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Do I have a beef?

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Aaron Cadieux
Do I have a beef?
on Oct 6, 2008 at 2:18:51 pm

Hello Everyone,

I work full time for a small ad agency (three employees including my boss, his wife and myself). I am techincally the 'video editor', but they use me for a multitude of tasks including shooting, and computer troubleshooting. I don't always get asked to shoot for them, but I am very capable, and they seem to be asking me more often. I consider myself vastly underpaid (but that's not my beef today).

It is becoming common practice for my boss' to use me for personal projects (things that bring no money into the business). Last year, they had me edit their daughter's wedding video on company time. This year, they forced me to work a Saturday to shoot their son's wedding. I'm sure I will be forced to edit that as well.

I work out of my boss' home, which was recently built with the business attached. The town in which this home/business is located announced that a wind turbine would be built within 1000 feet of the neighborhood here. Of course my boss' are being NIMBYs about it. So they've decided to lead an anti-windmill campaign. Along with that, they've decided to make an anti-windmill video. Of course I have to shoot it, and edit it. This past Sunday, they made me come into work to shoot an anit-windmill meeting that they hosted at the house, and I had to shoot interviews with anit-windmill people. If they were to hire a freelancer to shoot the meeting, they would have had to pay him more than I make in a week with my salary.

Plain and simple. Is it fair for them to ask me to work on personal projects without offering to compensate me in addition to my salary? Is this unethical of them? It completely rubs me the wrong way, and I am within a hairsbreath of quitting. Feedback would be greatly appreciated.

-Aaron



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walter biscardi
Re: Do I have a beef?
on Oct 6, 2008 at 2:24:20 pm

[Aaron Cadieux] "Plain and simple. Is it fair for them to ask me to work on personal projects without offering to compensate me in addition to my salary?"

Plain and simple, No.


[Aaron Cadieux] "Is this unethical of them?"

Plain and simple. Yes.

Any professional work you do for them should be paid unless you agree to do a project for no pay. I have two employees that work with me under contract and if I were to ask them to do a personal project, I would pay them the same standard rate they get from my company.



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

Read my Blog!

STOP STARING AND START GRADING WITH APPLE COLOR Apple Color Training DVD available now!


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Todd Terry
Re: Do I have a beef?
on Oct 6, 2008 at 3:38:22 pm

I am going to go out on a limb a bit and disagree with Walter somewhat (something I rarely do)...

Sounds like it's a two-person mom and pop company, plus you. Bottom line, they can do with their company time what they want. They have no partners or shareholders to be beholden to... if they want company time used to cut their kid's wedding video, so be it.

Unless your compensation agreement includes some kind of commission or profit sharing it is irrelevant whether or not the projects that you are working on are ones that "bring money in" or not. You might not like it (I wouldn't either), but the bottom line is that is their choice, not yours.

The discussion you need to have with them is regarding duties and compensation. If they say they are going to pay you X amount of dollars in exchange for your employment there on salary which can include working odd hours and weekends, etc., and you agree to that, it should make no difference to you what you are shooting or cutting. It doesn't matter if they pay you for an hour to shoot a car chase, or pay you for an hour to shoot paint dry... it's the same thing.

You keep saying they FORCED you to do this and they FORCED you to do that. They are not forcing you to do anything. Two words I used to say to my better half frequently were "Clown Shoes." She's a graphic artist and previously had a nut-job of an employer who would put her on mindless and unpleasant tasks although they were well within her job description. When she would almost reach the breaking point and yell "They have no right right to this," I would contend that yes, they do... and that if he wanted her to "Stand on the corner wearing big clown shoes and wave to people," then that's what she should do. Or choose not to work for him. Unfortunately in most cases the workplace is not a democracy.

As I said, the conversation you need to have is regarding duties, hours, and compensation. If you don't like what you have there now in those parameters, tell them so... come up with a duties and compensation deal that you can live with. If not, seek employment elsewhere.

Do I think what they are doing is "fair"? Hmmm, not really, but I've seen much worse... Is it unethical? Again, not really... it's their company and they can do with it what they want.

BUT... do I think it's a good situation and a good job and working environment? No, sounds like it definitely isn't. It's up to you to either seek greener pastures, or turn the pasture you have into one that you can live with.




T2

__________________________________
Todd Terry
Creative Director
Fantastic Plastic Entertainment, Inc.
fantasticplastic.com






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Chris Blair
Re: Do I have a beef?
on Oct 6, 2008 at 3:45:44 pm

I agree with Walter. We occasionally do freebie stuff for non-profits in our community, but we ALWAYS have editors and shooters work on it during business hours. If it involves off-hours, we pay them. It might be in the form of a $100 gift card to a nice restaurant, or it might be cash...but either way...we don't expect them to do work that is freebie in nature for the company unless it's during company time...and if it's not we compensate them somehow. We also ASK. We don't ever force anyone to work a weekend or night on projects like this.

Unfortunately, I've seen this happen repeatedly at places I've worked in the past, including TV stations, advertising agencies and production companies. I don't have a solution, other than to politely voice your issues with the owners. However, when dealing with people like that, it rarely has a good resolution. In their minds, they "own" you and you're there to use as they see fit.

But...you can't change something that you don't address, so in a pre-arranged, closed meeting with your boss, I'd bring this issue up and tell them that you don't think it's fair that you be required to work on personal projects outside of regular office horus without compensation. Tell them you're glad to work on them during business hours, but if it's outside them, your personal time is important to you and this is outside the scope of what you were hired to do.

If you're really a valuable member of their team, the outcome could be good. But if you've had some dustups in the past, I'd be prepared for a bad response from your boss...so I'd have my resume out if I were you.



Chris Blair
Magnetic Image, Inc.
Evansville, IN
http://www.videomi.com


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walter biscardi
Re: Do I have a beef?
on Oct 6, 2008 at 4:10:43 pm

[Chris Blair] "If it involves off-hours, we pay them."

That's the part I had the problem with. During regular business hours, if you're being paid to be there for 8 hours, they can have you cut anything they want. Once it goes beyond business hours, you need to be paid for your time, or compensated in some way.

On occasion I purchase gifts for my guys here if they are working some longer hours or put in extra effort because I really like keeping them happy. They're great employees and I never want to take advantage of their services.



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

Read my Blog!

STOP STARING AND START GRADING WITH APPLE COLOR Apple Color Training DVD available now!


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Todd Terry
Re: Do I have a beef?
on Oct 6, 2008 at 4:25:46 pm

Yes, I agree... if it is OFF hours, employees should be compensated. We're all salary here, but we try to either pay time-and-a-half (or double time) of what someone's hourly rate would be for OT... or give them time off during the regular work week. I let them pick which they would prefer.

Employers do fairly "own" you during regular business hours... but I've seen bosses take that to very unpleasant extremes. I try to be as nice about it as I can, we strive for a working environment that is pleasant, fun, and creative as possible.

It doesn't happen every week or even every month, but we've been known to say "Is anyone working on anything super deadline critical today? No? Alright, saddle up, we're going to the movies." Or to a leisurely lunch. Or even something a little borderline-silly like playing miniature golf. For creative people there is something very liberating about being able to hit a pink golf ball through a fiberglass giraffe's legs in the middle of the day... and get paid for it (plus, I absolutely rule at mini golf and take no prisoners).


T2

__________________________________
Todd Terry
Creative Director
Fantastic Plastic Entertainment, Inc.
fantasticplastic.com






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Terence Curren
Re: Do I have a beef?
on Oct 6, 2008 at 4:14:22 pm

[Chris Blair] "We occasionally do freebie stuff for non-profits in our community, but we ALWAYS have editors and shooters work on it during business hours. If it involves off-hours, we pay them."

That is what isn't quite clear here. Does his "salary" cover whatever hours the boss chooses to work him. The big difference between salaried and hourly employees is that there isn't a 1 to 1 relationship between work and pay for the salary guy.

Can they have home work on their pet projects? Yes. Do they need to pay him for that time? Yes. Is his salary that pay? Depends upon their deal. Beauty in this country is he doesn't have to keep working for them if he doesn't like the deal.

Bottom line, either renegotiate or move on.

Terence Curren
http://www.alphadogs.tv
http://www.digitalservicestation.com
Burbank,Ca


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Mark Suszko
Re: Do I have a beef?
on Oct 6, 2008 at 4:45:09 pm

Bill the boss for anything not done while under compensated, salaried time.

This kind of situation is why we have unions and things like OSHA; if management always did the right and honest thing, we wouldn't need them. (And that's enough politics right there, so I'll stop.)

Invoice them for the stuff they had you do "off the books". Nowhere is what they asked you to do legal. This is how undocumenteds are overworked by unscrupulous employers. When the discussion ensues, offer to tear up the bill if they will agree on some standards for any such "voluntary" work in the future.

I get the impression that things are very casual there due to the intimate size of the operation, but there are some areas of a business that need formalized rules and procedures regardless of size, and this is one of those areas. You need a consistent policy to keep everyone on the same page.

Maybe you'll get lucky and they'll just pay the invoice without comment, knwoing they were in the wrong and you called them on it.

And yes, start updating the reel and resume. Such goings-on are a big hint that this is not a place you want to stay, or will be able to stay, long-term. They are not running it like a real business. If they try to intimidate you, don't escalate, don't get heated, just walk out, go home. It is your only leverage. What are they going to do after all; replace you with someone who will do the work for less than free? (Isn't that the definition of Craig's List? :-) )

There's a saying in the bible: "The worker is worth his wage, so pay him". Doing too much stuff for free just ensures that's how much you'll always get paid. Giving your time as a gift only has meaning and value when that is your own choice. You're not ingratiating yourself with anyone by being their doormat, there's a difference between charity, friendship, and servitude.

Seems like we're working on a trifecta for this topic this week already. A bad economy tends to bring this kind of thing out in people, I guess. Hard not to cave in to abuse when you have mouths at home to feed, so I can't disrespect a person who makes that choice, there but for the grace of God go I, but long term it never pays off. Hang on long enough to find other work, then make the jump, and best of luck to you.





