Join Early Retirement Today
Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Old Boss won't leave me alone
Old 11-07-2014, 07:38 AM   #1
Recycles dryer sheets
DFA's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: Earth
Posts: 311
Old Boss won't leave me alone

Here it is:

CEO from old company that is going out of business and he is no longer at the company and is trying to start a new business keeps calling me for help with minor IT email and cell phone issues. I have helped, but now he sent me an email to have me come out to a three person office to do some server email setups and configuration. He has gotten several hours of free help from me already because I have an issue saying "No" to people I know that need help with IT stuff (it is different with money, I can say "No" there).

Problems are there is no business to bill since they are just in the discovery phase. The people in this group were the CEO, Chairman of the Board, and VP of business development at the old business and I was paid pretty well when I was laid off and they kept me on 1099 income for the last year and paid a years' severance, bonus, and vacation which provided the last bit to ER.

Do I owe them some help getting started in this new business, should I just say "No thanks" (Hard to do for me)? No discussions of $$s have come up, they may think I would do all this for nothing, just want some advise on how you would handle this situation.

Thanks in advance.
__________________

__________________
DFA is offline   Reply With Quote
Join the #1 Early Retirement and Financial Independence Forum Today - It's Totally Free!

Are you planning to be financially independent as early as possible so you can live life on your own terms? Discuss successful investing strategies, asset allocation models, tax strategies and other related topics in our online forum community. Our members range from young folks just starting their journey to financial independence, military retirees and even multimillionaires. No matter where you fit in you'll find that Early-Retirement.org is a great community to join. Best of all it's totally FREE!

You are currently viewing our boards as a guest so you have limited access to our community. Please take the time to register and you will gain a lot of great new features including; the ability to participate in discussions, network with our members, see fewer ads, upload photographs, create a retirement blog, send private messages and so much, much more!

Old 11-07-2014, 07:41 AM   #2
Moderator
rodi's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2012
Location: San Diego
Posts: 8,804
I would specifically ask for a scope of work. If the scope is more than an hour or two, explain that you'd need to be compensated for that size of job.

Even if you're doing it for free - knowing how much work is expected is reasonable for time planning.
__________________

__________________
Retired June 2014. No longer an enginerd - now I'm just a nerd.
micro pensions 7%, rental income 18%
rodi is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-07-2014, 07:44 AM   #3
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
brewer12345's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2003
Posts: 16,391
Time is money. If you can say no on money, you can say no on time.
__________________
"There are three kinds of men. The one that learns by reading. The few who learn by observation. The rest have to pee on the electric fence for themselves."



- Will Rogers
brewer12345 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-07-2014, 07:50 AM   #4
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
pb4uski's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: Vermont & Sarasota, FL
Posts: 16,410
I think it is a judgement call depending on how much time will be involved and your relationship with these guys.

Even if there is "no business to bill" they much be paying their bills for other things somehow so they can pay you as well or at least have an IOU when income does start rolling in. Alternatively, if you have the interest and like these guys, perhaps you can moonlight as their IT consultant in exchange for an equity stake, pay or a combination thereof.
__________________
If something cannot endure laughter.... it cannot endure.
Patience is the art of concealing your impatience.
Slow and steady wins the race.
pb4uski is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-07-2014, 07:56 AM   #5
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
Car-Guy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2013
Location: Citizen of Texas
Posts: 2,470
They laid you off?

