I finally got a foot in the door with a local university to do some sessional work. I’ve been trying to work with universities for a while, so this was a great win for me. Or so I thought:
Client: Ok, the guts of the work occurs at the end of the month when our students commence. However, we need all the preparation materials completed prior to their arrival. You’re responsible for preparation materials as well as ongoing student liaison.
Me: Fantastic – I’ll begin working on this once I have received the contract.
Client: Great, we’ll have that to you ASAP. Here are the contact details for the rest of the team – please begin coordinating with them immediately.
We only had a month turn-around time so I completed the preparation materials mostly on my own – the team never formally accepted the jobs at the university, and many had moved on to other employers.
Me: Here are all the materials – I had to complete it all myself as the rest of the team moved on to other jobs. I’ve also yet to receive a contract, so I’d like to have that signed before we continue further.
Client: Thanks for the materials. Unfortunately, we won’t be needing you to continue with this, as we’ve found someone more qualified to complete the job.
Me: Ok, so how will I get paid for the work I have completed so far?
I didn’t get a response to that. About a month later I end up talking to an academic from the same university at a conference. The person I’d been dealing with consistently complained about having to prepare materials for students – despite the fact it was a significant part of their job description. It appears that they had “creatively outsourced” the most painful part to me.