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Aaron Cadieux
Re: Do I have a beef?
on Oct 6, 2008 at 6:35:59 pm

Thanks to all of you for your posts. I take a completely different view to doing ANY personal projects at any time (office hours or not) at this agency. It's been understood between my employers and I that I am long overdue for a raise. With this recent move to the new location, I was told I would see the raise shortly. It's very difficult putting time and effort into projects that don't bring in the dough. No dough = no raise. Them asking me to do personal projects on company time is like a nurse's boss telling her "today you're assignment is to go take care of my mother at my house instead of your patients on the floor".



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David Roth Weiss
Re: Do I have a beef?
on Oct 6, 2008 at 7:09:46 pm

Aaron,

Can you honestly say that your Big Operations Productions was generating more consistent income than your present gig?

And, have you been paying any attention to the world financial crisis?

It seems to me that you should be counting your lucky stars that you have a fulltime job, and if it pays benefits, count those lucky stars twice.


David Roth Weiss
Director/Editor
David Weiss Productions, Inc.
Los Angeles

POST-PRODUCTION WITHOUT THE USUAL INSANITY ™


A forum host of Creative COW's Apple Final Cut Pro, Business & Marketing, and Indie Film & Documentary forums.


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Aaron Cadieux
Re: Do I have a beef?
on Oct 7, 2008 at 2:20:28 am

Big Operations is my freelance company. It's not a full-time ad agency, so naturally it doesn't bring in as much money.



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Bill Dewald
Re: Do I have a beef?
on Oct 6, 2008 at 10:21:18 pm

[Aaron Cadieux] "It's been understood between my employers and I that I am long overdue for a raise."

This isn't a good sign. Put yourself in their (windmill-hating) shoes. I'd imagine that you're obviously unhappy with the work that they're giving you.

How will you convince them to make an additional investment in you? Why should they?



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Mark Suszko
Re: Do I have a beef?
on Oct 6, 2008 at 10:35:15 pm

"I will gladly pay you Tuesday, for a hamburger today" -Wimpy.





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Bill Dewald
Re: Do I have a beef?
on Oct 6, 2008 at 10:50:25 pm

Ok, my brain has digested this - let me know if I have it straight:

You are the sole employee of this agency. Currently, they don't have a lot of work that they are billing, so they are keeping you busy with their personal projects. This vexes you, because you feel that you should be paid extra (in addition to your salary) for these projects that generate no revenue for the agency.

Isn't this a win-win? Since there's no paying work, isn't the alternative cutting you loose? I understand that you'd expect to make more as a freelancer working on wedding videos and whatnot - but working for your boss isn't freelancing.

This reminds me of that scene in Kill Bill 2 where Michael Madsen shows up late for work, and complains that he shouldn't have to be there on time because there's no customers. That argument doesn't work out for him.



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Mark Suszko
Re: Do I have a beef?
on Oct 6, 2008 at 10:58:02 pm

This is like "Rashomon" I guess Bill: I see it like this: I don't have business coming in, I have not paid you the raise I promised, and now I want you to do something you may not agree with politically, on your day off, for no pay. What's next, making bricks with no straw?

He's in a horrible spot here and needs to find an exit strategy.


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Bill Dewald
Re: Do I have a beef?
on Oct 6, 2008 at 11:10:11 pm

(love the movie references. should be required in every cow-biz post)


Two things:

[Mark Suszko] "for no pay."

Not sure where the "no pay" came from. I believe he was "forced to work on Saturday" while on salary. The horror. (Apocalypse Now)


[Mark Suszko] "He's in a horrible spot here and needs to find an exit strategy."


Agreed. This has turned into something he hasn't signed on for, and I don't think a sit down with the bosses is going to lead to anything productive unless he's prepared to apply feet to pavement.

Cheers.



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Aaron Cadieux
Re: Do I have a beef?
on Oct 7, 2008 at 1:52:03 am

I guess I should have mentioned earlier that we are absolutely swamped with paying gigs right now, one of them being a 100k account. So, they're having me work on this personal crap while there are paying clients waiting for their finished products.



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Aaron Cadieux
Re: Do I have a beef?
on Oct 7, 2008 at 2:25:13 am

We are chin-deep in paying gigs right now in addition to the personal project(s) that they've been having me do.



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cowcowcowcowcow
Todd Terry
Re: Do I have a beef?
on Oct 7, 2008 at 2:58:03 am

Sounds to me that there is an extreme and fundamental difference of opinion as to what you expect out of an employer, and what an employer expects out of you the employee. I'm beginning to think that this divide might be too wide to be bridged, considering your present opinion of your boss.

As to: "Them asking me to do personal projects on company time is like a nurse's boss telling her "today you're assignment is to go take care of my mother at my house instead of your patients on the floor".

Well, hate to say it, but if you were a nurse and the boss told you to do that and the boss owned the hospital... then he or she has every right to require you to go take care of ol' mom rather than the floor patient if that's what they want. Their house, their rules. You might not like the rules, but they're not making you play there, either.

The fact that the company is up to its eyeballs in work and with big accounts means that you have more ammo for asking for a more fair salary. It doesn't however give you any more ammo for your "I don't want to do this kind of work I want to do that kind of work" arguments. Bottom line is that you are not the boss, you are an employee. Employees do as their bosses require. Well, at least the good ones do.

Then again, there are good bosses and bad bosses. Take a good look at your situation, as objectively as possible. Is your employer actually a good one?...just doing some things that you don't like? If so, then suck it up and do your job. It's called work, and doesn't necessarily have to be fun. If it was always fun it would be called "play" and you wouldn't get paid for it. Then again, maybe your boss/employer is actually a bad one. If so, get your reel and resume together, and be prepared to give him the two-weeks' notice when the talk with him goes badly.

Or... if you can't find any employers that you can work with to your satisfaction, pour more energy into your freelance career. Then the boss will be you.



T2

__________________________________
Todd Terry
Creative Director
Fantastic Plastic Entertainment, Inc.
fantasticplastic.com






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Aaron Cadieux
Re: Do I have a beef?
on Oct 7, 2008 at 3:31:06 am

It's interesting to see the difference of opinions I get on this site. Most of you are seasoned professionals, which leads me to believe that most of you are the boss. I think the bosses are giving me boss answers and employees are giving me employee answers (which is only natural). I can say I'm in a bad situation until I'm blue in the face, and the majority of the people on this forum (the bosses) will think I'm a snot-nosed spoiled-brat punk, and that's fine. I tend to think that most of the people telling me to 'suck it up' have probably dumped personal crap on their employees at one time or another. And, unfortunately, in these economic times, it's not as easy as packing up and moving on. But believe me, I'm always looking. Hopefully someday my own company will be solid enough for me to jump ship.

As a professional, I always try to do what's ethical (especially when dealing with my own freelance clients and sub-contractors). Maybe I'm too nice, but I would NEVER ask an employee of mine (should I someday have employees) to work on a personal project of mine without additional compensation (no matter if it's office hours or extra hours, no matter if we're buried in work, or dead in the water).

In the end, I guess I'm just shocked that so many people find it acceptable that someone should have to work on personal projects for their bosses at work.



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Bill Dewald
Re: Do I have a beef?
on Oct 7, 2008 at 4:04:28 am

[Aaron Cadieux] "leads me to believe that most of you are the boss."

[Aaron Cadieux] "I tend to think that most of the people telling me to 'suck it up' have probably dumped personal crap on their employees at one time or another. "

To tell you the truth, I'm job hunting right now (which is why I'm spending so much time on the COW). So, that's kinda the opposite of what you assumed. The only employee I have to dump personal tasks on is my dog, and he won't even make Starbucks runs for me. I was just trying to help you with your situation at work by giving you my opinion.

Now that I understand that they've got paying jobs coming in, which makes your situation pretty bizarre.

But -

I think Todd Terry nailed it - you're an employee. Their bottom line is of no concern to you. They can ask you to do anything you want, and you don't have much say in the matter. Sorry.

I'll wrap up with this - use this grief and frustration that this is causing to fuel your job search. And, of course, learn from their mistakes. Hopefully, six months from now, you'll look back on this and laugh.


oh, and

SUCK IT UP.



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Ron Lindeboom
Re: Do I have a beef?
on Oct 7, 2008 at 3:47:22 pm

[Aaron Cadieux] "I tend to think that most of the people telling me to 'suck it up' have probably dumped personal crap on their employees at one time or another."

Why would you think that? (Because you do it and you judge others by what you know of yourself?)

It is clear that you do it and you probably attribute that motivation to others. In all the years that I have had employees, not one has ever quit. I fired one but only after years of carrying them and they proved that they had no motivation and never progressed an inch in all their training and craft. But even they were kept for years, three to be exact. Two of those years Kathlyn and I were scratching our heads asking why we were keeping them on staff. Finally after three years it became quite apparent that no tactic to inspire or motivate them was going to work. So they are gone. The rest? They love working with us. (I am NOT the warmest and fuzziest human being you will ever meet. But I am very fair and try to treat our people with respect.)

You jump to too many conclusions and make illogical statements like...

[Aaron Cadieux] "I would NEVER ask an employee of mine... to work on a personal project of mine without additional compensation... no matter if it's office hours..."

If I am paying people and they are on the clock and I want to throw a personal job at them -- say like coding one of my favorite rock musician's websites (because their lawyers and accountants ran off with all that the publishing company and record execs didn't screw them out of and so they don't have the money to do it) -- then that is the job I want them to do. It has nothing to do with the COW, but I want it done. They are getting paid. They are on the clock. They are on our team and we expect them to play as a part of it.

You clearly are not a team player and that is your real problem.

Oh, and you haven't figured out that it is well past time for you to move on. You'd be doing yourself and your boss a favor.

Ron Lindeboom


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Aaron Cadieux
Re: Do I have a beef?
on Oct 7, 2008 at 5:26:40 pm

I've sat quiet here for three years and completed every task that has been thrown at me (business and personal projects alike). I have never once complained to my bosses, and as far as they're concerend, "I'm the best editor they've ever had". And I know, if I'm not happy, no one is "forcing" me to stay. But in today's day and age, full-time jobs are few and far between. Despite my rantings, I am very thankful to have a job.

Thank God for places like the cow. Venting my frustrations here has prevented me from losing my cool at work. 3 + years working somewhere without even a cost of living increase is enough to make anyone bitter.

I do respect the diversity of opinions here.



