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Prev. employer wanting consulting for free
Old 09-05-2014, 06:17 PM   #1
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Prev. employer wanting consulting for free

I was at a goodbye/promotion luncheon for one of the senior clerks where I used to work. Big turn out, as the person was well thought of.

While there, one of my prev. supervisors brought up a lengthy and very nasty case I was assigned to, and started asking questions, a lot of them, as he now is stuck with the case.

I don't want to be rude, but I think I deserve to be paid as a consultant if the city expects me to be thinking and using my expertise.(Today, I contacted someone in middle management , asking about consulting for the city , and he thought I was kidding)

About half of the former bureau chiefs come back as consultants and double dip after retirement, usually on six figure contracts. Those folks were much higher on the food chain, but why should they expect a free ride from me? The city has never hired low level retirees as consultants in the past.

Am I being un-reasonable ?
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Old 09-05-2014, 06:25 PM   #2
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Am I being un-reasonable ?
There is nothing unreasonable about asking to be compensated for your expertise. Stick to your guns and say you'll be happy to provide assistance if you can come to an agreement on an acceptable hourly rate.
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Old 09-05-2014, 06:26 PM   #3
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Nope, not at all. Time is money: they need to pay you if they want your time and expertise. Otherwise I would tell them to take a flying reproductive act at the sweet fried dough of their choice.
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Old 09-05-2014, 06:27 PM   #4
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Oh, I forgot to add. I am prohibited from lobbying for , or assisting a person or business in trouble , however I CAN go to work as an investigator/consultant for the defense atty for the same party. I think the city ethics rules are counter productive on this.
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Old 09-05-2014, 06:28 PM   #5
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They want you to advise them for free? I think there's a name for that, perhaps many.

You're not being unreasonable.

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Old 09-05-2014, 06:32 PM   #6
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Am I being un-reasonable ?
Yes, if this is the city I am living in. Otherwise, no.
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Old 09-05-2014, 06:38 PM   #7
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As I gather it from your post, you're at a retirement party and someone asks for your advice. Is this a five or ten minute conversation at the party or is he asking you to come in to the office for several days or weeks?

If the former, yes you're being unreasonable. If the latter, not at all.
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Old 09-05-2014, 06:38 PM   #8
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First.... I do not see that your old employer wanted to hire you... it was the person who took over the case wanting the free info as he is probably not up to speed and thought he could get a lot of info from you...

So, asking some manager for money when there was never any manager who wanted your info in the first place is where I see the problem...


You should have kindly told the guy asking the questions that you were at a party and did not want to discuss 'old' work items.... but that if he really did have a need for your advice to ask management to hire you...


I see it as your fault to stay and waste your time when you did not have too.... but, if more than he wanted your advice, then of course you should be compensated for that advice...



BTW, I had a BIL who used to call and ask an attorney friend some questions during the evenings.... the attorney decided that it would not stop so he just sent my BIL a bill... BIL got the hint....
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Old 09-05-2014, 06:51 PM   #9
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It all depends.
I get technical questions all the time from people I used to w*rk with.
90% of the time, I just find it interesting enough that I'm happy to think for a few seconds and then give them an answer.

The other 10% of the time, the question is quite involved and it feels like I'm being taken advantage of, so I give them a detailed answer and then send them an invoice.

So far, my invoices have all been paid, no questions asked.

As to the 90%, I would be lying if I said it wasn't flattering to be so well thought of that they would seek out my opinion. Since I'm retired and don't need the money, I'm happy to help.
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Old 09-05-2014, 07:19 PM   #10
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I think it depends on what this former supervisor wants from you. If he just wants an hour or so of your thoughts on the case then I would do it gratis. If he wants more time/involvement then they should be willing to compensate you.
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Old 09-05-2014, 07:39 PM   #11
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I agree that if its an individual asking for some help regarding a difficult situation then a small amount of time/assistance is fine. Put yourself in their shoes, if you could get some quick help regarding a difficult problem wouldn't you seek it?
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Old 09-05-2014, 07:51 PM   #12
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I agree that if its an individual asking for some help regarding a difficult situation then a small amount of time/assistance is fine. Put yourself in their shoes, if you could get some quick help regarding a difficult problem wouldn't you seek it?
On the flip side, put yourself in my place: I am an ex-employee who owes them nothing and may be a bit bitter about the tail end of my career there. You want some of my valuable time? Ain't nothing for free in this world.
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Old 09-05-2014, 07:58 PM   #13
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On the flip side, put yourself in my place: I am an ex-employee who owes them nothing and may be a bit bitter about the tail end of my career there. You want some of my valuable time? Ain't nothing for free in this world.
I thought about adding that caveat to my response. I got along well with the people I worked with and thought well of them. If one had called after I retired and asked for advice I wouldn't have hesitated to help.

However, if the OP's supervisor was a jerk I can well understand giving him the cold shoulder.
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Old 09-05-2014, 09:15 PM   #14
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As I gather it from your post, you're at a retirement party and someone asks for your advice. Is this a five or ten minute conversation at the party or is he asking you to come in to the office for several days or weeks?

If the former, yes you're being unreasonable. If the latter, not at all.
I kind of cut it off politely at about 15 minutes. From the questions, it was clear that my old supervisor and his current subordinate had not looked at the file(s) in depth (actually 3 cases , one defendant). I don't know if the cause is laziness, or under-staffing.

When I left, I did tell management that I would not mind an occasional call with a question. I would not expect questions on something that can be learned by reading the case record.
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Old 09-05-2014, 09:26 PM   #15
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5-10 minutes at a lunch/dinner, sure. More than that and I'd politely excuse myself. If someone wanted to call me at home, start the meter running.
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Old 09-05-2014, 09:35 PM   #16
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I don't think of it as a "punch the clock and pay me" kind of thing. The people I worked with helped me, so I help them for free if they ask and have done so.
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Old 09-05-2014, 09:51 PM   #17
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Work it to your advantage- give some limited information to whet his appetite, then flash him a big smile and say if he wants more info its going to cost him.

Then walk away
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Old 09-05-2014, 09:52 PM   #18
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I thought about adding that caveat to my response. I got along well with the people I worked with and thought well of them. If one had called after I retired and asked for advice I wouldn't have hesitated to help.

However, if the OP's supervisor was a jerk I can well understand giving him the cold shoulder.
Jerk or not, business is business. You want something of value? Expect to pay for it. A former employer should not expect to treat you like the village bicycle.
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Old 09-05-2014, 10:43 PM   #19
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The furthest that I would go is to have lunch with the person find out what he wants from you. Take a day or two to think it over and get back to him with what compensation you would require. Hourly is probably the best. It is just a business transaction.

I am still on my formers employer's payroll and I go in once a week for a few hours if there is an IT project for me. I fill out a time sheet and a paycheck is direct deposited to my bank the next week.
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Old 09-05-2014, 11:04 PM   #20
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My reaction to such a request would be to say that I could not express an opinion because I do not work there any more. If they wanted to invite me back, it would be on a contract basis.
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