Resequencing the whiteboard

There is a whiteboard on my wall. I’m not sure why or how. I remember putting it there; nailing the tiny grasps to the wall. That can’t be the only answer.

There has to be more to it than that. Doesn’t there?

There is a whiteboard on my wall. On it is not a smaller wall, but a list of things and dates and a few amounts. It tells me what work has to be completed when, and what my next action will be. And it tells me what to work on in the times between.

It sports a few design diagrams – ideas being toyed with – and most importantly keeps track of what has to be paid out, and which invoices have yet to be paid. The latter list is longer than the former.

It is what some might call a quick reference. Others; a boss.

It is a cheap and warped thing, but useful in its own way.

Introductions aside, we will proceed toward the point of the post. There are certain projects I’ve been working on (or am supposed to be working on) for, what’s the word, free. Charging friends is not yet something I’m comfortable with.

That’s fine. We’re cool with that at the moment. But there is a danger with custom programming. The realization of the power and automation attainable through it can lead to ever-increasing scopes and time commitments. Great, if you’re getting paid. Its opposite, otherwise.

It was then that the whiteboard spoke to me; its words insightful and its voice at once firm and caring. Together we addressed the issue through a process of reordering.
No longer did these ongoing and ever-growing undertakings take precedence. No, priority was instead presented to projects directly involving our company. Our website jumped to the forefront of the background.

It was decided that when pressed we would express sure, we will help you out of friendship, but making our company awesome is where our priorities lie. As friends, they must reluctantly agree.

It may not work, but is a string to which we will hold in the hope it will lead free from this trap and assist in avoidance of those like it.



  1. ShaunK says:

    I used to be everybody’s computer repairman. I started charging everyone, even friends. When people would be like “but we’re friends!” I would say “Yes, that is why you are getting the special friend rate!”

    People didn’t like it, and that was fine by me. I didn’t alienate anyone doing it, they just stopped asking me and started asking the next guy dumb enough to do it for free.

    I also have a firm policy regarding no deadlines for free work. I think that is also fair, and is basically what you have decided to do now.

  2. Brad says:

    you’d fix my computer for free though, right?

  3. Shaun says:

    yes, but only because you provide me with web hosting, not because I like you.

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