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Zane Barker
Re: Do I have a beef?
on Oct 8, 2008 at 4:04:30 am

[Aaron Cadieux] "Venting my frustrations here has prevented me from losing my cool at work. 3 + years working somewhere without even a cost of living increase is enough to make anyone bitter. "

Ok I think your real beef has absolutely NOTHING to do with the fact that they are having you work on personal projects, and it had EVERYTHING to do with the fact that you feel you should be getting payed more.

Your using the personal projects thing is just a bogus excuse. You feel under paid and are unhappy about it, so you are looking for any excuse you can to harp on your boss.

I agree three years is a long time to go with out a pay increase, especially if you are pulling as much wait in the company as you say.

I may be wrong but Im betting that you started with them as a young editor who didn't have much experience, and you now feel that your skills are more developed and that because of that you should be payed more. Now while your skills may be better, you are till in an entry level position, there for you are still getting payed entry level wages.

Sit down with your boss and explain to him that you feel you should have a raise, say that you know the company is doing well and brining in plenty of work, so much so that they can also afford to spend time on nonpaying jobs. Tell him you fell under appreciated and under compensated for the amount of work you do (especially if you are truly the only editor like it sounds like)

Just don't be to greedy in how much you are asking for, that only tells them that you are unreasonable, and they may start looking to replace you with someone else.

There are no "technical solutions" to your "artistic problems".
Don't let technology get in the way of your creativity!



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Michael Hancock
Re: Do I have a beef?
on Oct 7, 2008 at 5:57:03 pm

[Ron Lindeboom] "(I am NOT the warmest and fuzziest human being you will ever meet. But I am very fair and try to treat our people with respect.)"

Ron, I think you bring up a really great point here. Your boss doesn't have to be your friend, but they should respect you and treat you fairly. If they do, and you still hate doing personal projects on the clock, definitely start looking around because the respect obviously isn't flowing both ways.

I've worked for people I would never hang out with or even want to have a beer with after work, but they were fair and respectful to their employees so I did the best damn job I could every time. As their employee I owed them my best. I respected them. I get the feeling you don't respect your boss, and that's poison to an employer/employee relationship.

An honest conversation between you and your employers could go a long way to clearing the air and addressing your grievances. But if just don't respect your boss, start looking for employment elsewhere, because it won't get any better.

Michael.



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David Roth Weiss
Re: Do I have a beef?
on Oct 7, 2008 at 3:44:04 am

[Todd Terry] "Their house, their rules. You might not like the rules, but they're not making you play there, either."

I agree completely with Todd on this.

It's a tough fact of life, but there's a reason they call someone the boss. Every successful venture has someone leading and others following, and until you're paying the bills Aaron, the boss gets to decide on the priorities of "his" business, even if it makes little or no sense to you.

Realize, he may not think that it's good business sense putting you to work on his personal stuff ahead of the paying clients, but it's what he wants, and it's his prerogative and he pays for the priviledge.



David Roth Weiss
Director/Editor
David Weiss Productions, Inc.
Los Angeles

POST-PRODUCTION WITHOUT THE USUAL INSANITY ™


A forum host of Creative COW's Apple Final Cut Pro, Business & Marketing, and Indie Film & Documentary forums.


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Randy Wheeler
Re: Do I have a beef?
on Oct 7, 2008 at 4:05:13 am

Since Aaron is also running a business on the side on top of his full-time job and has a website http://www.bigoperations.com to promote this and get new clients, what do you boss/owners think about your full-time employees having a side business in the same field as your business?

Aaron, are you getting full benefits or any other perks? Does the owner know that you are running that side business?

Randy



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Aaron Cadieux
Re: Do I have a beef?
on Oct 7, 2008 at 4:21:33 am

Yes, they are fully aware of my business. I actually handle their DVD duplication. Thus far, there haven't been any conflicts.



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Todd Terry
Re: Do I have a beef?
on Oct 7, 2008 at 4:25:41 am

[Aaron Cadieux] "In the end, I guess I'm just shocked that so many people find it acceptable that someone should have to work on personal projects for their bosses at work."

I think we've come to the point where we are beating a dead horse here, as you feel the way you feel and there's going to be no changing it. But you are being very myopic and perhaps not looking at the big picture.

About ten years ago, as a new company owner I was excited to get my first employee... she was a combination of many things: office manager, personal assistant, secretary, etc. Her job was to run the office, and although I didn't define her job as such she took it upon herself to include just "taking care of me" as needed. The first time she said "I'll pick up your dry cleaning after lunch" I was like, "Uhh.. you shouldn't do that. That's not your job." The same with "Do you want me to make you a haircut appointment," or "Should I pick your dog up from the vet?"

Personal work? Sure. Very personal. But you know what? It helped me, freed me up to do the work that brought the money in that paid my salary and hers, too.

Maybe you don't see the value in editing the bosses kid's wedding video... even though it's on company time and you're getting paid for it (by the way, if the company's speciality was wedding videos you'd be doing that every day). But then again, maybe that helps your boss... frees him up to go after business... or just takes a weight off his mind and something off his plate so can better concentrate on building the company. At least the work is within your area of expertise... it's not like he's asking you to go out back and dig a ditch.

[Aaron Cadieux] " I think the bosses are giving me boss answers and employees are giving me employee answers"

Probably true. But I guarantee you that every one of us who are currently "bosses" have been employees as well. You're only seeing the view from one side of the fence.

[Aaron Cadieux] "majority of the people on this forum (the bosses) will think I'm a snot-nosed spoiled-brat punk"

Not completely... but I'm not sure you appreciate the dynamic of the employer/employee situation.

[Aaron Cadieux] "I would NEVER ask an employee of mine... to work on a personal project of mine without additional compensation... no matter if it's office hours..."

Why not? If you own the company there is absolutely nothing wrong with it, it's perfectly ethical, and your duty to do as your employer requires. And it has nothing to do with "being nice."

[Aaron Cadieux] "most of the people telling me to 'suck it up' have probably dumped personal crap on their employees at one time or another."

For the record, I was a decent employee... but I'm a great boss. My employees will tell you so, unprompted. They've worked on personal projects on occasion, but i've never "dumped crap" on any of them. Most of them would probably tell you the personal stuff was a lot more fun and creative than the "real" work and they enjoyed it. And got paid for it.

[Aaron Cadieux] "But believe me, I'm always looking."

Well, good luck, hopefully you will find an employer you think is more fair and have a long, happy, and profitable relationship with them... sincerely.

Probably should hope they don't read the COW.

T2

__________________________________
Todd Terry
Creative Director
Fantastic Plastic Entertainment, Inc.
fantasticplastic.com






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Aaron Cadieux
Re: Do I have a beef?
on Oct 7, 2008 at 4:59:49 am

Well, thanks for your input, and I appreciate your point of view. And if any potential future employers of mine read the cow, and my posts prevent me from getting hired, it's probably for the better. If they don't like my point of view, it would save them and me from an unpleasant working relationship. To tell you the truth, I wouldn't really care if my current employer saw the posts. After all, it's better to have someone venting to strangers online than causing a scene in the workplace (which I have never, and will never do).



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Brendan Coots
Re: Do I have a beef?
on Oct 7, 2008 at 8:17:34 am

Aaron,

It's true, a lot of people in this forum are managers or business owners (it IS the "business" forum) so maybe their view is a little slanted by that. BUT, all of these people started at the bottom and worked their way up. I have spent enough time in this forum to know that every single person replying to your post is an honest, hard working, kind employer who knows their sh*t and has walked the fire. I think that earns them a little room to call it as they see it.

That said, there is truth in some of these responses. As long as your employer is paying you for your time, and the work is within the job description agreed to when you were hired (i.e. editor/videographer) then there is no moral issue in asking you to work on whatever project they deem fit. This is especially true if there is no profit sharing situation, as this means there is no financial reason for you to be upset. Outside of that, it seems you are upset because you only want to work on higher-profile gigs. It is not an employer's responsibility to provide fun, career-boosting projects for the personal pleasure and advancement of their team. It is only their duty to keep everyone gainfully employed, and since you have stated several times the shop is up to its eyeballs in paid work, your bosses seem to be doing their job.

Brendan Coots

Splitvision Digital

http://www.splitvisiondigital.com


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Alex Huber
Re: Do I have a beef?
on Oct 7, 2008 at 12:50:35 pm

Not to protract "beat up on Aaron day," but I will pipe up --

I think this obviously just comes down to a personality conflict. You don't respect (or probably like) your boss or his work -- ergo, you don't like working on his personal projects.

Consider this --

Imagine that it wasn't his son or daughter's wedding. Say it was a paying client that brought the wedding video in to edit. You would be doing EXACTLY the same project for EXACTLY the same pay.

Imagine that it wasn't a personal windmill project. Say it was an outside paying client that had a vendetta against the windmill and contracted with the company to produce the video. Again you would be doing EXACTLY the same project for EXACTLY the same pay.

I think Brendan's right. You don't like being shuffled off onto the grunt work in favor of the higher-profile (and possibly reel-building) jobs.

Unfortunately, that's life -- and that's business. You may indeed have a beef with your boss regarding compensation. Address that with him. Get paid what you are worth, or move on. You do NOT have a beef with your boss regarding the jobs you are given. Do them, do them well without complaining -- or move on.

A






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Randy Lee
Re: Do I have a beef?
on Oct 7, 2008 at 5:33:01 pm

I completely agree with what has been said so far, and what I have to say was already said, but seems to have been glossed over by the rest of the discussion. Sit down with your boss, in a non-confrontational manner, and discuss what sort of time limits are included in your salaried pay. If they're paying you for 40 hours a week of work, bring that up and ask how they're going to compensate for that extra Saturday. If it is a 40+ hours per week scenario, how are you being compensated for that extra time? Overtime pay? A higher base salary than you otherwise could have been given? It could be that they think you're already being compensated for it, and they shouldn't have to offer anything extra for your services.

Bring it up. Talk about it, ask questions about it. Make sure that they're thinking about how to repay you for your extra time. Do you get a bonus at the end of the year for your work? Do you have some flexibility in the hours you put in while you're not working on projects like these? You aren't a slave, so make sure there is open discussion about payment and compensation. Unless you don't want to be working on his side projects at all, in which case, well...the options have pretty well been laid out ^^^


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Mark Suszko
Re: Do I have a beef?
on Oct 7, 2008 at 6:19:48 pm

Randy makes a vital point. It is always ironic when we as communications professionals have a breakdown in communication. That's what I see here as well: a small shop where three people gave each made certain assumptions and not bothered to compare them to see if they are congruent. If stuff was first talked out, written down, and signed off, this thread would not exist, since Aaron would know the score and so would his "owners" regarding what was covered under salary and what was "off the books". Aaron could then have a clear choice as to what was expected of him and what he was comfortable doing for the couple. The absolute worst thing though is letting this situation fester. You have to do something here. Have a heart to heart about what the policy is and get it written down. See where things go from there.