Business is business. If they don't have a business to bill yet, then cash works. IMHO, you've already given them enough help over the phone and email. Asking you to come in and help crosses the line, big time. Just quote them an hourly rate equivalent to what you made when you worked for them. (if you really want to get that involved - I was in IT, remember, it never ends and can be a 7 by 24 job)
__________________
Car-Guy is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 11-07-2014, 08:03 AM   #6
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
Senator's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2014
Location: Eagan, MN
Posts: 3,045
Call him once. Tell him you are raking leaves this weekend, and wonder if he can come by to help.
__________________
FIRE no later than 7/5/2016 at 56 (done), securing '16 401K match (done), getting '15 401K match (done), LTI Bonus (done), Perf bonus (done), maxing out 401K (done), picking up 1,000 hours to get another year of pension (done), July 1st benefits (vacation day, healthcare) (done), July 4th holiday. 0 days left. (done) OFFICIALLY RETIRED 7/5/2016!!
Senator is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-07-2014, 08:06 AM   #7
Recycles dryer sheets
DFA's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: Earth
Posts: 311
Thanks you all for the advice, I guess I just need to see what they want and get cash, why is it that if you are an IT person everyone wants help for free, does this happen a lot with other professions?
__________________
DFA is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-07-2014, 08:06 AM   #8
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
Jay_Gatsby's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2004
Posts: 1,719
Agree with time = money. I'm sure these folks have socked away plenty of money and have plans to "invest" in their new venture. Accordingly, you should be part of that investment. Perhaps if they don't have cash (more likely, they're unwilling to part with it), you can take your payment in equity in the new venture (which doesn't seem to be an option, since they're just in the discovery phase, which does seem a bit weird that they would need an IT network if they're still exploring).
__________________
He had one of those rare smiles with a quality of eternal reassurance in it . . . It faced, or seemed to face, the whole external world for an instant and then concentrated on you with an irresistible prejudice in your favor. -- The Great Gatsby, F. Scott Fitzgerald
Jay_Gatsby is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-07-2014, 08:08 AM   #9
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
Jay_Gatsby's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2004
Posts: 1,719
Quote:
Originally Posted by DFA View Post
Thanks you all for the advice, I guess I just need to see what they want and get cash, why is it that if you are an IT person everyone wants help for free, does this happen a lot with other professions?
Yes. I still have old clients from my private practice days (I'm in house counsel now) seeking legal advice. It's always a "quick question". I can demur simply because while I'm still admitted to the bar, I can't render legal advice to private clients without a client trust account, etc.... Some come back with assurances that the advice will be "off the record," but when it comes to malpractice lawsuits, nothing is off the record.
__________________
He had one of those rare smiles with a quality of eternal reassurance in it . . . It faced, or seemed to face, the whole external world for an instant and then concentrated on you with an irresistible prejudice in your favor. -- The Great Gatsby, F. Scott Fitzgerald
Jay_Gatsby is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-07-2014, 08:09 AM   #10
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
target2019's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2008
Posts: 3,705
DFA,
Sounds like you owed them some goodwill based on your exit from the previous job.
What you need to do is set a limit, and see if you've met that. If so, then time to talk with the guy and establish a billing rate.
If you don't want to do this, then put it in writing and thank him for all past good.
__________________
target2019 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-07-2014, 08:10 AM   #11
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
braumeister's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: Northern Kentucky
Posts: 8,591
I was in a very similar situation once.
I sent a consulting contract showing all my conditions, plus a rather high hourly rate. In the email, I said I'd be ready to start as soon as I got a signed copy back. Much to my surprise, they happily signed it and paid my fee.
__________________
braumeister is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-07-2014, 08:12 AM   #12
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
easysurfer's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Posts: 7,885
Are you FIRE'd for good?

If so, when you talk to him ask him what part of retirement does he not understand.

If that doesn't work, I like the raking leaves example that Senator gave.
__________________
Have you ever seen a headstone with these words
"If only I had spent more time at work" ... from "Busy Man" sung by Billy Ray Cyrus
easysurfer is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 11-07-2014, 08:13 AM   #13
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
Car-Guy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2013
Location: Citizen of Texas
Posts: 2,470
Quote:
Originally Posted by DFA View Post
Thanks you all for the advice, I guess I just need to see what they want and get cash, why is it that if you are an IT person everyone wants help for free, does this happen a lot with other professions?
Have you ever had a pick up truck? What happens when a friend wants to move? Just like IT skills, you have something they want. (Pick-up truck for a friend, ok a "thank-you" will do - professional skills for a business, now that cost money)

I'm sure there are other professions that run into the problem. e.g. Lawyers, mechanics, etc, etc, etc
__________________
Car-Guy is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 11-07-2014, 08:15 AM   #14
Moderator
MichaelB's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Rocky Inlets
Posts: 24,424
Quote:
Originally Posted by DFA View Post
Thanks you all for the advice, I guess I just need to see what they want and get cash, why is it that if you are an IT person everyone wants help for free, does this happen a lot with other professions?
Starting a new business is really hard, not only because it burns through cash but also because there are so many things that need to get done.

It could be they aren't looking for free service, just getting service from someone they are sure they can rely on. Putting a price to your service will help regulate it and help them choose just how much they need.
__________________
MichaelB is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-07-2014, 08:15 AM   #15
Recycles dryer sheets
DFA's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: Earth
Posts: 311
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jay_Gatsby View Post
Perhaps if they don't have cash (more likely, they're unwilling to part with it), you can take your payment in equity in the new venture (which doesn't seem to be an option, since they're just in the discovery phase, which does seem a bit weird that they would need an IT network if they're still exploring).
The Chairman of the Board, has other businesses he is involved with and only has a small office for him self and one server for his email and file storage, it sits in a closet on a table. Just basic network in place, but the other two want to use it now, could end up getting bigger. The server was setup by another person that is no longer involved in the system.
__________________
DFA is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-07-2014, 08:22 AM   #16
Moderator Emeritus
Bestwifeever's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Posts: 16,373
Next time he calls, tell him you need your role clarified before going forward (if you want to). Include compensation in that clarification. If you are willing to do the work without immediate compensation, you are risking never being paid, which is okay, but if the new company catches fire and is hugely profitable, your risk of waiting for $$ should be rewarded.

