Potential client calls up.
"hello, I'd like some programming work doing"
"OK, how much"
"Oh, about 4 months"
"Well, my rate is normally £x/day, but as it's for 4 months, I'll give you a discount of £y/day"
"Yes, but that's based on a firm commitment to those times".
"OK, looks like it's actually about 4 weeks of work, and I can offer you £z (£z being about 20% less than my £y rate)".
"The rate you're talking is lower than the market rate"
"Well, I can offer you a 20% bonus based on the project succeeding. OK, and that 20% then takes me back to my rate, but I'm going to take on some risk and the timescales are less than the discount"
"Let me think... No".
OK, bit of a rant, but I'm tired of cheapskate bastards who want a professional job doing, but want me to take on risk without offering anything in return for that risk. Every other call I'm getting at the moment is from people offering me less than agency work. And agency work means:-
1) I get paid very quickly
2) Someone provides me with an office, desk and coffee
3) If the hardware breaks or the client can't decide something for a day, I still get paid for loafing around on Facebook.
In fact, I don't mind the genuine, honest cheapskates. I don't mind the people who say "ooh that's a bit steep" when I tell them my rate, and say that they'll go elsewhere. It's the people who are vaguely in agreement with a rate, and then fuck around over it at the last minute in the hope that I'll cave in, having invested some time in talking to them that piss me off. Don't waste my fucking time, assholes.