This may or may not heal the working relationship there, my guess is it is too badly bruised to fix, but you can never tell with human beings, they can surprise you.

My take as a non-manager mid-level grunt is that the work situation has deteriorated gradually into something that borders on abusive from the aspect of how much overtime or uncompensated time is being asked of him. I agree with most of you that when they have him on the clock, whatever they ask him to do is pretty much fair game. However, there are naturally some boundaries to a blanket assertion like that. Some of you have probably been asked to do spots for tobacco companies, or political campaigns you oppose, or something you may find morally distasteful, like porn. Your choice to play along is yours, and one consequence of the choice may be you lose the job. However, most good employers I think (hope?) would give you an option regarding some of these tough calls.

I remember working as a teen, raising college money in a summer job in the packing and shipping department at VCA Teletronics in DesPlaines, back in the 80's, labeling and shrink-wrapping VHS and betamax cassettes on a line with other students and housewives.

One day the line got a work order to process a large shipment of porn tapes. We didn't have to watch them like the dubbing crews, (who only did that work at night) just label, box, and shrink-wrap them and put them in crates for shipping. The line manager told us we had the option to go home without pay, stay and sweep up or stack shelves or something if any of us didn't want to handle the illustrated boxes all day. Those that packed would get a small bonus for working short-staffed. I'm sure they could have just insisted on work or quit, but they didn't. So there *is* a line to be drawn somewhere, is all I'm saying. Where we're having the argument is more about the exact placement of that line, IMO.

If they are strong-arming Aaron to do stuff outside of what would be considered the normal work, AND they are not paying him for it, seems like he's working under duress in fear of losing his job. How is that good management in 2008? Why should Aaron be the bad guy, if that is really what's going on? This is the feeling I get from Aaron's writing, I'm sure the couple sees things very differently. We all react to the facts of a case study based on our own triggers and tropes. I don't think we know enough about what the real situation is here. In the interest of full disclosure, my interpretation comes from the POV of someone who has experienced very good as well as very BAD managers over a career.

I do think you learn more, or at least more quickly, from failures and bad examples than you do from a perfectly fortunate life. No believer is more devout than the converted, they say. Should I be in a real boss position someday, I aim to remain flexible and have options, but also to not let a situation get this far out of control in the first place. All it would have taken was a simple document to spell out the boundaries. Simple communication.






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Rick Dolishny
hey aaron I remember you: WMV not playing
on Oct 13, 2008 at 12:00:19 am

You got all up at arms maybe a year ago with some post that got a lot of people actually angry at your web site. Your WMV still doesn't work on any of my browsers.

I'm surprised you're still working there. You have a huge chip on your shoulder, and despite being all polite on this thread you don't take criticism very well.

Quit and get a new job and write your own ticket. You'll be happier for it.

I am curious though, what on earth could anyone find wrong with wind turbines? I'm serious, I think they are so modern and progressive and signal a community that's taking control of their energy process. I was just in upstate NY and drove past a wind farm of well over 30 units. It was very impressive to see.



---
Rick Dolishny
Discrete Editors COW Leader
http://www.thecreativeprocess.ca


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Todd Terry
Re: Do I have a beef?
on Oct 7, 2008 at 4:25:41 am

[Aaron Cadieux] "In the end, I guess I'm just shocked that so many people find it acceptable that someone should have to work on personal projects for their bosses at work."

I think we've come to the point where we are beating a dead horse here, as you feel the way you feel and there's going to be no changing it. But you are being very myopic and perhaps not looking at the big picture.

About ten years ago, as a new company owner I was excited to get my first employee... she was a combination of many things: office manager, personal assistant, secretary, etc. Her job was to run the office, and although I didn't define her job as such she took it upon herself to include just "taking care of me" as needed. The first time she said "I'll pick up your dry cleaning after lunch" I was like, "Uhh.. you shouldn't do that. That's not your job." The same with "Do you want me to make you a haircut appointment," or "Should I pick your dog up from the vet?"

Personal work? Sure. Very personal. But you know what? It helped me, freed me up to do the work that brought the money in that paid my salary and hers, too.

Maybe you don't see the value in editing the bosses kid's wedding video... even though it's on company time and you're getting paid for it (by the way, if the company's speciality was wedding videos you'd be doing that every day). But then again, maybe that helps your boss... frees him up to go after business... or just takes a weight off his mind and something off his plate so can better concentrate on building the company. At least the work is within your area of expertise... it's not like he's asking you to go out back and dig a ditch.

[Aaron Cadieux] " I think the bosses are giving me boss answers and employees are giving me employee answers"

Probably true. But I guarantee you that every one of us who are currently "bosses" have been employees as well. You're only seeing the view from one side of the fence.

[Aaron Cadieux] "majority of the people on this forum (the bosses) will think I'm a snot-nosed spoiled-brat punk"

Not completely... but I'm not sure you appreciate the dynamic of the employer/employee situation.

[Aaron Cadieux] "I would NEVER ask an employee of mine... to work on a personal project of mine without additional compensation... no matter if it's office hours..."

Why not? If you own the company there is absolutely nothing wrong with it, it's perfectly ethical, and your duty to do as your employer requires. And it has nothing to do with "being nice."

[Aaron Cadieux] "most of the people telling me to 'suck it up' have probably dumped personal crap on their employees at one time or another."

For the record, I was a decent employee... but I'm a great boss. My employees will tell you so, unprompted. They've worked on personal projects on occasion, but i've never "dumped crap" on any of them. Most of them would probably tell you the personal stuff was a lot more fun and creative than the "real" work and they enjoyed it. And got paid for it.

[Aaron Cadieux] "But believe me, I'm always looking."

Well, good luck, hopefully you will find an employer you think is more fair and have a long, happy, and profitable relationship with them... sincerely.

Probably should hope they don't read the COW.

T2

__________________________________
Todd Terry
Creative Director
Fantastic Plastic Entertainment, Inc.
fantasticplastic.com






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Aaron Cadieux
Re: Do I have a beef?
on Oct 7, 2008 at 4:59:49 am

Well, thanks for your input, and I appreciate your point of view. And if any potential future employers of mine read the cow, and my posts prevent me from getting hired, it's probably for the better. If they don't like my point of view, it would save them and me from an unpleasant working relationship. To tell you the truth, I wouldn't really care if my current employer saw the posts. After all, it's better to have someone venting to strangers online than causing a scene in the workplace (which I have never, and will never do).



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Brendan Coots
Re: Do I have a beef?
on Oct 7, 2008 at 8:17:34 am

Aaron,

It's true, a lot of people in this forum are managers or business owners (it IS the "business" forum) so maybe their view is a little slanted by that. BUT, all of these people started at the bottom and worked their way up. I have spent enough time in this forum to know that every single person replying to your post is an honest, hard working, kind employer who knows their sh*t and has walked the fire. I think that earns them a little room to call it as they see it.

That said, there is truth in some of these responses. As long as your employer is paying you for your time, and the work is within the job description agreed to when you were hired (i.e. editor/videographer) then there is no moral issue in asking you to work on whatever project they deem fit. This is especially true if there is no profit sharing situation, as this means there is no financial reason for you to be upset. Outside of that, it seems you are upset because you only want to work on higher-profile gigs. It is not an employer's responsibility to provide fun, career-boosting projects for the personal pleasure and advancement of their team. It is only their duty to keep everyone gainfully employed, and since you have stated several times the shop is up to its eyeballs in paid work, your bosses seem to be doing their job.

Brendan Coots

Splitvision Digital

http://www.splitvisiondigital.com


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Alex Huber
Re: Do I have a beef?
on Oct 7, 2008 at 12:50:35 pm

Not to protract "beat up on Aaron day," but I will pipe up --

I think this obviously just comes down to a personality conflict. You don't respect (or probably like) your boss or his work -- ergo, you don't like working on his personal projects.

Consider this --

Imagine that it wasn't his son or daughter's wedding. Say it was a paying client that brought the wedding video in to edit. You would be doing EXACTLY the same project for EXACTLY the same pay.

Imagine that it wasn't a personal windmill project. Say it was an outside paying client that had a vendetta against the windmill and contracted with the company to produce the video. Again you would be doing EXACTLY the same project for EXACTLY the same pay.

I think Brendan's right. You don't like being shuffled off onto the grunt work in favor of the higher-profile (and possibly reel-building) jobs.

Unfortunately, that's life -- and that's business. You may indeed have a beef with your boss regarding compensation. Address that with him. Get paid what you are worth, or move on. You do NOT have a beef with your boss regarding the jobs you are given. Do them, do them well without complaining -- or move on.

A






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Randy Lee
Re: Do I have a beef?
on Oct 7, 2008 at 5:33:01 pm

I completely agree with what has been said so far, and what I have to say was already said, but seems to have been glossed over by the rest of the discussion. Sit down with your boss, in a non-confrontational manner, and discuss what sort of time limits are included in your salaried pay. If they're paying you for 40 hours a week of work, bring that up and ask how they're going to compensate for that extra Saturday. If it is a 40+ hours per week scenario, how are you being compensated for that extra time? Overtime pay? A higher base salary than you otherwise could have been given? It could be that they think you're already being compensated for it, and they shouldn't have to offer anything extra for your services.

Bring it up. Talk about it, ask questions about it. Make sure that they're thinking about how to repay you for your extra time. Do you get a bonus at the end of the year for your work? Do you have some flexibility in the hours you put in while you're not working on projects like these? You aren't a slave, so make sure there is open discussion about payment and compensation. Unless you don't want to be working on his side projects at all, in which case, well...the options have pretty well been laid out ^^^


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Mark Suszko
Re: Do I have a beef?
on Oct 7, 2008 at 6:19:48 pm

Randy makes a vital point. It is always ironic when we as communications professionals have a breakdown in communication. That's what I see here as well: a small shop where three people gave each made certain assumptions and not bothered to compare them to see if they are congruent. If stuff was first talked out, written down, and signed off, this thread would not exist, since Aaron would know the score and so would his "owners" regarding what was covered under salary and what was "off the books". Aaron could then have a clear choice as to what was expected of him and what he was comfortable doing for the couple. The absolute worst thing though is letting this situation fester. You have to do something here. Have a heart to heart about what the policy is and get it written down. See where things go from there.

