Saturday, April 21, 2007

"Everything you are doing is bad. You should know this."

The Movie: Ghostbusters II, 1989 (Dan Ackroyd and Harold Ramis, screenwriters; Ivan Reitman, dir.)
Who says it: Peter MacNicol as museum curator Dr. Janosz Poha
The context: Janosz is Managing by Walking Around in the museum's art restoration studio.
How you can use it: What, this isn't Management 101?

Here's a movie quotation, for old times' sake. It's also a line every freelancer can laugh at -- through their pain.

Freelancing is a great life in many ways, but one disadvantage is the nature of feedback. Freelancers are service providers, not employees, and one reason people hire freelancers rather than employees is to avoid the intangible obligations of management. A freelancer provides a service in exchange for a fee, and the freelancer's self-esteem, personal life, professional development and career track are none of the client's concern.

That suits me fine. The "professional development" component of working in my former office used to drive me crazy, and feeling responsible for my own employees' well-being used to keep me awake at night.

But it's true that I tend to hear from my clients only when they're not happy. If they like what I do, they just say thank you, write me a check and hire me again. If they call me, it's usually because whatever I sent them wasn't what they wanted.

This is why all freelancers should own dogs. Dizzy thinks that everything I say is brilliant, that I'm an excellent driver, a world-class cook, and have a lovely singing voice. He just wishes we could work outside more.


JIM LAMB said...

Come down to Virginia beach to live. It's much more central to what you do and the rent is low and the climate much better than Maine.

Having a graet tiome with Chris, the weather is perfect and I really love Annapolis as long as I don't have to go to school here.


The Mystery Bookstore said...

I kind of miss your movie quote days, Clair -- alas, this one rings far too true from my free-lancing days in the film industry. I remember that feeling well...

May I take this opportunity to remind you that we LOVE the work you do for The Mystery Bookstore? The newsletter writing, podcast interviewing and networking services you provide are invaluable, and you do them with class, style and professionalism.

Oh, and an indispensable (sp?) sense of humor.

I'm sooo excited you'll be here for the Festival.