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‘The Client of Client Chainsaw’ – Damn!

Posted in News

My name is John Doe. had to pause on a project to share these thoughts.

I had to pause on a project to share these thoughts.

Although many call heavens loose on their immediate manager, who they probably only report to, the story, unfortunately, takes for, sometimes, a horrible twist with freelance developers.

If you’re a freelancer, try as much as possible to avoid, what I term, “The Client of Client Chainsaw”

In a traditional work environment, you’re likely a team, with a supervisor, who report to the next in line and so forth. Although the structure looks similar to “The Client of Client Chainsaw”, it gets excruciating when it happens in the freelance approach.

In the traditional office, it is easy to please your boss, or supervisor, with your work. You have a task, he/she confirms, you’re good to go.

Enter the world of “The Client of Client Chainsaw”, and you’ll be surprised the approach.

You’ve been hired to build a website by this sweet lady. Let’s call her Alice . You receive the blueprint you’re to fall in line with. You say to yourself, ‘This is a mere 3-hour task, max!’

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“I’m Soooo done with this!”, you tell yourself.

With all the joy in the world, you unleash all the goodness in your development skills, aimed at the sky. Impressing your boss is your target.

Although you tried to stick to your timeline, things changed. Eventually, you hit Alice with the project update. At this point, the Chainsaw is off, and you have no idea how many blades you’re getting in context with.

After about 12 revisions back and forth with Alice, things begin to take a twist. Alice implores you to meet the ‘Original’ client of the project. Let’s call him Bob.

So Bob actually had the project, and Alice said she would get it done quickest at an affordable cost. You, on the other hand, was hired in turn by Alice to get the job done, and you all get over it.

You get in touch with Bob. After about 8 revisions with Bob, wait for this, Bob forwards one of your emails to, well, you guessed right, another client.

Carol employed Bob, who in turn assigned Alice to the task. Alice in turn hands over to you. Unfortunately, Carol gets back to you after some 1 week of revisions up and down only to say,

“Can you please get this and that, and here and there done for me before tomorrow? I have a meeting in which I’ve got the site to present.”

At this point, the Chainsaw is warming up for the actual game.

A combinatorial explosion is in motion, and you’re the pond on the chessboard. Every Client (Blade), comes back to you with a piece of sawdust, of different sizes and shapes, in many cases, of conflicting conclusions, bad practices, and crazy expectations.

As the project continues, as the Engine of the entire process, you become weary, exhausted.

You develop feelings to cut the chain loose and enjoy a bit of serenity.

A task you envisioned done within hours is now 2 weeks old. And you’re still running. The back and forth is killing you.

Carol doesn’t ‘Wow’ the meeting attendees enough to merit a done-deal with the project. You’re back to square one!

How do you handle such scenario when it happens? What do you do to avoid such situations in your line of freelancing, giving you back the joy you envisioned when you quit your full-time job?

Any piece of advice for John Doe on how he can get the best of his work?