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This is why you are unemployed

It's pretty simple.

Learn to read the job posting. As a client I don't care about 100 people who apply, when not a single one of you can read the instructions.

If you fail to read the instructions in a job posting you will not succeed in reading the actual project specifications. There is no reason to hire someone who can't read the information they are given.

I always ask for a simple demo and I still get standard cover letters.

If you want a job, try harder.

EDIT:

Even if I don't ask for a sample (depends on the job), but 5-10 questions that needs to be answered in the application, people fail this too. And if they can't answer 5 questions there is no way I will hire them.

Vote Result

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Score: 4.1, Votes: 18
Hard to Comment

It's hard to comment when I'm not sure what kind of contractor or demo you were looking for but for writing jobs I have stopped writing specific samples for people and if they ask I don't bother applying.

I noticed a funny thing with jobs where they requested writing a short article on a specific topic of their choice - Once I wrote it, I never got the job.

I only got one job by writing a sample and that was my very first job and the client didn't request it. I just wrote an article on the topic he was looking for and the client liked it enough that he paid for it and hired me for the rest of the job.

I've had a lot better luck with the jobs that don't require a specific written sample but are willing to look at one from my portfolio.

same issue

I think some Clients are shady when they do this and they know getting 20 or so contractors to write a sample will give them what they need for free.

At the same time I've been hired for jobs by doing that. I don't do it anymore though, even if it is a paid offer. I have samples that I can already show, why sit there and do another one?

I take that back a little...;D It depends on the Client too. Sometimes I will, but I'm very picky when I do. Again, it has to be paid for.

I backpedaled a little, but I have some clients who have always asked for that, for some reason or another. But again, not everyone...

Demo? Why should we do free

Demo? Why should we do free work? It doesn't make economic sense for contracting on oDesk. That said, I would read the specs and wouldn't apply for your job.

So you wont invest 10 minutes

So you wont invest 10 minutes of your time to aquire 10-20 hours of work?

Your choice.

I won't invest 10 minutes of

I won't invest 10 minutes of my time for a chance at 10-20 hours of work, no. In the oDesk environment, it simply does not make economic sense. There is proof of my abilities in my portfolio and my cover letter for one thing. Secondly doing custom work to apply for a job uses time that could be spent more productively elsewhere; statistically will turn out to be a waste of time and will also leave me open to scamming by clients who parcel the job up into 'test tasks'; reassemble the tests into the completed task and walk away without paying anyone.

From the fact that you're getting 100 applicants; none of whom have read the instructions, I further deduce that you're playing in a price range that wouldn't interest me anyway.

It is your right to ask for a sample (discouraged by oDesk, though); just as it is my right to skip onto the next job description. You will find on this platform that the vast majority of 'proper' contractors simply will not do spec work as we have found out *from experience* that it does not pay to do so.

EDIT: You are perfectly within your rights to ask a few questions to establish knowledge and that wouldn't usually be a problem unless the questions give the overall indication that you are fishing for information on how to do the job yourself and (again) walk away without hiring anyone. That happens too.

You have combined two issues,

You have combined two issues, and thus we are off track.
Freelancers who do not do free "Demos" (are these unique samples for the job posting? most who read this are assuming so.) have made a very clear, decisive, professional choice. On an online platform such as this, it is way to easy to have our creative rights exploited by such things.
I hope most clients understand that free samples are not necessary on this platform (paid samples are a matter of preference for both client and contractor.) That is why we are afforded portfolios, besides our profiles, which should give plenty enough information about our talents to start an interview process.
As far as not reading the job posting, but instead just sending a reused cover letter, this is spam, and a frustration for professorial contractors as well as the clients. We all want something done about this issue.
The two are not connected, however, so I hope that you are not clicking "decline" on every application that doesn't include the requested demo. The most qualified contractors would not consider providing one, requested or not. Hopefully they state as much in the cover letter, but it should be a given anyways, and you sound like you might not be reading to find out why one wasn't included, unfortunately.
Not reading the job posting may be why many remain unemployed, and that is their choice. Expecting something that many contractors have made professional choices not to provide at such an early stage in the process is not a comment on the contractors who apply without it.

1st you're not an employer to offer any kind of employment

1st you're not an employer to offer any kind of employment
2nd most contractors choose not to offer free work
3rd if you have 100 people applying to your project and not a single contractor has read the project description then this project is not worth applying for - meaning you get the general spammers and the real contractors don't bother.

