Wednesday, April 27, 2005

 

Reflections upon cheapness

And more madness consumes every fiber of my being. Two potential engagements other than the possibility of First Voodoo Bank are vying for my services, one a rather boring but necessary technical documentation job, which despite its droning characteristics at least offers little dangerous exposure, and the other one an internal project rife with politics, however, it actually has a chance to do something useful for clients and ourselves, and might even get some positive exposure for me. Decisions, decisions. The big problem I have with the former project is that it's located on the exact opposite side of the metropolitan area from me, and it's almost 100 miles one way to drive there. Not terribly bad, in that I used to commute 80 miles one way to a client some years ago, however, I have one problem with this client which may be a showstopper. SOP used to be if you were going to a client that was further away than your office, you would be reimbursed for additional commuting expenses over and above your normal commuting costs. Needless to say, folks who lived in the Garden State quickly shifted their official offices to the west side of the river, and started hitting clients up for the difference in the commuter tickets plus the subway. It was a nice way to keep commute costs manageable, and back when I was driving the 160 mile round trip, the extra mileage reimbursement took care of the extra maintenance costs (when you drive that much, oil changes come very fast). Not to mention the tolls, of course. However, this new client, a very well-known financial services player, refuses to pay for driving commutes to their location. I'm not asking for them to pay for the whole thing - it roughly costs $27/day for me to commute into Manhattan.

Figuring a mileage reimbursement rate of $0.365, I would be entitled to $73 plus tolls (figure seven bucks if I go via the GWB and one of the north-south toll roads) per diem, minus the $27 it normally costs me to go to work. I should be reimbursed $53/day, which will cover the wear and tear and outrageous gas costs incurred on the Proprietormobile (which I've decided to keep running for another year). Never mind the personal wear and tear of a 200 mile roundtrip commute (at my previous client, I had the eighty mile trip down to about 90 minutes, and was usually home at a reasonable hour for dinner; this client is down in the traffic zone, and somewhere around mile 83, things back up big time (in the AM).

I must ponder.....

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