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Watch what you say

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Steve KownackiWatch what you say
by on Feb 11, 2008 at 1:47:04 pm

Hi All

I wasn't sure whether to post this here or in the job forums, but I thought it would best serve the younger/newer businesses looking at growing and hiring. (let's not revisit that old thread young/hungry, although it was a fun rant)

I love using freelancers when I can - generally experienced, cost-effective, talented - you can "try before you buy" and you can learn alot that you couldn't otherwise ask in a formal interview.

Case in point I'm considering hiring this guy. He's working full time, has some skills, LOTS of passion, and he's done some freelance for us. Last week he tells me "I wish I had a MAC at home, then I could pirate stuff from work."

WHAT THUH!!!

I was stunned. I realize this happens - its happened to me many times before. But to actually say it. Woah. Then the shock turned to disappointment. It's hard to find dedicated people, but better to find out now.

Food for thought. And if your looking for a job and smartly reading this forum to find out how managers/bosses think: don't rip us off, word travels fast. In a small town like ours the saying is true "you're only as good as your last job" so do all you can not to hose that up.

Thanks for your time,
Steve

PS - I came back and edited this post. The same holds true for us in what and how we speak to clients. They are usually very keen on our responses especially when being interviewed against competitors.


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walter biscardiRe: Watch what you say
by on Feb 11, 2008 at 2:22:55 pm

[Steve Kownacki] "I wasn't sure whether to post this here or in the job forums, but I thought it would best serve the younger/newer businesses looking at growing and hiring. (let's not revisit that old thread young/hungry, although it was a fun rant)"

Perfect forum for this discussion, nice topic.

Really dumb of a freelancer to say something like that in front of anyone really. I had a partnership for 3 years running a Post Production company and probably the major factor in my decision to walk away from that, at a severe financial hardship to me, was my partner's insistence that downloading pirated software to "try out" was ok. It was also "ok" for him to go ahead and use it in a billable project or two "just to make sure it actually works correctly."

I trust everyone who works with me, but at the same time, all of my software is locked up in a safe in our off-site business office. No need to tempt anyone and if you really want to try to copy something off of my system, that will be the last thing you do in my office.

In addition to something as boneheaded as that statement, always watch your language. Clients and freelance employers don't want to hear you cussing up a blue streak just because something isn't going your way, or you're actually have a great day and you just use "colorful" language naturally. Also street language, tons of slang just don't cut it for me. I won't put that person in front of a client or in my office.


[Steve Kownacki] "The same holds true for us in what and how we speak to clients. They are usually very keen on our responses especially when being interviewed against competitors."

Never, and I mean NEVER, bad mouth a competitor in front of a client. just keep things positive and what goes around will eventually come around.



Walter Biscardi, Jr.
Biscardi Creative Media
HD and SD Production for Broadcast and Independent Productions.

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Bruce BennettRe: Watch what you say
by on Feb 11, 2008 at 3:01:15 pm

Steve,

I think that a lot of today’s teens and younger adults feel that pirating is “normal” when it comes to electronic media (copyrighted images, music, software, etc.). Many of us were also naïve when starting out (in my case “young and more stupid”). Life is all about making mistakes, learning what’s right and wrong, and hopefully, second chances as we mature and change.

Give him a second chance. Sit down with the kid and have a heart-to-heart talk.

Bruce



Bruce Bennett
Bennett Marketing & Media Production, LLC


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Mark SuszkoRe: Watch what you say
by on Feb 11, 2008 at 3:21:19 pm

Yes I agree there is a fundamental disconnect between the older generaton and the younger on the topic of "warez" and pirated products. Because they are in the beginnings of their careers, they have literally nothing to lose and everything to gain, from their uninformed perspective. The have not yet had occasion to be in the middle of a large paying gig when the software goes "tango uniform" and you need a helping hand from the company's support staff: "Your serial number, please". And warez are almost always carrying a viral payload along. You are running a lot of unknown risks with pirated software. Risks that will cost you more than you "saved".

These kids have yet to learn that nothing in the world is truly "free" and that this business is remarkably small and circular, once you have broken your word, or done someone dirty, or acted or said something like what that kid said, your reputation is very hard to repair.

I don't think I would hire the guy either, his judgement has not progressed at the same speed as his talent. Lectures usually do not stick with an audience not ready to recieve the knowledge. If he calls back wondering why you never book him any more, go ahead and give the reason. Maybe it will percolate over time.



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Ron LindeboomRe: Watch what you say
by on Feb 11, 2008 at 4:55:54 pm

[Mark Suszko] "Lectures usually do not stick with an audience not ready to receive the knowledge."

