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resources because they may try and poach your clients. With people I trust, I help
them out and they help me out. They give me jobs maybe I give them jobs.
Mutual coordination on any production or project, whether large or small, requires respect
for the group performance, a strong relational connection and a high level of trust.
Although production participants do not always speak the same language, there is a
prescribed freelance code of ethics and behavior that is universal if you want to stay
working and one of the highest on the priority list is trust -- trust that a team member will
efficiently and creatively complete the job, an assumption that it will be at a high
professional level, and that the other participants will respect your established client
relationship.
Carol Beck (Media Producer): India Presents A Different Caste of
Characters
Carol addresses working with differences on international freelance crews and discusses
the challenge of the caste system with the down-the-line chain of command:
They just throw bodies at things. They have more bodies. Because in India the
caste system is alive and well, you have to go through this maddening experience of
telling someone to do something and the next person lower tells the next guy, and
the next guy and then finally some person ten people down ends up doing it. Then
they usually don’t have the knowledge and skill to do it right. That can be frustrating.
I was on this Bangalore job and they had brought in this electrician from London
because we had this temporary facility and there was a lot of power generation
required. There were all these huge trailer size generators to run the air conditioning,
the lighting, video stuff, etc. I saw him walking really fast one day and I looked at him
and said, ‘should I be worried?’ He looked and said, ‘only if you ever see me running
run in the opposite direction.’ What was happening is that he would have everything
set up correctly grounded safely and the Indian crew people would do it their way
and completely undo his work. It would be completely unsafe. They just didn’t
know. Sometimes you are in situations where you don’t have people who are well
informed.
The geography of freelance also includes living in the territory of tolerance and patience.
Carol does this skillfully and draws on her practice of Buddhism to guide her in how she
positions herself in the relationships of differences and notes, “In terms of applying my
Buddhist practice to work: it’s staying calm, practicing my patience with others; trying to
understand their needs; and doing whatever to realize their needs.”
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