Golden

Thanks for the employment tips.

"Spec work = work opportunities."

It's pretty simple.
Try taking the time to select the right candidates and then ask a small batch of preferred candidates to do a small paid test, instead of assuming that everyone who applies to your job should do free demo work. You might not get 100 plumb applicants.
Essentially you would be fine with having 100+ applicants all spend time crafting samples for you in the knowledge that you'll only pick one. So you have no issue with wasting 99+ people's time. Talk about establishing a negative setting right from the off.

Contractors who value their services (usually the one's with the better skills) won't touch sample/demo/test work. So all you're doing is sending out a job posting that is only going to be approached by contractors who are desperate/newbies/beginners/scammers. Then you come on here with a cocky and demeaning tone moaning about lack of serious applicants and claiming that the reason people are unemployed (as someone said we're contractors not employees) is because they wont do spec work.

I'd like to know where all of these oDesk clients are getting the idea that it's cool to ask people who apply to small contracts to include free samples?

Doesn't make a difference. I

Doesn't make a difference.

I put demo price on the job listing. People don't read it, or are not willing to put 10 minutes to aquire 10-20 hours of work.

Listen up

Johan W. wrote:
Doesn't make a difference.

I put demo price on the job listing. People don't read it, or are not willing to put 10 minutes to aquire 10-20 hours of work.

What is insane to me is that you aren't listening. You posted an issue you have with contractors an when they tell you WHY you aren't having success you get defensive.

I don't min answering a few questions but like most established writers I have sample writing projects in my portfolio. I also have no issue doing a PAID sample, but I will not give away work for free.

If you want better applicants you need to attract them. You aren't marketing to the right group of writers, obviously.

A demo is required because I

A demo is required because I know 99% of the people who apply can't do their job.

This is mainly for programmers. I get so many garbage applications and there is no way to weed out who knows what they are doing. Anyone can write in their portofolio "Super expert in ..."

Why would I want to pay someone 10 hours figuring out the demo when someone else can do it in 10 minutes?

The demo is 1% of the actual work. A proof of concept. If you feel that not investing 10 minutes of your time in order to get a job that is worth over 10 hours then that's fine. But I won't hire you.

And people can't even respond to simple 5-10 questions laid out in the application.

In regards to clients asking for demo writing that is a different thing. You can't evaluate programmer work the same way as written text.

Doesn't matter if it is

Doesn't matter if it is writing or programming. I have been both a client (paid upwards of $2000 on a single website project) and a contractor (done over 20 big website projects) and I think it is not right for a client to ask for a free demo. As a contractor I have been burnt once on building a demo for a complex project and once I sent the app to him, he was gone - taking few days of my work. Hard lesson learnt: no free demo or sample ever. When I was a client, I made a posting for a prototype project and paid the contractor whom I eventually hired for doing the full project.

If you are a serious client who has the capacity to hire good people, you wouldn't mind paying for the demo. If can't be bothered to pay for the demo, simply leave. We don't need your projects as there are a quite a lot of good projects around.

So because I get 10 people

So because I get 10 people spamming me:

WORDPRESS/PHP/AJAX/MYSQL/HTML/DHTML/JAVASCRIPT/CSS/JS…

I should pay waste 10 hours for something they can't complete?

When someone who can provide the required demo in 10 minutes can get the 10-20 hours of work for the project?

What you did wrong was create a demo that could be used in production. A demo is 5-20 mins of work. Not 1 hour.

And no, I don't mind paying $5 for the demo, it doesn't make a difference because people don't read the job instructions. Been there, done that.

Still

Even if someone sends you a "demo" you have no proof they actually did the work.
How about a Skype voice interview where you ask technical questions? Interview a remote worker the same way you would interview someone in your office. If you don't know how to do that, then maybe you should start with having some on site employees so you can see what it is like to hire and supervise someone.

No, but the demo is project

No, but the demo is project specific.

Thats why I don't care about other demos they link me, they are irrelevant.

You misunderstood

Johan W. wrote:
No, but the demo is project specific.

Thats why I don't care about other demos they link me, they are irrelevant.


