Monday, February 25, 2008
Are You Making Excuses? Unless You Have Plague, Think Again
After getting the flu and still having deadlines to meet, it got me thinking about the many excuses that I hear about. Elance buyers often mention the problems they have with getting people to turn in work on time and citing random excuses. I know there is one provider who has had a mother die at least three times over the course of a year or two. Maybe there are times when people simply can not turn in their work on time. So what are they?
Here are a few excuses that I see bidding site buyers talking about:
Death in the family- I suspect that less than half of the people who say they have a death in the family really do. Maybe that's harsh, but I think people do use that as an excuse for just being slow or disorganized. Sure, it may happen to some providers, but because so many people claim that, there's no way to be sure when it's really happened. Even if I did have a death in the family, I probably wouldn't mention it out of fear of not being believed. It's kind of like carrying a Louis Vuitton bag- it might be real, but to everyone else it looks like another fake.
Illness- Yes, there are some illnesses that would prevent work from being turned in. It does happen, particularly in the winter. However, I have worked through enough illnesses to know that simply being sick is not really an excuse. Since I've been freelancing I've worked through two bouts of strep throat, countless colds, three sinus infections and a nasty case of the flu. I got through my recent flu by taking Darvocet, which kept me propped up and facing the laptop. With some adjustments, I could type with minimal pain, though I couldn't hold a book. Odd how that works. But, since that whole ordeal I can't see using an illness as a big excuse unless it's cancer, some type of debilitating illness, hanta, ebola or plague. Yes, plague. If you have the plague, it's probably ok to be late.
Computer problems- Yes, I'm sure they happen. I just wonder how professional someone is if they are using computer problems as an excuse. I keep three computers on hand so that if one breaks down I have a spare, and so on. I use Web-based email so that I don't have to be at any one computer to communicate with a client. If you take these types of precautions, computer problems should never be an excuse for anything. And yes, I know that because I wrote this all three computers will simultaneously break down just because they can. You know what? If that happens, I'll buy a fourth.
War- I actually saw a RentaCoder buyer who complained that people he had hired told him that war raging in their country had made them late with their work. War? I guess that could possibly be an excuse, although technically if there's a war going on around you, you do know this when you sign up for a project. It should be made clear in advance that you could possibly have late work due to war. On the other hand, if you really do need your work on time, is it really the best idea to hire a writer in a country where a war is going on?