The downsides of contracting

As a contractor, many downsides come with the territory.


Simon Adey’s correspondence (Promises, promises) was a good read, but I don’t really understand the point he was making.


As a contractor he must know that many of the downsides he describes come with the territory and are part and parcel of the career decision he has made.


Many of us at my company (he would probably call us insecure managers and megalomaniacs) frequently talk with envy of the life of a contractor and sometimes dream of joining them.


I have heard of many who spend the time between anguished exchanges with the employment agent happily whiling away the time on the golf course.


I suppose it all depends on the luck of the draw and how much your particular skills are in demand at any given time.


But I agree with much of what Mr Adey says about the culture of project management. I see it most days in my own workplace.


This is just, I fear, the part of human nature summed up by the old saying ‘success has many fathers, but failure is an orphan’.


It was ever thus, and when I talk to my friends in different walks of life, whether the retail trade or local government, they have the same story to tell.


Name and address supplied


…go with the territory


I wonder if your correspondent Simon Adey has ever heard of a document ‘The Stages of a Project’?


They are:



  • Enthusiasm
  • Disenchantment
  • Panic
  • Search for the guilty
  • Punishment of the innocent
  • Decoration for all those who took no part.

In nearly 36 years in industry I have yet to see it fail.


Andrew Woodthorpe


Harrogate