I guess you get the point, or not. And you may think the main reason for writing this post and publishing it here is to just vent my feelings and explain how ‘right’ I am. And I guess of course that is part of it. But the main reason to start writing here about this is that the client appears to be Sunil Tulsiani. And his Private Investment Club. So apparently this is about someone who is very successful, very rich. Or at least pretends to be.
So that made me think something like if this is the way to become rich, to be rich, to be successful, complaining about five hours of work at USD 10.00 per hour, so USD 50.00, where I on receive USD 9.00 per hour, so USD 45.00, I don’t fully get it.
And yes, of course I understand that becoming rich is also, or may be, about being careful with USD 50.00. And that he wants ‘results’. And that it needs to be perfect. But I don’t understand why someone like Sunil Tulsiani, a millionaire, would make such a fuzz about USD 50.00 where to me there is just a misunderstanding between parties, where the supplier may have made a mistake or mistakes, but where I believe the client also has made mistakes.
So well, I was already starting to doubt all those ‘success sites’. And all those people claiming to be millionaires. And I am starting to doubt more now, about all those stories, all those millionaires. So should I believe Sunil Tulsiani? Would you?