[APG Public List] Repeating client's work

Ray Beere Johnson II raybeere at yahoo.com
Thu Jul 22 15:26:53 MDT 2010

--- On Thu, 7/22/10, Israel P <IsraelP at pikholz.org> wrote:

> I mean you can hardly just say "Tough luck. I asked what you had done 
> yourself and you didn't mention this resource."

     Actually, that is just about what I would say. We are not telepathic. If we ask the clients what work they have already done, we have fulfilled _our_ responsibility. _We_ have no way whatsoever of knowing if the client has omitted anything from their answer.
     Now, if this is a good client, and for some reason you feel it is not in your interest to annoy her, that is your call. But if I were to fail on my end, I'd consider that _my_ tough luck, so why assume differently when it is the client? (And, personally, I'd never want to work for a client who was incapable of seeing it was _their_ responsibility if they failed to let me know they'd already checked a particular source.)
     Yes, clients can be odd. I had one guy, the information he gave me was confused, and there was a possibility he'd made a mistake in it. So I checked it out, in detail, taking almost five hours to do so. On my time, since it was beyond what he'd authorised - and, in the end, I proved he was right, anyway. I told him all this, made it plain I was _not_ charging him for anything but the work he'd asked me to do - and he still walked off in a huff. That was his right, but I don't regret my decision. I made certain I wasn't sending out a report based on shaky information. And I didn't ask him to pay for what turned out to be unnecessary work. (Unnecessary, in the sense that the client was, basically, right. Necessary, in that the client's original work was so sloppy there was no way to verify that without the work I did. And I did _not_ want to write a report based on unsourced family group sheets full of seemingly conflicting facts that matched
 _several_ of the individuals I found.)
     But if I was given a research objective, told the client had sent me all they had, and pursued _another_ source, only to have the client tell me they'd already checked that, I _would_ have told them it was their tough luck.
                        Ray Beere Johnson II


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