Chip, well... I never knew about G, R, and U, and that would explain a lot!
First, I did my best to be accurate -- big mistake.
Then, a colleague told me to take my best guess and triple it -- still didn't work. You know, if you get something done too quickly, they don't like that either. My final solution, that seems to work, is to say something like, "...normally, it should take about 3 weeks, so let's plan on a year..." They laugh, I laugh...
I work by the hour now. I haven't take a "by the project" payment in years. I simply can't afford to -- you end up spending too much time explaining why "that'll be extra..."
I charge by the hour, supply regular updates, and if I'm not moving fast enough or they don't like what they're seeing, they're free to hire someone else -- it's in my contract -- nobody's obligated... seems harsh, but it works for me.
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