Even if it is project specific, maybe they had their brother-in-law do it for them.
Maybe this "brother-in-law" will not be available once you hire the contractor who sent you the brother-in-law's work.
There is no substitute for an interview to determine the contractor's level of technical knowledge.

same applies to the skype interview

Margaret P. wrote:
Even if it is project specific, maybe they had their brother-in-law do it for them.
Maybe this "brother-in-law" will not be available once you hire the contractor who sent you the brother-in-law's work.
There is no substitute for an interview to determine the contractor's level of technical knowledge.

same applies to the skype interview: maybe it is the "brother in law" that you are interviewing with and he won't be available when the project starts Smile

Demo not a chance.

Johan W. wrote:
The demo is 1% of the actual work. A proof of concept.

Pay me, you just said it was part of the actual work.
And that goes back to a previous point made.
You get enough free demos and the work is done without paying anyone.

10 minutes to write a program? Yea, a couple of statements.
But wait write the full program yourself, surely you must know how to program
if you know it only takes 10min.

well said...

Joseph C. wrote:
Pay me, you just said it was part of the actual work.

I have to tell you, I just LOVED your reply specially the quoted part !

Sure I have no problems

Sure I have no problems paying you for 10 minutes of work.

Where should I send your $2.7?

You don't know what a demo is do you? It's not a full program. It's a demo/presentation that you actually know how to do the job.

I know how to program, and I know how long time the demo takes. We are not talking about writing a full application here, we are talking 5 lines of code using a library, such as JQuery.

I don't hire people because I don't know how to program. There is a thing called time.

There is a big difference in demos.

If you were to apply for a job with a simple 10 minute demo and you know what to do, you would know it take 10 minutes and not 1 hour. Or you are not fit for the job.

Just because someone copy pastes this:

WORDPRESS/PHP/AJAX/MYSQL/HTML/DHTML/JAVASCRIPT/CSS/JS…

I wont hire them. Because it doesn't say anything about what you know.

Great, so that's settled

Great, so that's settled then. You're going to pay contractors for their time spent doing your demos. It's not really about the money in many cases, it's the gesture that you actually value a potential contractors time and expertise. Even if it's just ten minutes worth.

No it's not settled. The

No it's not settled.

The problem still persists:

People don't read instructions.

this is why nobody good applied

Many contractors stop reading any job posting that asks for a demo/free sample, makes them answer 5-10 questions, pays cheap, are all in caps, and is too long to read. A job ad is more effective if written in concise and direct to the point sentences.

You probably got the spammers.The smart contractors just did not want to apply.

+1

So true, Cythia. Not necessarily for programmers, but for the other categories as well. People have stopped bothering to even read the whole job description if it starts with CAPS.

Johan W., I suggest that you read this post in order to get good contractors apply for your job (and working with you for a long-time) : https://www.odesk.com/community/node/21240 . Don't post one of those jobs that simply beg to be ignored and you'll have a great time.

Contractors that apply don't follow instructions? How about you not following common-sense when posting jobs? oDesk specifically recommends contractors to think twice before submitting samples. And besides, a 10-minute sample is quite a lot, try with a 3-question interview or a 2-minute demo FOR shortlisted applicants. This way contractors know that if they are asked for a demo, then they are shortlisted. Why send a 10-minute demo that might not even be reviewed by the client? Have you ever applied to a job that was closed due to inactivity? Put yourself in contractors' shoes before submitting the job post, Johan : if you won't apply to your own job, why should others do it?

There's a saying around here: you get what you pay for. Learn from it and extend it to job postings as well.

And, if that's not enough : think of the many contractors that say that asking for demos (free samples actually) is wrong or bad. Do you think that all of them are lying? If one tells you that you are drunk, ignore him. If many people tell you that you are drunk, go to sleep.

I hope you'll take this as constructive criticism. It's what it's intended to be.

Regards,
a contractor that stopped submitting unique samples long time ago.

{{{{{APPLAUSE}}}}}

Enough said. Smile

I doubt that it is possible to craft the whole piece

Joseph C. wrote:

You get enough free demos and the work is done without paying anyone.

in software development I doubt that it is possible to craft the whole piece from free demos. at best you will end up with a buggy code. the original poster by a "demo" probably means tasks such as "implement a popup window using jQuery", this is much different from asking for a sample article on a specific subject.