This may or may not heal the working relationship there, my guess is it is too badly bruised to fix, but you can never tell with human beings, they can surprise you.

My take as a non-manager mid-level grunt is that the work situation has deteriorated gradually into something that borders on abusive from the aspect of how much overtime or uncompensated time is being asked of him. I agree with most of you that when they have him on the clock, whatever they ask him to do is pretty much fair game. However, there are naturally some boundaries to a blanket assertion like that. Some of you have probably been asked to do spots for tobacco companies, or political campaigns you oppose, or something you may find morally distasteful, like porn. Your choice to play along is yours, and one consequence of the choice may be you lose the job. However, most good employers I think (hope?) would give you an option regarding some of these tough calls.

I remember working as a teen, raising college money in a summer job in the packing and shipping department at VCA Teletronics in DesPlaines, back in the 80's, labeling and shrink-wrapping VHS and betamax cassettes on a line with other students and housewives.

One day the line got a work order to process a large shipment of porn tapes. We didn't have to watch them like the dubbing crews, (who only did that work at night) just label, box, and shrink-wrap them and put them in crates for shipping. The line manager told us we had the option to go home without pay, stay and sweep up or stack shelves or something if any of us didn't want to handle the illustrated boxes all day. Those that packed would get a small bonus for working short-staffed. I'm sure they could have just insisted on work or quit, but they didn't. So there *is* a line to be drawn somewhere, is all I'm saying. Where we're having the argument is more about the exact placement of that line, IMO.

If they are strong-arming Aaron to do stuff outside of what would be considered the normal work, AND they are not paying him for it, seems like he's working under duress in fear of losing his job. How is that good management in 2008? Why should Aaron be the bad guy, if that is really what's going on? This is the feeling I get from Aaron's writing, I'm sure the couple sees things very differently. We all react to the facts of a case study based on our own triggers and tropes. I don't think we know enough about what the real situation is here. In the interest of full disclosure, my interpretation comes from the POV of someone who has experienced very good as well as very BAD managers over a career.

I do think you learn more, or at least more quickly, from failures and bad examples than you do from a perfectly fortunate life. No believer is more devout than the converted, they say. Should I be in a real boss position someday, I aim to remain flexible and have options, but also to not let a situation get this far out of control in the first place. All it would have taken was a simple document to spell out the boundaries. Simple communication.






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Shawn Miller
Re: Do I have a beef?
on Oct 7, 2008 at 7:43:14 pm

This is a very interesting thread with a good spread of opinions.

Truthfully, it sounds like the biggest issue here is communication.

It isn't true that an employer completely owns you when you're working for them, clearly there are limts to what you can be asked to do when in someone else's employ. What those limits are however, are defined A. by the civil and criminal code of your city, county, state, etc. and B. any formal agreements you have in place as a condition of your employment. I used to work for a state institution in which the "boss" expected everyone to be at work 10 minute before their paid shift started and ten minutes after their paid shift ended... he was of the opinion that he had the full right to do that because we was "the boss". I pointed out that he couldn't compel us to work without pay, so he fired me that day. I went to the finance dept and asked if they knew that my (now) former manager was trying to get twenty minutes of free labor per employee, per shift... to make a long story short, finance didn't know he was doing that, he got demoted (no more employees) and I was offered my job back (I didn't go back).

I guess the point I'm trying to make is that you can't be asked to work "off the clock" if you're an hourly employee... if you're a salaried employee, then the conditions of your employment have to be clearly spelled out. I know it's not fun, but if you don't have some sort of agreement in place (or even a job description), then the scope of your responsibilities can become flexible enough to encompass such duties as shooting events, editing video/audio, pet care, light house work and "all tasks assigned". :-)

The bottom line is that you need to talk to your employers, come to an agreement and get it in writing.
Thanks,

Shawn




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Randy Wheeler
Re: Do I have a beef?
on Oct 7, 2008 at 9:01:17 pm

I still think Aaron has a conflict of interest because he charges much more money with his side-business production company doing the same work he is sometimes asked to do at his full-time salary job. For example, he's might be making $20/hour based on salary and he makes $100/hour when freelancing with his side business.

This is a quote from his first post:

"If they were to hire a freelancer to shoot the meeting, they would have had to pay him more than I make in a week with my salary."

Aaron resents that he can't charge them a "freelancer" rate for this "personal" work that he does and feels is not part of his job duties for this employer. He wants his employer to hire him as a freelancer for these jobs and rake in the money at a freelancer rate.

Problem I see is that you can't have it both ways, either you want the security of a salary job and do the work they put in front of you or take on the risk but higher hourly pay of freelancing.

Aaron has already stated that he is doing DVD's for his employer using his side business so I assume he is making money doing that at a freelancer rate. Looks like he wants this to happen with the "personal" jobs also. Good luck on that.

I'm still looking for opinions by anyone that has experience juggling a salary job and freelancing on the side in the same field.

Randy


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Mike Cohen
Re: Do I have a beef?
on Oct 7, 2008 at 9:24:26 pm

Great thread, even if the original post suggested a less-than-great situation.

Here are some thoughts based upon my experience:

1. I have cut local political ads on company time, which my boss did as a favor to the local politicians. It makes no difference whether the company is being paid or not, as long as the employee doing the work is getting paid. When someone is a salaried employee, the project being worked on at a given time is not directly funding the employee's pay for the same time period. In fact, the employee should not care whose money is going into his pocket.

2. Any company of any size should have a handbook or employee manual, listing the rules and regulations regarding pay, overtime, comp time, benefits, grievances etc. If there is no policy to handle a situation, a friendly meeting needs to be held to discuss the matter in a non-threatening way.

3. We periodically use freelance shooters and pay their rates. For example, we may pay $1500 for a full day two-man crew. Of course this is more than two full time salaried employees make in one day, but this is not apples to apples. Freelancers on this board can tell you that the $1600 a day is not profit, given the overhead of being an independent operator.

Mike Cohen


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Mark Suszko
Re: Do I have a beef?
on Oct 7, 2008 at 9:39:22 pm

Randy, The freelance vs. salary comparison is IMO apples and oranges, and doesn't really apply here.

Salary is always lower on a full-time salaried job than comparable freelance pay because of who is picking up the tab for FICA, health care plan, insurance, taxes, etc etc etc. A self-employed freelancer has to charge for all of those things. Well, he does if he's smart.

Salaried people tend to have no idea except in a general sense how much of their pay goes off into that HR netherworld of "benefits", they usually are most interested in the take-home amount. If you like to inflate your salary description, replace the net take-home with the gross before deductions and benefits. But the worker is getting those benefits either way, the difference is just who's keeping track of it all.

Salary is also not the only way to pay someone. In Aarons' case, if the bosses can't spring for the raise, (assuming he's good and has earned it) there can be other ways to reimburse, like paying for some training courses, DVD tutorials, books, etc. or buying him hardware or software but depreciating it off the company's books. Or paying his travel to a trade show or user group meeting, maybe paying his dues to some professional association... Added dental or other health care, spousal inclusion, a gym membership. Company car or travel reimbursement? Who knows what kinds of trade-outs can be arranged? There are more ways to pay someone than just in cash, is what I'm getting at.

One place I know of had a deal with the editors that they could bring in their own freelance jobs after-hours, as long as it was cleared in advance and didn't create any obvious conflicts of interest or bad publicity for the company. The owners felt that the more time their editors spent on *anything* in the suites, the more skilled they would become and that things they came up with in private projects, for fun or money, could eventually transfer and be usefully applied to company jobs. They even considered freelance clients on weekends good marketing; a lot of those one-time weekend clients were so happy with the editor they wanetd them all the time and the jobs got converted to monday thru friday bookings with the same guy on the official books, after that "get-acquainted session" on a weekend freelance gig.

Some shops sponsor all their editor's efforts to enter awards contests by paying the entry fees for them. That's good PR for the editor and the company when they win something.

There are many creative accomodations a boss and valued worker can come up with, if they happy with each other but are up against a problem with a cash limit on salary. Some things can be worth more than cash but cost the company less to make happen.

When I got my current job, the salary was abotu 25% lower than private sector rates, but the benefits (at the time) were incredible, as well as the pension plan and investments. To sweeten the deal, and make up for the low initial pay, I got brought in 2 levels higher in the command chain, which didn't make any difference in salary or day to day operations ever, but jumped my bennies significantly on the back end, essentially leapfrogging my pension and promotion schedules by several years' head start, right from the get-go. That little give-away in the 80's will let me retire with higher pay a few years sooner in this century.


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Steve Wargo
Re: Do I have a beef?
on Oct 8, 2008 at 2:14:21 pm

sounds to me like they're treating you like one of their children, not an employee. But, that is the feeling that slides in when you're working in a home based business like you're in and like we have.

If we have a job that is away from the norm, I ask my guy how he feels about doing it. If it's during normal business hours, he's working for his salary. Nights and weekends, he makes something closer to freelance money. If it's something that he doesn't want to do, I hire outside.

I think that your main problems are their assumption that you're "one of the family" and your failure to speak up.

Have a company meeting and clear the air. You might be surprised at the result.

Last year, I found out that one of my employees was very unhappy because she posted it in a blog on her "private" myspace page. Her friends read it, forwarded it to me and then asked for her job. It seems like the things she hated were perfectly acceptable to others.




Steve Wargo
Tempe, Arizona
It's a dry heat!

Sony HDCAM F-900 & HDW-2000/1 deck
5 Final Cut (not quite PRO) systems
Sony HVR-M25 HDV deck
2-Sony EX-1 HD .


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Mark Suszko
Re: Do I have a beef?
on Oct 8, 2008 at 3:36:29 pm

Whoa, I'm glad I don't have "friends" like that! I curious Steve, as to what you think of those people asking for the job in that way? Are they just ambitious, or snakes?


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Bob Zelin
Re: Do I have a beef?
on Oct 9, 2008 at 1:19:11 am

Wow, what a great thread.