Remember your severance benefits did not come out of his pocket even though he might have gone to bat for them, so you don't really owe him.
__________________
“Would you like an adventure now, or would you like to have your tea first?” J.M. Barrie, Peter Pan
Bestwifeever is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-07-2014, 08:35 AM   #17
Recycles dryer sheets
Revlefty's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2013
Location: Highland
Posts: 230
How you say something is very important. When he asks, say, "It sounds to me like you want me to come and work for you again." If he says, "No. I just want you to help us..." then you can simply tell him, "I'm retired." How you make demands and how you word things is all part of people skills.
__________________
Revlefty is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-07-2014, 08:36 AM   #18
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Posts: 7,526
I'd probably tell them how I'm pretty busy these days with whatever it is that you do to fill your waking hours. And you're not really looking for a side hustle income, but could be persuaded if they really want to have you consulting for them on an hourly basis.

I'd probably give them a few hours for free because it sounds like they treated you very generously at the previous employer. And it sounds like you are good at the IT part of things, so maybe you'll get some fulfillment from a job well done?
__________________
Retired in 2013 at age 33. Keeping busy reading, blogging, relaxing, gaming, and enjoying the outdoors with my wife and 3 kids (5, 11, and 12).
FUEGO is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-07-2014, 09:06 AM   #19
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
MooreBonds's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: St. Louis
Posts: 2,091
Quote:
Originally Posted by DFA View Post
The Chairman of the Board, has other businesses he is involved with and only has a small office for him self and one server for his email and file storage, it sits in a closet on a table. Just basic network in place, but the other two want to use it now, could end up getting bigger. The server was setup by another person that is no longer involved in the system.
...So, in other words, someone else set it up, and isn't interested in coming back to change it for free. So he contacts the next person to try and get a freebie.

While there may have been some good things he did for you at your previous company, is your severance that unusual? Would other people have been expected to receive your severance to that level? It sounds like you've already given him some free time. Work up how many hours you've already given him for free and remind him of that. Your independent contractor hourly rate is at least 50% higher than your salary hourly rate - and that would just be a cheap rate for friends and family! If you were billing yourself out at a competitive rate, you should expect MUCH more, since you would be hourly on an as-needed basis (which needs higher rates to compensate for the uneven workload), as well as your FICA taxes, retirement plan, health insurance, vacation time, holidays, mileage on your vehicle, etc., etc.

Simply tell him that you appreciated working with him at the previous company, and you were willing to give him some free time before, but you'd need to be compensated fairly for your time, and you feel a fair, competitive rate for your as-needed services would be $X. If you don't stand up now, he WILL contact you to expand the network again. GUARANTEED. And that's ignoring the inevitable "Hey, my computer is doing XYZ.....umm, can you come and fix it for me?" calls.

As a comparison, find the Geek Squad rates, or some other company that does what you do to see what they would charge for as-needed IT services. Don't forget things like trip charges, "4 hour minimum" (or other minimums), etc.

If you have issues saying "no", then try sending him an e-mail with the summaries and a letter with your hourly rates. That might be easier for you to bring it up....but stand firm if/when he calls you to discuss it.
__________________
Dryer sheets Schmyer sheets
MooreBonds is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-07-2014, 09:08 AM   #20
Moderator
rodi's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2012
Location: San Diego
Posts: 8,804
DFA - I think every profession has folks asking for freebies. My husband gets asked for free architectural advice all the time. If it's a close friend - he'll do quick sketches (not CAD) to help them figure out a solution they can take to their builder/contractor. If it's not a close friend he just says he doesn't want to risk liability by giving advice outside his employers liability insurance... they can set up an inquiry with his employer. That shuts them up. For me - after 20 years in the cable industry I'm asked how to configure tv/stereo/home theater stuff by folks. (Which is not directly my expertise but I can do reasonably well.) Again - close friends, no problem... acquaintances... not so much.

How close are you to these guys? Do you exchange Holiday cards? Do you go for beers with them? Have they ever had you over to their house for dinner, or vice versa?
__________________

__________________
Retired June 2014. No longer an enginerd - now I'm just a nerd.
micro pensions 7%, rental income 18%
rodi is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
How long can you leave home and leave it empty? fh2000 Life after FIRE 123 12-29-2013 07:51 PM
Do you click with your boss/Best Boss that you have had? maddythebeagle Young Dreamers 29 09-02-2007 12:52 PM
Downsizing and the "G" word. Or hyenas home alone. BUM Life after FIRE 12 12-10-2006 11:58 AM
Millions of Americans get by on Social Security alone retire@40 FIRE and Money 27 08-19-2005 02:30 PM
Going it alone Whisper9999 FIRE and Money 53 09-09-2004 03:30 PM

 

 
All times are GMT -6. The time now is 07:58 PM.
 
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.