If you're getting 100

If you're getting 100 applicants and not one of them has fulfilled your criteria then perhaps you need to yourself why this is? Now I know there are a lot of people applying to any old jobs without reading the details, pasting in a cover letter and on to the next, but there are plenty of us here who do read the job posts with care and apply with a thoughtful and considered cover letter.

So why are these type of people not applying to your jobs?

You say you're asking for a demo that would take 10 mins of their time. Are you sure? Perhaps people are looking at the task you're asking them to carry out and thinking it will realistically take them a couple of hours and so are not applying?

You say you are asking 5-10 questions. Are you asking these in a manner that makes sense that isn't bellowing orders at your applicants? I don't apply for jobs written in lots of capital letters with tons of instructions with what I must and must not do etc. If the job post comes across as angry and demanding it puts me off straight away.

Finally, are you offering a decent rate of pay? Offer below a certain amount and all you'll get is spam applications. The serious programmers can and will get a good rate of pay, so if you're offering under around $20 an hour, you're probably not going to get anyone applying who really knows their stuff, instead you'll get people who think they might be able to give it a go.

If none of those apply to you then perhaps you've just been very unlucky, perhaps searching for contractors with your required skills and sending them invites to interview would be a better way to find people?

I know what I ask for because

I know what I ask for because I know how to do it myself.

If it takes them 1 hour then they are not the right person for the job.

I hire people because I don't have TIME, not because I don't know how to do the work.

I have no fixed rate specified, this is up to the contractor to provide.

The conclusion is that the best people have jobs. And finding good people is a matter of luck when they don't.

May I ask to see some of your

May I ask to see some of your job postings? Maybe it might be that you're paying peanuts so you keep getting monkeys.

A lot of the legitimate contractors aren't going to respond if you need a $25 logo or a $3-5hr work.

Not saying you're doing that but if you are it's your fault you keep getting a pool of unqualified contractors. I do everything you say except spec work but I also don't tend to touch a project if it's not over $50hr or equivalent to at least $17hr with a minimun of 5 hours.

*BTW I know everyone else has also pointed this out. But really I've seen this guy's other posts in 1 or of my topics and he just says the same thing he had to make a whole topic (unsure why) about. I think we all have a good idea of the type of work he may contract and that its frustrating you just can't get the quality you hoped for on you're multi-tier development project. Which is for your oustanding company with the promise of future work if you do good and though this is a cut rate posting I promise to leave great feedback.

Which makes no sense and only catches the uneducated, concerning the feedback, because the formula is weighted by the monetary value

Free Work

I just had a client, whose job I applied to, ask me to write a sample blog post.

I said no, I don't work for free.

I probably won't get the job but my resume has links to over 30 articles I've written, an ebook, and my feedback score and work history shows I'm talented at what I do.

So with all that, why would he want me to write a free blog post? Duh! I'm not stupid, he's going to use it and not pay me one red cent for my work.

Odesk needs to do something about these clients.

I think you can report them

I think you can report them for requesting work for free, I know I've seen that before somewhere. It's in a dropdown menu you have access to at some point (maybe in the view contract screen click flag as inappropriate? Can't recall exactly, sorry....)

Hope that helps, and yes, they do need to get some of these junk clients off here. 50 jobs posted, 0 hires? I guess you have to be dumb to ever apply with people like that, but still!

You can Brandon, Odesk

You can Brandon, Odesk chooses to ignore the reports though and is just there for show. Eventually a moderator will join the topic to for 2 seconds to never return and explain odesk reviews everything...blah blah blah.

Basically, they run shady business and place the help section and report section as smoke and mirrors because the help section they've already stated is there but that odesk doesn't stand behind the solutions and all guarantees and guidelines are void even if solutions from the help section are used to fix a problem that occurs.

And I think we know what oDesk does when we report postings that violate the TOS. If not, I tell you what, humor yourself and report a posting then bookmark it and return later that, the day after and so forth. You'll find your answer.

true...

Brian Ellis wrote:
You can Brandon, Odesk chooses to ignore the reports though and is just there for show. Eventually a moderator will join the topic to for 2 seconds to never return and explain odesk reviews everything...blah blah blah.

Basically, they run shady business and place the help section and report section as smoke and mirrors because the help section they've already stated is there but that odesk doesn't stand behind the solutions and all guarantees and guidelines are void even if solutions from the help section are used to fix a problem that occurs.