1) Ron Lindeboom should be required to post the "Grinders" article in this forum once a month.

2) I have been taken advantage of in the past greatly. But when I look back, I was given great opportunities by the people that were "too cheap" to hire someone that was actually qualified. Opportunites that "real companies" would never have given me.

Learn what you can, and move on. Always look out for yourself. If something bad happened financially in their family, they would not worry about you or your medical insurance. Whenever you are in a bad situation, LEARN EVERYTHING YOU CAN - everything from equipment, to who their clients are. Be as ruthless as the next guy.

Bob Zelin




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Chris Blair
Re: Do I have a beef?
on Oct 9, 2008 at 3:22:49 am

Bob...you've capsulized what I've been trying to figure out how to say about this thread, as well as other financial/ethical threads.

There are times in people's careers, either as employees, freelancers or business owners, where the opportunity to do high level work for a particular client overshadows the importance of setting up deposit and pay schedules, and taking a hard line with getting invoices paid on time.

I'm not saying we should let that happen, but it's easy to have it occur.

Our company has gotten the chance to work with national companies with 8 figure advertising budgets on two occasions. In each case we had no business getting the accounts. Our reels paled in comparison to our competitors, our experience level, while extensive, was mostly regional in nature, and I'm sure we're not even the most creative company in our own city.

We were chosen because we're very fast, we do solid, consistent work, we're fun to work with, we're fair, we're affordable, and we deliver on time. In each case, we got so busy doing the client's work, that keeping up with their billing didn't seem as critical as it should be.

Bills often were sent 30-45 days after a project was completed, following up on invoices sometimes was overlooked, and we rarely complained because there was almost always a stream of revenue coming in at regular intervals.

So I think there are times when a company might not have the status or stature to make some of the demands that so many write about on these forums. I know most of you would argue I'm full of crap, but like Bob said, the opportunity to do work you really have no business doing makes the hassles of getting these "grinders" to pay you almost worth it.



Chris Blair
Magnetic Image, Inc.
Evansville, IN
http://www.videomi.com


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Steve Wargo
Re: Do I have a beef?
on Oct 9, 2008 at 4:54:15 am

I certainly didn't hire any of them. Don't think I could hang with someone who just stabbed their BFF in the back.



Steve Wargo
Tempe, Arizona
It's a dry heat!

Sony HDCAM F-900 & HDW-2000/1 deck
5 Final Cut (not quite PRO) systems
Sony HVR-M25 HDV deck
2-Sony EX-1 HD .


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John Davidson
Re: Do I have a beef?
on Oct 9, 2008 at 9:30:27 pm

You're jaded. Get out regardless of it you have a job lined up because once you lose that spark that got you into this business in the first place, you'll find it's hard to get it back.

Also, do yourself a huge favor and never, ever, ever, ever (ever?) ever play the "that's not my job" card using your real name on a public forum that will show up for all eternity anytime someone googles your name. Try it. Your post comes up 4th in google now. Not good. The context of your contention will likely be lost on an HR assistant hired to pre-screen applicants for future jobs you might want. All they'll likely think is 'this guy is a complainer'.

I suggest you send Ron and our friends at the cow a big gift basket and beg them to nuke this thread. Seriously. I would hate for you to Don Quixote (sorry, had to drop that in there after the windmill video) your career because you had a bad weekend and posted an angry thread about it.

My 2 cents.

John
President & Creative Director, Magic Feather Inc.


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Chris Blair
Re: Do I have a beef?
on Oct 10, 2008 at 12:20:38 am

John Davidson wrote:

never, ever, ever, ever (ever?) ever play the "that's not my job" card using your real name on a public forum that will show up for all eternity anytime someone googles your name.

I have to disagree. I believe these forums are exactly the place to post these sorts of questions. His post has generated a huge number of responses and a lot of differing opinions about the issue from facility owners, freelancers and employees.

I also don't think you can post on the Cow without using your real name...or without a reader having access to your name somewhere in the post. The person who posted brought up some great issues, and perhaps the advice he's been given will help change his view of the situation.

Also...if HR assistants and HR directors are resorting to "googling" a person's name to evaluate them, then we're in bigger trouble than I thought. Who on this list believes that an employee or freelancer agrees with them 100%...or for that matter, even 50% of the time? I know people disagree with my opinions and decisions. But I'm the person with the money and risk invested in this business, and ultimately the person held accountable for those decisions.

So I think being criticized or questioned is a part of being a leader. Should we blacklist or discourage people who publicly criticize political candidates and corporate CEO's? I certainly wish someone in the financial world would've questioned the strategies, decisions and policies at Bear Stearns, Lehman Brothers, Wachovia, AIG and Washington Mutual.





Chris Blair
Magnetic Image, Inc.
Evansville, IN
http://www.videomi.com


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John Davidson
Re: Do I have a beef?
on Oct 10, 2008 at 2:36:31 am

If the worst thing Fuld had done was ask a salary employee to come in on a Sunday to record a meeting and some interviews, the world (and Lehman bros) would be a much better financial standing. Aaron wasn't exposing corporate fraud or busting grinders, he was demonstrating unhappiness with his current employer. Grinders should always be publicly exposed and flagellated and this forum is EXCELLENT for that.

I'm fortunate that I have a very common name. I can't order coffee at starbucks without having 5 other John Davidsons trying to grab my Venti Brownie Frappucino with extra whipped cream. When I hired a junior editor a while back, we googled the final 10 candidates. The young man that we hired had less experience, was still in school, and based on resume alone was not the strongest candidate. It was a youtube video we stumbled across that he had made that closed the deal. The video showed he had a fearlessness with graphics, the ability to self-teach, and a love of television. If I had discovered this post instead, I would not have hired him.

Hundreds of articles have been written about how companies are googling employees now (google it!). Your e-reputation is now almost as important as your real one.
http://www.career-launch.com/blog/job_search_tips/many_employers_google_pot...
Googling potential employees will become a mandatory part of almost all major corporations HR processes - it's just a part of protecting themselves from gun-toting maniacs that interview well. Many of the next generations workforce are learning the hard way that those slutty drunken pictures that look so funny on myspace are a big turnoff to Timewarner, or Discovery Networks, or Disney, etc.

It's not even applicants that can be affected. People are losing their jobs based on what they write, pictures they post, and how they behave online. The world is getting smaller by the minute. Just ask this guy:
http://www.desmoinesregister.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20080828/NEWS/8...

If that's not enough for you, I think it was Confucius, or perhaps Dick Van Patten, who once said: "Don't s%#t where you eat". It's the reason why I never post frustrations I have with current clients (or most past ones), and neither do most of the other folks on these boards. Have I written up some doozies that I almost posted? Heck yeah! Did I actually post them? Heck NO!

Perhaps a better and safer solution would be for this particular forum to have an option for frustrated posters to email questions to an address on the cow without exposing themselves or jeopardizing their jobs or clients. It would still prevent the anonymous flame wars that brought on the 'you must use your real name' rule, but allow those of us with legitimate concerns and questions to post them without fear of reprisal. I know Ron and the guys are usually super busy, but I bet it would increase the number of extremely interesting and valuable posts on this particular forum.

John
President & Creative Director, Magic Feather Inc.


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Mike Cohen
Re: Do I have a beef?
on Oct 10, 2008 at 1:27:01 pm

Based upon last night's The Office, maybe we should have an "immunity" button for a first post - the post would need to be reviewed by Ron to make sure it is a legitimate personal gripe, and not spam or whatever.

Personally, I am careful whenever I post comments on a forum, facebook, myspace (don't really use that one anymore) or any google-able site.

Thanks to Creative COW, my own Google result is #14 or so, which is pretty good considering how many people with my name there are in the world.

In fact I once left a message for a doctor in a hospital, and he called me back almost immediately. Little did I know, the director of some prestigious medical society shares my name!

Mike Cohen


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Chris Blair
Re: Do I have a beef?
on Oct 10, 2008 at 8:44:47 pm

John,

Both the links just make me believe more strongly in my disagreement with people's responses to this thread.

It's downright scary when, regardless of their job or community standing, a person cannot go out on the 4th of July with friends and drink beer on the lake, without fear of losing his job! I don't care if he was a public official. Does becoming a public official instantly prohibit someone from having fun? Who draws the line on what is or isn't "acceptable?"

The only thing the guy did wrong was initially deny he'd been out on the lake drinking beer...something that's perfectly legal and ethical.

The googling of people's names is Orwellian. We once hired a young guy who had a tremendous reel, interviewed well, and had all the right credentials...but others in the production and advertising community warned us that he was "trouble," saying he couldn't and wouldn't take direction, that he was argumentative, and that he hated making changes to his designs. One even forwarded us an internal email the guy wrote complaining about the way a project was handled at his previous job!

We went with our gut and hired him anyway. He was a joy to work with and a truly nice guy. So who was the problem employee after all?? The employee we hired who turned out to be a great worker? Or the oaf who forwarded one of the guy's internal emails complaining about an issue at his previous job?

The point I'm making is that if a company uses some post or some set of silly photographs or some innuendo from an email, a forum post or a google search to make their hiring decisions, they're going to miss out on a LOT of good people.

Additionally, if they formulate their overall opinion based on what they find on that same information, they're scary.

It's like when Howard Dean went from Democratic frontrunner in 2004 to dropping out of the race weeks later because he whooped it up at a campaign rally. (The "Dean Scream") Many journalists now admit they were wrong to do what they did to Dean, who did nothing more than show a little joy and excitement on the campaign trail. The guy is a Doctor, a two-term governor of Vermont, probably one of the smartest guys in politics, and the press and public decide he's "not presidential" because he gets a little excited at a Democratic Caucus.

Stuff like this reminds me of the witchhunts we all read about in school. I just can't beleive people would take an otherwise ideal job candidate, then base their final decision on a handful of random ramblings or posts or photos that show up on Google or MySpace.

Perhpas the original poster on this thread is a "bad egg." But for people to make their judgement and subsequent admonition of him based on his views is just wrong in my opinion. People come to The Cow for help, advice and direction. Not to be admonished and warned and scolded.



Chris Blair
Magnetic Image, Inc.
Evansville, IN
http://www.videomi.com


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John Davidson
Re: Do I have a beef?
on Oct 10, 2008 at 9:29:44 pm

I think your problem is not with responses to this original post as much as you aren't happy with the fact that the world is developing a long memory. I'm warning Aaron for his own good, primarily because I've been there myself. It's a fact of life - our mouths can get us into trouble. I'm not saying it's a good thing, but it is a real thing.

