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  1. #46

    Re: The perhaps not so hypothetical question thread

    On the ethics of work.
    After almost drowning in the sea of unemployment for over a year, A was offered a six months contract to work in a rather large project. Although short, the terms of the agreement are reasonably good. However, after one month in that contract, A is approached by a second company which offers him a two year contract, which may be renewable. The terms are also good, although not as reasonable as the shorter contract. In the long run, A is of course to make more money, and it is clear that the possibility of renewal will be solely dependent on his performance. To get this second contract he has to agree to terms and join the group ASAP. That would leave the first company in a jam.
    Question: is it ethical for A to switch contracts? If not, is it justifiable in view that he has, in the past, been offered contractual positions that never materialized?
    Starry starry night

  2. #47

    Re: The perhaps not so hypothetical question thread

    Yes it is. He could go to the first company and say "Hey, B has offered me a better proposal in the long run. Can you better your offer?"

    I see it this way, if it were the company in a similar position, they would cut him without hesitation.
    Meet again we do, old foe...

  3. #48
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    Re: The perhaps not so hypothetical question thread

    I don't see the ethical issue. The contract should have very clear verbiage about getting out of the contract. If those terms are adhered to, a contractor is free to terminate. If A thinks for one second the company would not terminate immediately in a downturn...

    A must of course accept the reputation impact that may come from this (fair or not). I know in my industry this would get around pretty fast.
    “I put in the work and wanted it so badly but this guy is the best for a reason. He is such a complete player ... maybe I'll just punch him or something, I don't know.” - Andy Roddick

  4. #49

    Re: The perhaps not so hypothetical question thread

    Quote Originally Posted by Woody View Post
    I don't see the ethical issue. The contract should have very clear verbiage about getting out of the contract. If those terms are adhered to, a contractor is free to terminate. If A thinks for one second the company would not terminate immediately in a downturn...

    A must of course accept the reputation impact that may come from this (fair or not). I know in my industry this would get around pretty fast.
    The contract is virtually verbal. Very flimsy. And his concern is that we also work in a very small industry. Your last comment is what worries him. We go almost by reputation alone.
    Starry starry night

  5. #50
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    Re: The perhaps not so hypothetical question thread

    Quote Originally Posted by ponchi101 View Post
    The contract is virtually verbal. Very flimsy. And his concern is that we also work in a very small industry. Your last comment is what worries him. We go almost by reputation alone.
    Then it is ethical but probably a bad idea

    One other statement you made bears mentioning: "If not, is it justifiable in view that he has, in the past, been offered contractual positions that never materialized?"

    Do you mean the company he is with now has jerked him around? I guess a lot could depend on this relationship, it may be a crappy one anyway. I mean, if there was a lot of "maybe we'll need you next month" that's standard contractor crap. But if it was an actual verbal agreement that got repeatedly yanked at the last minute, I would say that is interfering with someone's livelihood. I would get pretty selfish in this situation, and my only concern would be if that employer is well connected and petty. If not, screw em.
    “I put in the work and wanted it so badly but this guy is the best for a reason. He is such a complete player ... maybe I'll just punch him or something, I don't know.” - Andy Roddick

  6. #51

    Re: The perhaps not so hypothetical question thread

    I never got a good answer for this one.
    What makes you more of a scummy, smelly, dirty, rotten, piece of S***, SOB, no good rat:
    1 Breaking up sending up an e-mail because you are so far away and you will not be back for quite a while, or
    2. Waiting to come back and have the other person waiting for you for such a long time only to greet him/her with the news that even though you are there now, you really are not.

    How long will your whiskers be?
    Starry starry night

  7. #52

    Re: The perhaps not so hypothetical question thread

    Quote Originally Posted by ponchi101 View Post
    I never got a good answer for this one.
    What makes you more of a scummy, smelly, dirty, rotten, piece of S***, SOB, no good rat:
    1 Breaking up sending up an e-mail because you are so far away and you will not be back for quite a while, or
    2. Waiting to come back and have the other person waiting for you for such a long time only to greet him/her with the news that even though you are there now, you really are not.

    How long will your whiskers be?
    My first thought was this one...