Some of the smartest words ever uttered (or is it uddered?) on this forum.

:o)

We *have* an employee who knows well the value of the two ears he was given. We *had* one whom time proved to be unappreciative of the positive outcome that could ensue from actually using his ears.





Best regards,


Ron Lindeboom
http://www.linkedin.com/in/ronlindeboom
Publisher, Creative COW Magazine
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Del HolfordRe: Watch what you say
by on Feb 11, 2008 at 5:21:41 pm

I think part of the problem for those who attend college is the availability of "free" software their university or college has licensed as educational and is on their intranet. It's not a big step to use the internet to then get other software and consider it as free also. Some colleges teach ethical behavior and others don't. Early on in college my son was downloading or using pirated software. When I found out I 'splaned to him the reasons not to be doing that. He found the university really had all he needed on license and had found the bugs/viruses in the other so he desisted from using it. After graduating and entering the defense industry he really saw the rationale of using only licensed versions.

Within my city I find the occasional maverick who will use pirated software but I think for the great majority having that serial number for the call to tech support is a no brainer. Some of the brightest and best in my city are young and have learned that tech support is a way of life. Teaching that to the newbies is an ongoing process. For those experienced people who insist on doing it we just stop using their services.


Del
fire*, smoke*, photoshopCS3
Charlotte Public Television
del underscore edits at wtvi dot org


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Steve KownackiRe: Watch what you say
by on Feb 11, 2008 at 3:23:21 pm

Oh, he's not a kid, 15+ yrs corporate guy.

(Laughing) I'm just getting too old for the crap and don't feel like dealing with it. In fact, I'm almost done with a new 50-page employee handbook that I've developed with my HR consultant that details all this stuff. It's been fun running the show the last 16+ years, but as I look to passing on the torch someday, I really want to create a business model that goes along with our culture and not just what fancies Steve from day to day.

(Still laughing) We don't do web design, so I'm bringing in a guy to completely pass the job to and take a commission. I didn't want to take any chances, so I told him how to dress and how to act in our upcoming meeting! He was cool, and after some explanation of this thread, completely understood where I was coming from.(Keep in mind I know the guy, he's not a stranger)

Maybe I just need a vacation. There's a big difference between tolerance and acceptance. This may be an accepted way by today's youth, but they better straighten up. And we as business owners have to set the example. My kids do alot of eye-rolling when I get on my soapbox about "it's not what you know, but who knows you." Yep, who's knows you, not who you know. We all do this social networking, and its too easy to find stuff with a web search. You can google somebody, see their posts and its a goldmine of psychological information about an applicant.

Thanks for your ears. Time to go make pretty pictures.
Steve


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Mark SuszkoRe: Watch what you say
by on Feb 11, 2008 at 4:04:14 pm

"You can google
somebody, see their posts and its a goldmine of psychological information about
an applicant."


Oh, well I'm sure doomed now:-)


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Mike CohenRe: Watch what you say
by on Feb 11, 2008 at 4:22:45 pm

On a few occasions I have had freelancers who like to blab about inappropriate things - ie, politics with the client. Are we still allowed to slap people on the back of their head to get them to shut up?

Mike




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Mike CohenRe: Watch what you say
by on Feb 11, 2008 at 4:24:27 pm

speaking of googling people, thanks to the COW, it now only takes 18 search results to find my version of Mike Cohen!




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Zane BarkerRe: Watch what you say
by on Feb 11, 2008 at 5:59:43 pm

[Steve Kownacki] "I'm almost done with a new 50-page employee handbook that I've developed with my HR consultant that details all this stuff. It's been fun running the show the last 16+ years, but as I look to passing on the torch someday, I really want to create a business model that goes along with our culture and not just what fancies Steve from day to day."

That is so important. I once worked for a guy ran his place by his "day to day fancies". There were about 6 of up there, of the 6 a couple were let go then the boss flipped out like he did on occasion, and the rest all left on there own because they didn't like working for a guy who funs a place by his day to day fancies.

Needless to say that the guy has now basically lost not only his employees, but his business because of other shoddy deals of his.

Karma will come around and get you eventually.

I love the fact that you have an HR consultant, I personally think that any business with even one employee (beside the owner of course) should have one.

Don't let technology get in the way of your creativity!


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Steve KownackiRe: Watch what you say
by on Feb 11, 2008 at 7:34:36 pm

The manual puts in writing what I review every week. Everybody understands the company mission and vision; they all have "key results areas" (similar to a job description) and know who our clients are and how we treat them. Like goals, stuff needs to be in writing or it's just a wish. The HR person is definitely money well spent.
Steve


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