Now, if you'd like to back up your argument by making a list of all your best paying clients and detail the stupid notes, decisions, and demands they make, be my guest. At this point, I don't think anyone here will stop you :-).

Oh, and one thing that I simply have to add with a wink and a nod....
"People come to The Cow for help, advice and direction. Not to be admonished and warned and scolded."

Somebody tell Bob Zelin that! God bless ya Bob! I love all your posts!

John
President & Creative Director, Magic Feather Inc.


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Ron Lindeboom
Re: Do I have a beef?
on Oct 10, 2008 at 10:53:53 pm

[John Davidson] "...the world is developing a long memory. I'm warning Aaron for his own good. It's a fact of life - our mouths can get us into trouble. I'm not saying it's a good thing, but it is a real thing."

Hear, hear. Good advice, John.


[Chris Blair] "The googling of people's names is Orwellian."

Wow, that is quite a leap. I do it all the time and I am hardly trying to usher in 1984 (which as a calendar event may have passed but is quite upon us as an Orwellian event, thanks to disparate forces like political correctness, governmental snoopery and other Orwellian tactics).


[Chris Blair] "The point I'm making is that if a company uses some post or some set of silly photographs or some innuendo from an email, a forum post or a google search to make their hiring decisions, they're going to miss out on a LOT of good people."

That largely depends upon your personal preference in setting the height of the bar while determining your relative definition of what is "good."

In the end, I think John Davidson is correct: our mouths either do service for us, or they hurt us. In most cases, it is arguably some of both. It is the rare individual that can bridle their tongue or think far enough ahead to weigh the relative merit of what they are about to say. Sometimes, the words carry with them an aftermath -- which is what I think John Davidson was alluding to.

Ron Lindeboom
creativecow.net


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Mike Cohen
Re: Do I have a beef?
on Oct 10, 2008 at 11:31:19 pm

here in CT we have a young mayor in Torrington, CT. He was elected at age 23 or so, and was then found to have some questionable words on his myspace page. Oops, he said, but I think he was reelected.


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Chris Blair
Re: Do I have a beef?
on Oct 11, 2008 at 3:10:07 am

Ron wrote:

That largely depends on your personal preference in setting the height of the bar while determining your relative definition of what is "good."


Not sure I understand your "height of the bar" reference. So if I fail to google a prospect's name I'm lowering the bar for my company?

Ron wrote:...our mouths either do service for us, or they hurt us. In most cases, it is arguably some of both. It is the rare individual that can bridle their tongue or think far enough ahead to weigh the relative merit of what they are about to say. Sometimes, the words carry with them an aftermath -- which is what I think John was alluding to.

Our clients love the fact that we actually "tell" them our "real" opinions about their ideas and plans...without filtering it and watering it down.

That's not to say they listen to us. But they appreciate working with a company that isn't worried about being politically correct and isn't preoccupied with producing ads that win trophies and awards...and oh yeah...they like that we don't use the word "synergy"... EVER.

They appreciate that we focus on producing ads that get results. I tell them exactly what I think. I'll tell the CEO. But I'll also do exactly what they want or ask, without argument...even if I disagree with it.

I don't think you have to muzzle yourself to be successful in this or any business. I think clients want to work with people that challenge them, but respect the final decision.

Ok..this time I'm agreeing to disagree for real!



Chris Blair
Magnetic Image, Inc.
Evansville, IN
http://www.videomi.com


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Ron Lindeboom
Re: Do I have a beef?
on Oct 11, 2008 at 5:01:22 pm

[Chris Blair] "Not sure I understand your "height of the bar" reference. So if I fail to google a prospect's name I'm lowering the bar for my company?"

No, that is not what I said, Chris. If I understood you correctly, to paraphrase you: you said that if people judge people by their own words and actions on Google -- and then dismiss these people whose words and actions considered in the "Google vacuum" appear to make them look volatile, etc. -- then they are going to miss out on a lot of good people for their company.

If that is what you were implying (which I believe you were), then I said that is true and becomes increasingly true if you lower the bar of what you consider "good" farther and farther. At a certain point, you can throw out judgment all together and then everyone is qualified -- sort of like the new politically correct way that some parents want their children to play games where the parents do not keep score. It's funny, I have been to some of those games with my grandchildren and while some of the parents are busy kidding themselves that scores are irrelevant, the kids are competing and can tell you who is ahead and if you watch them they know exactly where the score is in reality. They are there to win.

The rest of your comments are completely off the subject of what I was saying and address no points of what I said or implied and so I feel no need to address them. Your thoughts are yours and you are free to state them and believe whatsoever you wish.

Best regards,

Ron Lindeboom


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Mark Suszko
Re: Do I have a beef?
on Oct 11, 2008 at 6:29:19 pm

This has been a very interesting discussion. I took a look at that link about the school official who got his picture in the paper at an aquatic keg party, the school paid him off two year's salary and bennies to go away. If you dig deeper into the story, the guy had already been under an ethical cloud for some financial shenanigans that he and some other admins admitted to; the school had decided not to press charges in that matter (tends to scare off the alumni fundraising, you know). So that guy was already on "double-secret probation" with his employers when the photo controversy erupted. So he's not the best example of saying or posting one little stupid thing online haunting your career.

Someone earlier made the point that if people do post something really stupid, that points to their character and judgement, which is a valid topic when hiring, even though the incident happened in a non-business, semi-private, social context. I think this can be true, as long as the "incident" is appreciated in a full context. I'm not fully convinced that this happens every time. In the above mentioned incident, the aqua-kegger party broke no laws. It didn't happen on school grounds. There is dispute of the facts in the photo, whether the keg is actually full or is working, and if the photo was deliberately posed to be "wacky". It only hurt the sense of decorum the university officials wanted to preserve regarding staff. And I'm not sure he got punished for legally attending the party as much as for being photographed at it in this way and getting the bad publicity. The article points out they paid him off two years' worth BECAUSE they didn't think they had a snowball's chance in court.
These things are just not always as clear-cut and binary as we'd like them to be.

I joined the COW back before Ron had changed the sign-up rules and people could post under pseudonyms. This is common at a lot of sites, then and now. The pen name in that case is just a little bit of extra "cover" in those cases, to preserve some fig leaf of identity for the person as well as the named client, so exercising your first amendment rights don't lead to a pink slip. Without that fig leaf, a lot of discussions cannot happen. That's a loss.

Of course, it can be abused, and very badly: people on the net can get quite rude and cruel when shielded by anonymity. It is called "Internet Tough Guy Syndrome", and it makes you say things you would NEVER dare to in a face to face situation. I can't imagine any of us standing up at, say an NAB convention gathering, and making a jerk of ourselves in front of the entire industry.

Ron definitely created a barrier to ITGS when he changed his site rules to use true names. Plus, he has active moderation going on, which acts as a "bouncer" to anybody acting out of bounds. That's his right, and what it does is it makes you the poster make a conscious choice in what you decide to post. That in turn makes the COW's s/n ratio among the very highest of any such web site. You can't argue with success, so you have to accept the consequences of posting with a true name if you decide to post. You'd better believe that I have checked, re-checked, previewed, and edited THIS post several times before hitting "send" and yet there always remains a chance it will bite me in the rear some day. I wish I could do this to my spoken word conversations, I'd have more friends, I'm sure:-)

But (finally) back to the question of googling people as a form of background check.
It certainly is not a very accurate way of doing it, but is popular because it's free. Everyone with online access pretty much should know about this by now, and decide for themselves how much of themselves and their persona (and WHICH persona) to put into the aether. Also, this is a system that can be gamed, people can deliberately plant things about themselves to be googled. Some links get called up more than others, and this too is an imperfect measure, since link popularity is generally connected to notoriety or scandal, and not how well you answered last week's question about wiggler expressions in AfterEffects. In some sense, saying or doing something stupid-bad on the net is like getting a criminal record. You can spend a lifetime making up for one bad decision, if you've reformed or not.

I think the more a person posts, the more you can infer of their personality on an AVERAGING basis. To pick out just one outrageous post isn't usually fair or accurate, as is picking out one comment a politician makes in an entire campaign. Or one dud joke out of a comic's entire routine. Perhaps if the one outrageous statement, in context, is so beyond the pale it remains unforgivable, that's all you need to know about a person. I would hope though to be graded on my overall average, and not on a particular "bad day". I think that's true for most people. I also know that the more people I talk to, the more I learn, and this changes the way I think over time. If I don't engage in a give and take, I can't grow as a person.

I would hate to see people take the fear of being googled to such an extent that it puts a chill on discourse, and imposes too much self-censorship. We do that self-censoring already, normally, in everyday living, just so we can all get along. To a reasonable degree, unless we have Tourette's or something. But if we're that scared people will really know what we think, that we don't speak, ever, we're all in deep trouble as a society as well as business professionals. That leads to stasis and stagnation.

One site I know of handles this by letting archives age out and go offline over a set time. Though the nature of the net is that you can never un-ring a bell entirely, such archives going stale and fading out, like human memories, give a bad past decision some chance to get drowned out under all the noise floor of daily chatter and more recent versions of who a poster is today.

Maybe it comes down to: do you think people can change, and how much and when do we forgive. What does your faith tradition or personal code say to you? And are you applying it to others as you would have them apply it to you?

I'm Mark Suszko, and I approved this message.




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John Davidson
So the real point is...Dear Bessie (the cow)
on Oct 11, 2008 at 8:59:42 pm

So many interesting posts, just since yesterday!

I think we all agree that straight talk to clients is important. My rule is to stick up for my spot an justify my creative decisions - once. After that I do what my client wants, which I think is how most of us do it.

I also believe that your job, even if salaried, is very much like having a client. You negotiate the terms of your employment (although sometimes especially when you're earlier in your career there's less negotiation and more 'this is what the job pays'). After 3 years, Aaron should go to his client/boss and calmly and casually renegotiate the details of his employment. Since he's within a hairsbreadth of quitting over this issue anyways, the experience of standing up for himself will be extremely educational, even if it results in the end of his employment. I bet he wouldn't lose his job though.