And I think we know what oDesk does when we report postings that violate the TOS. If not, I tell you what, humor yourself and report a posting then bookmark it and return later that, the day after and so forth. You'll find your answer.

Yeah pretty much like what happened on my topic about the "1st place 1 minute test" mod came in said pretty words and ignored that I had already reported the fact and they gave me no true answer.

Ok, Jonah let me break it

Ok, Jonah let me break it down because you're so big on spec work and people not listening to directions.

YOU DON'T READ DIRECTIONS OR FOLLOW A SITE'S TOS!!!!

Shocker? Should be as I've read your asinine remarks through the whole topic.

SPEC WORK IS FREE WORK!!!

ODESK SAYS IT'S NOT ALLOWED!!!!!

THEY EVEN PLACED A REPORT BUTTON ON THEIR PAGES TO REPORT IT!!!!

Learn to read directions before you look to tell others.

Just saying.

Are you talking to me? Please

Are you talking to me?

Please address me with the correct name.

And when did I say I wouldn't pay?

Learn to read.

Aaa, interesting

So basically you want some free work and come here all puffed up and frustrated that nobody delivered? My faith in Odesk contractors has just jumped up a nudge: we are getting smarter!

And yet somehow I managed to get LOTS of work without delivering anything for free. I wonder what the difference is between you and my clients....oh, yeah, it's called RESPECTING THE OTHER PERSON!

Applause!

Smile

Nope it's not free work. It's

Nope it's not free work. It's sample test to prove your competence to get a job. If the sample takes 5 minutes and you can't do it, there is no reason to hire you.

If the job is worth over 20-30 hours. Those 5 minutes invested in providing a simple sample are not worth aquiring payment for 20+ hours?

Then that is your decision and your loss.

Do you seriously think I can do anything with 5 minutes of work, when I ALREADY KNOW THE SOLUTION AND HAVE THE SAMPLE ALREADY DONE.

You clearly FAIL TO REALISE WHAT A TEST IS. A TEST ALREADY HAS AN ANSWER!

Just because you write "Wordpress" on your profile doesn't mean ANYTHING about what you know.

Oh, so you installed Wordpress on a webhost? Good job, that takes 5 minutes.

Or did you actually program a plugin from scratch that took over 50 hours? Let me see that.

Can you create a session in Wordpress frontend? Or do I need to hire you and pay you 10 hours to find out, when I could have hired someone else who already knows what to do?

Just because people list their "skills" on their profile doesn't mean I will hire them and pay for 10 hours of work for stuff they have ZERO clue on what they are doing.

Do the test, have a higher chance of getting the job. Simple.

Simple ?

What is simple is this - get a job or some kind of income and start paying people.
No professional will work for free - that is all.

oDesk TOS says...

samples and tests are free work and against the rules.

That is what is simple.

20-30 hours of work

Johan W. wrote:
Nope it's not free work. It's sample test to prove your competence to get a job. If the sample takes 5 minutes and you can't do it, there is no reason to hire you.

If the job is worth over 20-30 hours. Those 5 minutes invested in providing a simple sample are not worth aquiring payment for 20+ hours? ...

Last two job postings I looked at that 30 hours would have got you 9 bucks at the highest paid one.
That's why a lot of people are not working here.

Once you go ahead and jump through all the client's hoops you still get your legs cut out from under you by someone who's willing to work for a quarter an hour or write drek for 50 cents a thousand words.
Kind of OK tho' leaves plenty of work for rewriters outside oDesk.

People, oddly enough, are willing to pay pretty decent money to have:
'Ipad Apple small model released October this fall with urgency. Time for best market share.'
rewritten into real English, as long as they bought it 'fresh wrote' for next to nothing.

That sounds funny but this is from an actual article I rewrote yesterday - and article that someone paid to have written:
Protein, selenium and molybdenum in soy milk malignant tumor suppressive. Very effective for gastric cancer, colon cancer and breast cancer.

I'm supposed to take all these 'pre-employment tests' and what not, and I get beat out by someone who'd write that for practically nothing? Who exactly do these 'tests' weed out? Why take all these test to see if I'm suited to the work if the actual contractor selected isn't chosen acording to these standards but by their willingness to work for nothing.
Far as I'm concerned the client can look at my samples and decide.

