New gig today, bit of a dilemma... New gig today, bit of a dilemma...
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  1. #1

    Contractor Among Contractors

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    Default New gig today, bit of a dilemma...

    "Sigh..."

    Started a new gig today, I met with client(s) last week after they informed agency they liked the look of my CV. 5 minute meeting with them, although the main boss was off on leave so I think they were just checking me out (from what I can gather I was the only candidate).

    Anyway, arrives today.. (public sector). Met by my new client (dept. manager) who has me sat at her desk for 15 minutes whilst she sorts out her breakfast first.. ok no big deal, I'm invoicing for it, who cares.

    Gets introduced to HER boss at 9.15am and within 10 mins I'm presented with a HUGE spreadsheet (which is blank) and told that my 'research' role will be to get this filled in by Wednesday as she has an important meeting and needs all the figures. The 'research' is basically to go through about 4531532532 different other reports (in read-only PDF) and put the figures/averages/etc into this master one. Pretty much a data entry/collation job?... After nodding my head and agreeing to the requirements etc, I then asked what was to be done beyond Wednesday. After finding out that the 'project' which in the job spec mentions PRINCE2 etc is actually just a 'just go and do it'.. no methodology, no PRINCE2, nothing.. (I just got my Practitioner a few weeks ago and this was the main selling point of the contract for me). The implementation of the quality framework consists of "now you have the data, go and speak to the people who scored bad and just ask them to do it better"....

    Rest of morning I was introduced to everyone as "Hi this is Chris, he's temporary agency staff, he's with us for a short period"... "ok".

    Well I spent the day doing my best with the spreadsheet with no help or assistance as nobody was available. Come lunchtime I was contemplating sitting client down and explaining there had been some confusion over the role and that I wasn't planning to continue, but I kept my mouth shut and cracked on until 5. Several times throughout the day she asked me "You are coming back tomorrow right? We've not put you off??"... to which I had to try and pretend to laugh as if it was a funny joke, but in my mind I was actually thinking she wasn't far from the truth.

    The gig I took on a very low rate only on the basis it was a PRINCE2 project, and being at the bottom of the ladder in this area thought it was worth doing just for the experience on CV more than anything. Now that this is not even in the equation, as well as the fact it's not even in IT, I'm now stuck with the choice of "do it for money", or execute my rights within the contract to terminate with zero notice within the first week (I need to check this is both ways, and not just the client side). Strangely enough I had my signed contract in an envelope ready to post today and as I walked out the door this morning I asked my other half not to post it just to give me a first day tester.. I'm guessing if the clause is both ways then I should send it off, email agency tonight with reasons, and send my 1 day invoice in? I'd rather be working on my Plan B with no income to the company, than doing a pointless job with over 2hrs travel every day for peanuts.

    Not a good day, looks like back on the bench/plan B tomorrow...

    On the upside at least I'll spend the full Xmas with the kids and get pissed!! ??
    The cycle of life: born > learn > work > learn > dead.

  2. #2

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    On second thoughts I'm going to give my notice to agency but offer to proceed 'at market rate' and pretty much double my rate. I know they won't take it, but if they did I'd be back in there tomorrow.
    The cycle of life: born > learn > work > learn > dead.

  3. #3

    Grand Chief Guinea Pig

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    Sounds like the NHS.
    I'm sorry, but I'll make no apologies for this

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  4. #4

    More fingers than teeth

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    Some clients deserve to be walked out on.

  5. #5

    Fingers like lightning

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    Maybe I'm missing something but isn't the spreadsheet just good background information with which you can then implement/use some of those nice shiney PRINCE2 qualifications for the deptartments/people to do better?

  6. #6

    Godlike

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    Just do the fooking data entry then tell people you used prince 2 to manage the "project".

  7. #7

    Prehistoric

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    What you've described as Research isn't at all unusual, sadly.

    If you haven't signed & returned the contract yet you probably don't need a notice period. I reckon it's still early enough to say you don't accept the contract.

    I agree with Badger and Sockpuppet. Like anything, PRINCE2 is what you make of it.

  8. #8

    Ministry of Love

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    Fork that, where's your dignity? I'd terminate (checking the contract carefully).
    If you're not desperate for cash, find something else, they sound like winkers.

  9. #9

    Nervous Newbie

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    Fill out the spreadsheet using the RAND() function, leave a day early.

    Job done.

  10. #10

    Contractor Among Contractors

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    Quote Originally Posted by Badger View Post
    Maybe I'm missing something but isn't the spreadsheet just good background information with which you can then implement/use some of those nice shiney PRINCE2 qualifications for the deptartments/people to do better?
    I wish.

    Their research is "pull info together from 63634643 sources because we didn't think to collate or structure it properly to begin with"..

    Their project management methodology is "Just go and do it..." ... when asked specifically I was told "PRINCE2? Ah we don't bother with that.. but if you are interested in that sort of thing there are sometimes jobs come up here you could apply for in that area"...

    I turned up with my Research methods book, PRINCE2 book, etc in my case expecting to be deep in thought by lunchtime.

    I also got asked "So how long you been temping? Does it get you by ok?"

    Also "Do you know how to use Excel?" ... "No, whats Excel"... Did they look at my CV?... how the f**k did I end up here?



    Anyway, checked contract.. termination notice on either side is 0 days notice, so I'll just post my contract off tomorrow (signed by both parties) followed by an invoice for a days work. What a complete waste of time.
    The cycle of life: born > learn > work > learn > dead.

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