So the real point...
Posting on the web is basically the same as taking an ad out in the local paper, but for free. The medium is bigger, but the concept is the same. This particular forum is kinda like the "Dear Abby" of our industry. It's the only place on the whole internet I've found where those of 'us' can collaborate and discuss 'them'. That said, you wouldn't take an ad out in the local paper to discuss problems with your client and leave your real name. That could embarrass your clients and leave you broke.

So what do we do? My completely hypothetical theory is that there be a link at the top of this forum called "Dear Bessie" (or perhaps something more clever) so that the disgruntled, grinded, and jaded can create a post that generates an email to the forum leaders. If the 'beef' is legitimate, they can post it for the world to see. We'll all flock to Dear Bessie posts like moths to flame because we'll know they're anonymous and therefore juicy. Heck, you'd even be able to respond to your own anonymous question. Perhaps this would be a good feature for the next major upgrade to Creative Cow Site.

John
President & Creative Director, Magic Feather Inc.


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Terence Curren
Re: Do I have a beef?
on Oct 11, 2008 at 9:21:20 pm

[Chris Blair] "Our clients love the fact that we actually "tell" them our "real" opinions about their ideas and plans...without filtering it and watering it down. "


You obviously don't work in LA. How much repeat work do you think you would get out here by telling producers and directors what stinks in their shows? I can see it now....

(Director) What do you think of the show?

(Editor) Well, the acting sucks, the original script was obviously very weak, and the lighting looks like you never had enough money to do it right. Why would anyone waste money on a project like this?

(Director thinks to self) I'll never work with this asshole again.


Terence Curren
http://www.alphadogs.tv
http://www.digitalservicestation.com
Burbank,Ca


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Chris Blair
Re: Do I have a beef?
on Oct 12, 2008 at 2:15:45 am

[Terence Curren] You obviously don't work in LA. How much repeat work do you think you would get out here by telling producers and directors what stinks in their shows? I can see it now....

I didn't say I tell them "what stinks in their shows." What I said was "we actually tell them our real opinions about their ideas and plans." That can range from telling them we think the concept needs more work...to suggesting a a script change and on and on. There's a big difference.





Chris Blair
Magnetic Image, Inc.
Evansville, IN
http://www.videomi.com


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Chris Blair
Re: Do I have a beef?
on Oct 11, 2008 at 2:39:47 am

John Davidson wrote: Now, if you'd like to back up your argument by making a list of all your best paying clients and detail the stupid notes, decisions, and demands they make, be my guest. At this point, I don't think anyone here will stop you :-).

That's not the point I was making. There's a difference between someone posting on a forum asking advice about a perceived problem...and talking up a client's silly requests.

And I'm not arguing that people don't or shouldn't use google searches for employment background checks, only that taking the information and letting it by itself sway their decision, is irresponsible. That's why I brought up the Howard Dean reference. I loved the guy in 2004. He didn't even do or say anything inappropriate. He said appropriate things but yelled them in a funny sounding voice. And "poof," the media pounces on him. He goes from being on the cover of Time Magazine to dropping out of the race.

It's taking a person's life and accomplishments "out of context." We all do and say stupid things. We sometimes do them at inappropriate times or post them in inappropriate places. So I'm saying give Aaron a break. The guy was looking for advice. For what it's worth, I originally posted that if he were asked to do his boss's "personal" projects during business hours or within his regular schedule, he really didn't have a beef.

So guess we can all just agree to disagree. Good discussion though!

Chris Blair
Magnetic Image, Inc.
Evansville, IN
http://www.videomi.com


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Mark Raudonis
Re: Do I have a beef?
on Oct 12, 2008 at 5:25:28 pm

[Chris Blair] "And I'm not arguing that people don't or shouldn't use google searches for employment background checks, only that taking the information and letting it by itself sway their decision, is irresponsible. "

By itself? No. In combination with other factors? Absolutely valid.

Most people in a position to hire can easily read between the lines and come to this conclusion: whiner, complainer, loser!

Now, how much effort does a candidate have to make to move a potential employer away from that negative point of view?

Without that "internet" info in hand, it would be on the employer's shoulders to "discover" this about the candidate. With that internet info in hand, it's now on the candidate's shoulders to convince them otherwise. Why would you want to ""publish" those kind of details about yourself? It's NOT a good career move.

Mark



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John Davidson
Re: Do I have a beef?
on Oct 12, 2008 at 10:05:05 pm

...and those that learn to manipulate internet search results about themselves will get a leg up over those that don't! Googling yourself is no longer the domain of narcissists. Now it's just smart personal pr.
:-).

John
President & Creative Director, Magic Feather Inc.


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grinner hester
Re: Do I have a beef?
on Oct 10, 2008 at 2:25:41 pm

Aaron, you can elect to go to work or to stay home but after making either of those decisions, I can't see where you can gripe about either of em.
Take a sick day and grab a gig you can grow with at your pace.
this is what sick days are for.




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Terence Curren
Re: Do I have a beef?
on Oct 12, 2008 at 3:02:40 pm

[grinner hester] "Take a sick day and grab a gig you can grow with at your pace.
this is what sick days are for. "



Perfect example. If I was looking to hire Grinner, and I saw this post, I would think twice about it.


Terence Curren
http://www.alphadogs.tv
http://www.digitalservicestation.com
Burbank,Ca


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grinner hester
Re: Do I have a beef?
on Oct 13, 2008 at 2:27:58 pm

well you should think twice then.
Every artist that comes into your place is looking at it as a step to the next place. You hope so, right? I mean who wants an artist that calls good enough good enough? Your job as an employer is not to keep that artist under a contract but to grow with him, be cool as hell to him and ensure through your coolness that he does not leave later. Fail and they'll split. That truely is how it works, like it or not.
I admit I am not very employable. I am expensive, have opnions and have places to be come 6pm. I'd sooner hire 2 22 year olds for less money and work the dog out of em.

but I'd not be surprised when they moved onward and upward. I'd hire expecting it.

If hiring an accountant I may look for a resume that had 2 decades of layalty to one place but, man, we need artists that have great dreams and show it by taking huge leaps forward every other year or so.



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Terence Curren
Re: Do I have a beef?
on Oct 13, 2008 at 2:38:44 pm

[grinner hester] "You hope so, right? I mean who wants an artist that calls good enough good enough? "

Let's look at the business side. Who wants to spend a ton of money developing an artist, then expose him to all of your client base, and even encourage developing relationships there, so that he can later leave and take some of those clients and his newly developed (on your dime) skill sets with him to some other place?



Terence Curren
http://www.alphadogs.tv
http://www.digitalservicestation.com
Burbank,Ca


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Todd Terry
Re: Do I have a beef?
on Oct 13, 2008 at 3:00:42 pm

As an employer, I have to agree with that. Finding and hiring those people is very expensive and often a drawn-out process. We don't like having to repeat it more often than is necessary.

As Grinner said, "we need artists that have great dreams and show it by taking huge leaps forward every other year or so" sounds great and in a perfect world that might be true... but in practicality it doesn't work that way too often. I've seen many applicants that indeed did work at six or ten different jobs over a ten year period... but virtually all of them were simply building a checkered resume, I can't really even think of one of them that moved from job to job taking that "huge leap forward" every time. Most of them simply moved for a few bucks more, because they were tired of the work, or they didn't like the employer. That's just the way it is.

I have one employee in particular in my tiny company that could easily make that big leap to something bigger and better... but rather than expecting him to do it, I try to prevent that by keeping him happy here. We are not trying to "hold him back," we are just trying to keep our business running with the best talent possible. We give him interesting jobs, treat him very well, make sure he has a fun and creative working enviroment, let him grow as much as he can in his job... and pay him very very well (much more than he could get by making the next leap "up"). He's happy, we're happy, and he stays creatively challenged and working hard.

Too many employers don't realize the value of a good employee. They should be nurtured and cared for, not used up. Getting people is easy. Getting great people is hard.

And...as for Googling...

Those in the job market might not like that potential employers Google them, or think that one's on-line personal life is personal and that shouldn't matter, etc.,... but the simple fact is that like it or not, or feel that it is "right" or not doesn't matter one whit. It does happen and it's going to keep happening. Nothing you can do about it. If there's something you don't want the world to see, hear, or know about you, don't put it on line. Anywhere. There's no such thing as "Hey, that was just supposed to be for my friends" Doesn't exist anymore.


T2

__________________________________
Todd Terry
Creative Director
Fantastic Plastic Entertainment, Inc.
fantasticplastic.com






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Doug Collins
Re: Do I have a beef?
on Oct 13, 2008 at 4:50:37 pm

Everyone has been talking about searching google....did ya know you could do the same thing here at the Cow? I'm not the most active poster this place has ever seen and I came up with 11 posts in 6 forums when I searched my name.

And if you can't find any posts from them here, do ya really want to hire them? (KIDDING)

As far as google goes....sometimes I just love my name!



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grinner hester
Re: Do I have a beef?
on Oct 13, 2008 at 8:53:23 pm

Exactly.
So you should totally take care of your hired help, man.



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Mike Flanagan
Re: Do I have a beef?
on Oct 30, 2008 at 1:23:15 am

Two important points that I did not see mentioned by anyone else:

1. EMPLOYMENT LAW. Aaron mentioned he was paid by salary. Very often, especially in the media industry, employers INCORRECTLY categorize an employee as "salaried" as opposed to "hourly". The incorrect presumption then is that a salaried employee need not be paid for overtime (i.e. Salaried = Exempt).
Actually, the proper employee categorization is EXEMPT and NON-EXEMPT, not salaried and hourly. Employment laws specify several stringent requirements that must be met before an employee is exempt from (being paid for) overtime. Chances are high, IMHO, that Aaron is not truly an exempt employee in the way he is being compensated. Most likely he should be paid hourly, and extra for overtime.
So, if Aaron works on "personal projects" during his normal working hours, he deserves no extra compensation. If he already worked 40 hours and then tapes an event on a weekend, he deserves extra compensation.

2. CUSTOMER SERVICE. Aaron should ask "Who is my customer?" Answer: his boss. So the boss' "personal project" is just another customer project, and he should do it as he would for any customer. If Aaron was running his own business and his customer brought in a "personal project", would Aaron turn away the customer because it was "personal"? I think not; at least not if Aaron wants to stay in business long.

I just came across this thread, and hence the delay between now and the original post. Hopefully this will help Aaron and any others reading the thread.



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