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Logging Manual Time-Can You Protect This In The Contract Up Front?

suzi-elton
Ace Contributor
Suzi E Member Since: Nov 19, 2018
1 of 10

I'm a writer and my question is about getting protection for logged manual time. I always use the tracker. This is fine when I'm writing at the computer. However, I only like to edit the piece by hand on paper. For whatever reason, this is how my brain works. I "see" things differently when it's on paper. Then I log the manual time and annotate that I was editing on paper.

 

When starting a project, I always tell clients that I will do this and submit manual time for it. I get them to agree to that in the messaging app. Here's my question: Is there a way for me to actually get that inserted into the contract? Or alternatively, is there a way to effectively get protection for logged and annotated manual time.

 

I've never had a problem with it, but I want to know if there is a way to do this in advance of starting a contract. 

 

Suzi

petra_r
Community Guru
Petra R Member Since: Aug 3, 2011
2 of 10

Suzi E wrote: is there a way to effectively get protection for logged and annotated manual time.

 

I've never had a problem with it, but I want to know if there is a way to do this in advance of starting a contract.


 No, there isn't. I also use manual time with trusted clients (ONLY) but I am well aware that if there is ever any problem I can kiss that money good-bye, without any exception.

 

Just as well I am not risk-adverse and no, I never had an issue either.

I've logged over 10k hours (admittedly mostly tracked) and have been paid for every minute.

browersr
Community Guru
Scott B Member Since: Nov 20, 2015
3 of 10

So here's an idea. Connect a camera up to your computer and have that camera trained on the paper you are hand editing. Have that broadcast to the screen where the timer is running. The timer will capture this and you can annotate what you are doing. I do not believe there is a rule that states the work has to be done on the computer. The work has to be done and the tracker needs to capture that work through screen shots. Whether that is a capture of you in MS Word or a capture of you editing a physical page, I would not think should matter. That said and what won't be captured are mouse clicks and keyboard use. UW could use that a means of denying your request for time protection. Otherwise you have a legitimate image capture of the work you are performing being taken by the time tracker. 

 

To be clear, the thought just came to me and I have in no way vetted this with anyone at UW. Again the mouse/keyboard is probably the biggest issue but still worth asking to those who can give you a definitive answer.  Otherwise, as Petra said, try to limit the manual time to those clients you have a trusting relationship with. There is some risk, but this the way you best do your work, so such is life. 

 

suzi-elton
Ace Contributor
Suzi E Member Since: Nov 19, 2018
4 of 10

Thanks for the great idea. I was thinking something like that myself. Don't know the logistics of how I'd pull it off...but I was thinking along that line too. 

 

Alternatively, it seems that we should/could be able to attach the scan of a paper-edited document to the manual time as proof. That's the real proof after all.

 

It's just that when editing, doing it on paper releases creativity that just does not occur on the computer.

 

Suzi

browersr
Community Guru
Scott B Member Since: Nov 20, 2015
5 of 10

@Suzi E wrote:

Thanks for the great idea. I was thinking something like that myself. Don't know the logistics of how I'd pull it off...but I was thinking along that line too. 

 

Alternatively, it seems that we should/could be able to attach the scan of a paper-edited document to the manual time as proof. That's the real proof after all.

 

It's just that when editing, doing it on paper releases creativity that just does not occur on the computer.

 

Suzi


Do check with UW as this idea might not pass for them. Also attaching a scan definitely won't work. UW wants to control when a image is taken. The scan process is out of their hands and definitely won't count towards protection.

suzi-elton
Ace Contributor
Suzi E Member Since: Nov 19, 2018
6 of 10

Thanks. I do understand that that is so at this point. I tend to look for better solutions if possible and that's what I'm attempting to surface. 

 

If we just accept things as they are without looking at other possibilities, it seems like a limited approach.

browersr
Community Guru
Scott B Member Since: Nov 20, 2015
7 of 10

@Suzi E wrote:

Thanks. I do understand that that is so at this point. I tend to look for better solutions if possible and that's what I'm attempting to surface. 

 

If we just accept things as they are without looking at other possibilities, it seems like a limited approach.


The reality is that the time tracker and screen shots have been discussed for many years. People have also talked about all of the work and communications that can be reviewed in the messaging center. However, UW's stance has been clear and unwavering on this point. The time tracker combined with annotations is how determinations will be made. 

 

By way of illustration. Several years ago I had a client who ran into financial trouble and his card declined. I had been sending very detailed video status to the client via the messaging center. Those video updates told more about the work than any random screen capture could ever hope to accomplish. Unfortunately at that time I was not taking the time to properly annotate the screen captures of the time tracker. I spoke with UW about payment protection and was told annotations were required and the videos I posted would not be looked at by UW related to this. So this is why I say that attaching other proof of work does not move the needle for UW although it certainly has been asked countless times over the years. To complete my story, the client resolved his CC problem and I was paid as appropriate.

suzi-elton
Ace Contributor
Suzi E Member Since: Nov 19, 2018
8 of 10

Thanks for the history on that. It's good to know when hitting your head into a wall is a wasted exercise.

 

If I were a child in school, this could be considered "special needs" and an accommodation would be required.

 

Suzi

tlbp
Community Guru
Tonya P Member Since: Nov 26, 2015
9 of 10

The time tracker will only record activity if it detects keyboard or mouse movements. So, you probably won't be able to come up with a workaround. You can ask clients to permit you to enter manual time and hope for the best or used fixed priced contracts with funds in escrow. Note, however, that funds in escrow aren't truly secured until they are actually paid to you and there's no payment protection for fixed-price contracts. 

 

Basically, if a client is a scammer, you will get scammed. The only protection is if you record time using the time tracker and meet all the other criteria for hourly payment protection. 

suzi-elton
Ace Contributor
Suzi E Member Since: Nov 19, 2018
10 of 10

Thanks Tonya. Yes, it sounds like you are right.

 

Suzi

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