[consulting] General consultant's vent

Ayen Designs info at ayendesigns.com
Thu Aug 6 18:44:47 UTC 2009

I thought that all of you who have read and posted (thank you) regarding 
this would like to know the outcome. First of all, I neglected to 
mention anything about the relationship originally, because before it 
wasn't really important, until the discussion expanded into the subject 
of 'investment.'  This particular client has given me over $10K of work 
during the time of those 2,000 e-mails, so my take on whether to 
investigate things for free is affected by that.

The client is the type who is very demanding in terms of 
particulars...reads about SEO, blogging, on and on. This is helpful in 
having discussions about specifics, because her level of knowledge 
allows her to understand, but is also very taxing, in terms of having 
specific meta data constructs, page name constructs, alternate image 
text constructs, and so forth given for everything. That is what led to 
the problem with the blog, the fact that she knows what she wants, which 
is to send a blog article by blog-api, have the blog name be what she 
wants (not user's blog), have the blog article show in the breadcrumb 
when its being viewed, and have the url be what she wants.

So, she phoned today. I had basically told her in my response that I 
didn't feel it could be done in 30 minutes, that I really didn't intend 
to change my estimate to fit what she read in the article, and I 
reminded her of my development pedigree, not in an uppity kind of way, 
but just that I've been around the corner several times and started in a 
garage at the same time as Bill Gates, but he had the better idea :-)  
And that I've had projects from 30 minutes up to $20M. So when she 
phoned, I said that she already has a blog that doesn't work the way she 
wants. That I've already tried string_override to solve the blog name 
problem, and that it didn't work, and for good reason, but that it 
wasn't known until tried that it wouldn't work. That I could set her up 
a single-user non-blog blog in 30 minutes, but that she already has one 
that doesn't work the way she wants, and that I don't know if the 20 
things she needs her blog to accommodate will work with that solution, 
and that it will take me the 3 hours to find out whether I can make it 
do so.

The result?  She said ok, and told me she was sending me another dozen 
things to quote.

I offer this up as my advice on it all. There's a difference between 
passiveness, aggressiveness, passive-aggressiveness and assertiveness. 
Assertiveness will usually win when dealing with another professional.

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