Worst Things Ever

When I was in high school, probably during summer football practices, Dan Petrillo and I got started talking about the worst things ever to do. He and our other friend, Brian Smith, had already figured out two of the worst things. They were “mowing the lawn” and “hiccups”. I instantly agreed with mowing the lawn, but hiccups doesn’t bother me that badly. Off the top of my head I thought of another worst thing, and to this day it still occupies my #1 worst thing ever to do thingie thing: (click below!)

PAPERWORK. Ugh. I hate writing my address 36 times on 6 pieces of paper. Now that I’m a professional person/designer, I’m having to come to grips with the face that I will have to fill out paperwork a lot more than I have ever had to. I was complaining about paperwork in high school. That’s bad. I hate paperwork so bad that I’m considering never buying a house, keeping all money under a mattress, never investing in stock, and hiring a Resciniti to mow my lawn.

Because I’m doing freelance design work, that means that I have to submit an invoice with hours and stuff for each project I work on each week to a project manager. This wouldn’t be too bad if I didn’t do work for 4 project managers for 8 different projects. But I do have to do that so it is bad. I didn’t even know about this whole invoice thing until the middle of week 4 here, when I happened to ask a manager how I got paid. “Oh, you have to submit us an invoice with your hours and PO#.” What?? Apparently this information is in my contract, which I don’t have because they didn’t give me the first one i signed, when I’m supposed to have 8 of them, not just one, and what is a PO#? I found out what a PO# is, and it turns out that after week 4 I only had 1 of, not 8, and so the project managers had to whip up some #s through ungodly paperwork. So here I am, week 5, having only turned in invoices to 2 project managers (p.m.s…) for the first 3 weeks.

Why do I not have PO#s? Because the art director asked me if I was busy and I would usually say not really and she’d give me some work. So far I’ve done a ton of stuff for GM Goodwrench, Disney MovieBeam thingie, Cadillac, Equal Sweetener, Purina Dog Show (watch the dog show championships on Thanksgiving! A New tradition!), and a couple other things. So week 4 when i inquired about payment, it hit me that I need a waskily PO# for each of those projects. Horrible times followed. I spent at least 4 hours figuring out how to make and submit an invoice last week. Good thing they had no work for me to do then. Now I’ve gotten some more contracts, most everything is figured out, except that now I’m so confused about what invoices I’ve submitted. My Excel spreadsheets were initially copied and pasted until I realized that my formulas didn’t work and I grossly underestimated time on a project then had to send like 5 different emails to the same 2 people telling them that. One of the project managers who was out on paternity leave for 2 weeks asked me for an estimate on the # of hours I worked on a project (he needed to make me a contract), so I said “35 or so,” and it turned out my spreadsheets were way off and it was more like 60. So I told him that, and then I figured it out exactly and it was 61.25 hours. He emailed me back when I told him this and asked if I could put it at 60 hours because he put 60 hours on the contract and would have to jump through a lot of hoops to get the extra hours. Dammit. He asks me for an estimate and I’m almost dead on. Then he bitches when my off-the-top-of-my-head estimate is off by 1.25 hours. Ugh.

I have to get back to figuring out how I get paid.

DanFunnies10/21/03 9 comments


Dan • 10/21/03 11:47 AM:

And there you go. My birthday rant.

Dan • 10/21/03 11:48 AM:

I just made $20 writing that.

Patrick • 10/21/03 1:16 PM:

What’s the PO# for “Maddenation posting”?

Dan • 10/21/03 1:40 PM:

I don’t know, but the job number is probably something like MD0083728987470000- 000044439382- 727819100- 000020000- 20- 0-3-0-3-4-0-4-0-9- 3-0-0-4-0-4- 0-0-2-0-0-4-0-5-0-6- 06060504004- 050003030405005.

Patrick • 10/21/03 4:22 PM:

Our family went to the Purina Dog Show one year when it was in Liberty State Park. It was kind of fun, but not as fun as Best in Show with Michael McKean and Christopher Guest and Eugene Levy. Man, can some of those dogs run the obstacle course fast! I have a T-shirt from the event. I use it for volleyball practice sometimes.

David • 10/23/03 12:37 PM:

I wanted everybody (except Mom and Dad) to know that now I like mowing the lawn. To come home for the summer, chill out, mow the lawn - ahh, now that’s nice. I find it almost therapeutic. (I hope this comment doesn’t come back to haunt me).

Dan • 10/23/03 1:01 PM:

That probably won’t come back to you, but I just wanted to remind you, David, you have dishes tonight!

Also, seriously, guys (more commas!), doesn’t anybody at least slightly agree with me? What the hay? Paperwork is EVIL. So is having to do the dishes.

AJ • 10/24/03 11:48 PM:

Figure out how many hours it takes you to do a job. Multiply that by some number between 1.2-2.0 and that should be the hours you tell your boss to use in the estimate. First it always takes longer than it should. Plus, your company makes money off of your hours too and will bill for what they can get. Anyway, you usually get done ahead of schedule with this method too, so you look good.

Before you go into any ethics thoughts, you should instead realize that this is the way it really works (and is intended to). Places of work realize all the time you spend at work can’t be billed to a client, and they take it into account. Of course, they want to bill their clients so give them the chance by estimating high.

AJ • 10/24/03 11:49 PM:

Paperwork is fun!

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