    Assuming that it will be a genuinely long time before you see this person again ie several months at least, I think the first option is fairer. Though a phone call may be better, if that is at all possible. If not, then make it a very good email or perhaps even a letter (with a proper explanation for your feelings, why you are doing this now etc).

    My second thought was that I had not really properly considered what kind of relationship this is - has it been going for a very long time, are the people living together/married, are there children etc. If those factors are involved, then it may require an in person explanation (assuming, this time, that you are not away for years).

    There is no particularly good way of doing this. Only degrees of being less awful.
    Last edited by Edmond Dantès; 07-22-2011 at 06:06 AM.

  8. #53
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    Re: The perhaps not so hypothetical question thread

    I agree.

    Phone call is better than e-mail, but it's unfair to keep the other party in limbo. E-mail is kind of an avoidance of an actual confrontation or dialogue. Though that would be preferred if phone contact is impossible.
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  9. #54

    Re: The perhaps not so hypothetical question thread

    Agree with Edmond, the two key issues are:

    How long have you been together and how long would you have to wait before coming back. Also a phone call would be in order unless it were a "light" relationship.
    Meet again we do, old foe...

  10. #55

    Re: The perhaps not so hypothetical question thread

    Let's see.
    A company that you just finished a project for sends you an e-mail. They want you to return some money because the "travel days" for the project are being paid at 50% of "normal" work days. This amount is not menial: it is in the high three figures.
    The contract that you have says nothing about a different rate for travel days. The main company that was contracting (and we were providing services for), to your knowledge, never pays travel days at 50%. A third company, which was an intermediary and contacted you too, sent you a contract (which you didn't sign) in which there was no mention either of travel dates at 50%.
    A second e-mail came fwd with an admittance that it was a mistake from their side. The person that was the contact point did not mention this 50% discount. He forgot.

    Problem is: you are being bid for two extra projects by this company and there are no other companies offering much work. You don't want to alienate anybody nowadays.

    How entitled are you to tell them to KYA?
    Starry starry night

  11. #56

    Re: The perhaps not so hypothetical question thread

    Anyway to give the money back, and negotiate a higher fee for the extra projects that would make up for it?

  12. #57

    Re: The perhaps not so hypothetical question thread

    Are you willing to accept that rate for the future 2 projects? I'm wondering if you can say something like "I understand that there was a miscommunication on your end. However, the agreement reached was clear, and the funds have already been allocated. Let's discuss if we can reach an agreement for future projects." Or in plain English: "I understand that you messed up, but we agreed on a price, and I already paid bills with it. I'm willing to consider that price for future projects."

  13. #58

    The perhaps not so hypothetical question thread

    Quote Originally Posted by ponchi101 View Post
    Let's see.
    A company that you just finished a project for sends you an e-mail. They want you to return some money because the "travel days" for the project are being paid at 50% of "normal" work days. This amount is not menial: it is in the high three figures.
    The contract that you have says nothing about a different rate for travel days. The main company that was contracting (and we were providing services for), to your knowledge, never pays travel days at 50%. A third company, which was an intermediary and contacted you too, sent you a contract (which you didn't sign) in which there was no mention either of travel dates at 50%.
    A second e-mail came fwd with an admittance that it was a mistake from their side. The person that was the contact point did not mention this 50% discount. He forgot.

    Problem is: you are being bid for two extra projects by this company and there are no other companies offering much work. You don't want to alienate anybody nowadays.

    How entitled are you to tell them to KYA?
    I cant believe they asked for a refund after realizing they screwed up! That should eat it, for sure. I guess it depends on how much you want the future business and how valuable it is. Can the refund be a loss writeoff for you? Would you have accepted the work had you known the travel days were 50%?
    Last edited by MeganFernandez; 09-29-2018 at 06:18 PM.
    Sometimes you're the windshield, sometimes you're the bug.

  14. #59

    Re: The perhaps not so hypothetical question thread

    IMO, them asking for a refund is extremely inappropriate
    I don't deny myself bread. I have bread every day.

  15. #60

    Re: The perhaps not so hypothetical question thread

    Thanks you all for your comments. They have all been read and I really value your thoughts. As always, incisive and helpful.
    Latest stand: I contacted the person who held the master contract. His reply: "I can't comment on that issue. Your contract is (with the other company)".
    Memories of Jack Nicholson in "The Departed". I smell a rat.
    Starry starry night

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