Bizzarro Indie Contractor Experience

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fishtaco
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Joined: Wed Feb 25, 2015 10:44 am

Bizzarro Indie Contractor Experience

Post by fishtaco » Sat Dec 03, 2016 5:46 pm

Hi,
I'll start by asking--as an independent contractor, am I not in control of my own schedule?

I just moved to a new state, accepted a job in a very cool spa, on an island, in a very prime location. I knew it was "slow" season; nevertheless, I agreed to come in 5 days/wk and sit and wait for clients, because I was the only one doing that, awesome spa in killer location, etc. I thought I could scrape together AT LEAST one massage per day, all things considered. Well, after five weeks of 2-3 clients per WEEK, I went to the owner and said, "Hey, I need to change things up and request a 30 min lead time, in the event of a massage request, as I live only 15 min away and it would simply be more practical and comfortable to wait from home." I didn't feel that the return on the investment of my time just sitting THERE made sense for three clients a week. Mind you, I was still offering her 5 days/wk of my time. I took one small step backward in a process of perhaps leaving altogether if it didn't get busier soon, but I didn't bring that up. I've been practicing for many years, and am an asset to her business.

She went berserk. Suddenly, I was disloyal, I was letting her down, yadda yadda. So much so that she didn't think she needed me any more as a therapist. She couldn't believe that I would spring this on her (after weeks of almost no work) and she couldn't believe that I would actually put my own financial health ahead of her interests. I was so very, very confused, people. :smt017 :smt009 :roll:

Anyhoo--I can't work for...that. So I'm finished with my independent contractor experiment and it's back to being an employee for me, until I get my own practice up and running.

I just thought the whole thing was so weird.

maestra
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Re: Bizzarro Indie Contractor Experience

Post by maestra » Sun Dec 04, 2016 3:27 am

Yes as an Independent Contractor you should be in charge of setting your own schedule.

But even as an employee, I get 45 minutes before I have to be hands on client and I live 5 minutes from the spa. So even if the client walks in the door to schedule the appointment, they still have to allow me 45 minutes. I may get there sooner... but that is the minimum amount of time we felt comfortable allowing and even then it's been tight a couple times when there was a lot of summer tourist season traffic and construction going on. They're not exactly easy to work for, but I've been there 10 years.

Before that I was an I.C. at a different place, and I left because they were not treating me as an I.C., but kept allowing others to use my supplies, and wouldn't allow more than 30 minutes from the appointment call to hands on client. Not to mention holding the appointment with a CC #. (I had a lot of no call no shows there. After 5 years it got to be too much.)
So, I think I can relate to what you went through.

Sorry the place didn't work out for you... but I doubt it was going to get any better. I think you did the best thing by telling them... bye - bye! :smt006
“Try to be like the turtle -- at ease in your own shell” - Bill Copeland

fishtaco
Fresh Hands
Posts: 29
Joined: Wed Feb 25, 2015 10:44 am

Re: Bizzarro Indie Contractor Experience

Post by fishtaco » Sun Dec 04, 2016 8:19 am

Hi maestra!

Thanks for taking the time to reply to my post. :D

It helped! I just needed one other sane person to weigh in. I agree with you. Now I can move on to a more lucrative arrangement. :mrgreen:

pueppi
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Location: Texas / The Lone Star State

Re: Bizzarro Indie Contractor Experience

Post by pueppi » Sun Dec 04, 2016 10:15 am

fishtaco wrote:Hi,
I'll start by asking--as an independent contractor, am I not in control of my own schedule?
Yep.
I agreed to come in 5 days/wk and sit and wait for clients, because I was the only one doing that...

<snip>

...after five weeks of 2-3 clients per WEEK, I went to the owner and said, "Hey, I need to change things up and request a 30 min lead time, in the event of a massage request, as I live only 15 min away and it would simply be more practical and comfortable to wait from home."

She went berserk. Suddenly, I was disloyal, I was letting her down, yadda yadda. So much so that she didn't think she needed me any more as a therapist. She couldn't believe that I would spring this on her (after weeks of almost no work) and she couldn't believe that I would actually put my own financial health ahead of her interests.
It's always interesting how some business owners want the therapist to sit in the business all day without any work. And, then when you have given it your all, you become disloyal to the business by trying to double time it, so you can still accomplish some things instead of being tied down for what may be "possible" pay.

Your offer was more than fair.

What I really find notable, is that you mentioned you were the "only one" sitting in the spa. Am I to assume there are other IC's who work for the spa, who do *not* sit around all day?

Perhaps it will all work out in your favor. You'll find an employed job *and* she will call you back to work for her. Then you can re-hash the rules and make it work fantastically for your needs. :)

Years ago, I got fired from a job for a similar reason. I started off being a three day IC who sat in the spa all day (with one of the days as Saturday --- the busy day). At some point, it became obvious that I could work from my office and be "on-call" on the two week-days, and still give them exactly what they needed, as they had 5 other therapists and I was only getting minimal overflow on the week-days. At the point where I started to slowly work into this concept, it was all fine for about 2 months. I started slowly... just a half day out, and then two half days out, etc. I like to work into change slowly, just to keep the peace when possible. Then, when the owner realized I was serious about not sitting on the floor, waiting for the leftovers (and was actually doing paperwork in my office on those days --- my office was about 10 minutes from the spa) while waiting for their call (which was agreed upon, before making the change) ---- he just hated the thought, got really agitated about it, and let me go. Such is life. People are strange.

My best!
May your trails be crooked, winding, lonesome, leading to the most amazing view. May your rivers flow without end, meandering through valleys tinkling with bells...
Houston Massage Therapy - Advanced Massage Therapy - Lucas & Lucas, LLC

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RelaxandRejuvenate
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Re: Bizzarro Indie Contractor Experience

Post by RelaxandRejuvenate » Mon Dec 05, 2016 8:21 am

fishtaco wrote: Hi,
I'll start by asking--as an independent contractor, am I not in control of my own schedule?
Yes, if you actually WERE an independent contractor

In this scenario, you are an EMPLOYEE
fishtaco wrote:I just moved to a new state, accepted a job in a very cool spa, on an island, in a very prime location.
By definition, a Spa is in the spa and massage business. Nearly every state in the union considers you an employee -- "A person engaged in a distinct occupation or business is more likely to be an independent contractor if the occupation or business is separate and distinct from the employer's business" You are the core of the employer's business.

Furthermore, working in a fixed facility, the spa is providing you tools and materials to ply your trade -- Most states also have decided "Independent contractors are generally expected to provide or purchase everything they need to do the job. Employees are not expected to provide their own workplace, materials, tools, and supplies, or to otherwise invest their own money in the business." Unless you were expected to bring your massage table into an empty room and provide all supplies and materials, you are an employee
Smithers: "Sir, I'm afraid we have a bad image, people see you as a bit of an ogre." Mr.Burns: "I ought to club them and eat their bones!"

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