At 08:44 AM 2/15/2002 -0800, Brad Velander wrote:
>         If the initial message was targeting a specific individual in a
>crass and critical manner I hope that the targeted individual does not take
>this to heart. This individual is self-employed and has for a long time
>contributed selflessly to this list. Who is anybody to critique the time
>that individual may spend posting to assist the rest of us with our
>problems, issues and questions?

The post itself was not clearly critical, so I took it simply as a comment 
and report of information discovered through diligent research, and, in 
fact, I found it useful. I *do* need to keep some kind of balance, and 
where questions have been answered by others I should not add my comments 
unless I have something new to add. For example, a post yesterday suggested 
moving a polygon to the solder mask layer, something which I was about to 
suggest myself -- others had suggested placing fills. But that such a 
polygon will disappear unless "remove dead copper" was unchecked was not 
mentioned, and a new user could spend hours in frustration trying to figure 
out what was wrong.

Been there, done that.

When a new message about a problem comes in and I have something which 
might help find a solution, I try to write immediately. A user's job might 
be on hold for an answer. If others have already answered by the time I 
notice the question, I may review those answers before writing. Sometimes I 
forget to do this, so you will notice that sometimes I answer a question 
that has already been answered, adding nothing new. That is not intentional 
and *is* a waste of time, mine and yours.

I do not write "selflessly," however, at least that is not how I look at 
it. I've done printed circuit design for about 25 years, it raised my five 
children -- and now we are adopting a daughter from China, hopefully we 
will be assigned a child by April or May and will travel to pick her up in 
June or July. It's not what I do for fun, though I have fun doing it. I 
believe, however, that "what goes around comes around," and the work of a 
worker who tries to help others will not go unrewarded. It seems to be 
working; while jobs are not pouring in, neither has my business decreased 
as I started to spend more time writing. I arranged for another very 
competent designer to do most of my design; in return, essentially, I am 
his U.S. representative. (Though the legal form is that the client's 
relationship is with me, I stand behind the job and may do it myself if my 
designer or his people do not have time. But the client and my designer 
communicate directly if he is doing the job, so there is no delay.)

So my gross income has gone up while my net has remained about the same. 
But, now, the potential is for growth, whereas as a single designer it was 
-- as all you independent designers with long experience know -- feast or 
famine. If there was enough work, it usually became too much work, and then 
clients started to get disgruntled and they would go elsewhere, and then 
the work load would collapse, or even if it never reached the disgruntle 
point, projects are finished, companies are sold, etc.

It is actually possible, now, for me to be earning income while I am 
writing or travelling. That was never the case as an independent designer.

If the work load becomes too much for my subcontractor, I'll bring in 
others. How will I find them? They will probably have contributed 
occasionally to this list....

Abdulrahman Lomax
Easthampton, Massachusetts USA

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