Being a rewriter is like being an undertaker - sooner or later you're gonna need me.

perhaps

Johan W. wrote:
Nope it's not free work...

In my opnion that is why you should make a interview not only you will have a better insight OF WHO you are hiring but you will ALSO KNOW if they can do the job.

To be fairly honest I dont even think that a test in some cases would be something that would cover your needs, unless it is something like a text of excel with list of data which in those case in a large amount of testers you can easily build up a database/list of articles.

I have also seen many clients getting butthurt from having contractors that sells themself for a dollar or so and can never get a project done or have no quality, even jobs that are worth 300 to 500 and they pick for something like 60$ and never delivery anything (yes I often keep track of jobs I have subscribed myself to, to see how it went from the picked contractor).

That's mostly why some of the clients have always a step back when posting a job the hardship of knowing which contractor is good and which ones are bad or fake.

There something else too usually the good contractors have their portfolio built, which shows plenty of their skills, quality and work. Ofc I do think some of those portfolios are fake etc, but you can go by their reviews, comparing against what they have on their portfolio and I do think that is one of the things the clients have to do themselfs.

When you hire some one in real life you, you do take their CV and then contact them for a interview right ? I don't see how it needs to be different here.

And there are specific tests that can be done during an interview as well that will not make anyone have to make your tests that in your mind could take just 5 minutes but in fact it could take a lot more.

Not me

This may well be your reason for not hiring people. As far as I know, that's not why I'm unemployed (on Odesk, that is).

I'm unemployed because most clients here don't want to pay contractors according to the work they expect them to deliver. They're looking for high quality and time-consuming work in exchange for something that wouldn't even pay for the electricity I use to work on it.

My 0.2 cents.

Matthew

You seem full of hate.

No hate just a statement of

No hate just a statement of fact!

I don't do demos

I don't do demos, whether the client asks for it or not. My portfolio provides more than enough proof of what I am capable of doing. I do read instructions, answer questions posted when applying, and write a unique cover letter each time. But I never write demos, unless it's paid. Some clients are asking for samples so they can collect enough number of articles they need without having to pay for it and end up not needing to hire anyone anymore. Numerous times a client disappears with no word after an unpaid test article, so I've learned and won't ever write any free article again.

Fair enough point, but no need for an argument

Hello Johan,

I don't understand why this has to be such an 'issue'.

You mention you ask for a demo and for a few questions to be answered - I'm sure there will be some contractors fulfilling these requirements, isn't that so?

So, you are annoyed that hundreds don't, but that is just 'noise' on sites like these and should be ignored. If you really want, these people can be told why they have failed to get an interview on their rejection letter.

If the complaint is that not a single contractor is following the instructions - then it may be that what is being asked needs to be reconsidered. May be it is framed incorrectly, confusingly or even priced wrong.

The way I see it, this whole thread got out of whack as soon as the second person singular/plural was used in its title.

I am using it as I have addressed you as named individual. In the post title the whole contractor community seems to be castigated for something you personally find annoying.

If it were titled is something like 'This is why contractors remain unemployed' it would have been received as less aggressive and vengeful.

"This is why some contractors

"This is why some contractors remain unemployed"

The way you worded it insinuates 'all'.

actually, she's right

"this is why contractors remain unemployed" identifies only the unemployed (although, that term has been well argued) contractors.
The way you word it says that some are employed and some aren't and this is why they aren't. Her way is identifying only the unemployed ones. Both ways are fine, her's is just a bit more concise.

You might like this...

Thanks Robin C, for the clarification!

I have to say though, as you are pernickety about these matters (in a good way), you got my gender wrong. But, this is not a fault of anyone. I think the names/nouns ending in 'a' being considered feminine is a Latin language construct, and when a name is transliterated (I think this is what it is) from a phonetic language like Sinhalese (Indo-European) to English there are no real agreed rules.

In Sinhalese my name can be represented in just three characters: චමිර (I wonder if this will show on peoples browsers!), and a lot of S.Asian languages have a inherent 'a' sound (flat 'a' like car) in the consonants. So, strictly, my name could be the three syllables ch-mi-r. But, for the English version we have to put in an 'a' for each consonant and this leads to the assumptions!

As you see, I have some time on my hands today and you seem to be someone who might appreciate the explanation.

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