I lost a possible job this week because of specificity, I think. I found that interesting. A teaching colleague of mine referred a PhD student to me. She emailed me and said she had a 23-page paper and asked for an estimate. I wrote back a very friend note with very specific questions about it and how I couldn’t provide a clear estimate without knowing many of the answers and seeing something of her writing to determine my time. She never responded. Since I’ve spent so much time in the academic world, I was proud of myself for (I thought) asking the right questions, but instead it drove her away.
I think people who are new to using an editor or have used casual editors are not aware of what goes in to assessing a manuscript.
I felt kinda bad about it afterwards because I wanted the job. She is from Mexico and is working on important issues happening in Mexico that intrigued me. And I love working with second language learners.
As a PhD student (no doubt with little money), she probably just wanted an “Of course! Send me your paper. It’ll take me two hours and I only charge $15/hour.”
Has anyone else felt like they have scared clients off with specificity?