I am a software engineer, and I was given the task of designing, building, and implementing a user preferences/defaults service for a large scale data reporting and visualization web site.
Client: I see you’ve logged 12 hours. What’s taking so long? It shouldn’t take more than 6 hours.
Me: There’s actually a lot to it….
I explained the ins and outs of the process and what I needed to do to reach their goals.
Client: Oh ok. Sounds like it can be done under 120 hours, though, right?
Me: Oh, definitely. I’m just laying the groundwork right now. Once that’s done, it’ll go pretty quick.
Me: The base service and UI menu is complete. I now need to know exactly what preferences to implement.
Client: Uh…start with the two list sorting options, and I’ll get back to you on the others.
Me: Nothing else?
Client: Not for now. That list sorting is a big one.
Me: Each user can now select a default for one of the two sorting methods. There’s not much else to do except establish all the other preferences.
Client: Oh. Well the sorting should be good enough. Go ahead and finish it up, and submit the work.
Me: You don’t want anything else in there?
Client: Nah. Our users really hate clicking that sort button every time.
Me: So all you really needed from me was to change the default sorting method? Not everything else I’ve done?
Client: Yeah, I guess.
They paid me for the time I spent, but I’m not sure why they oversold what they needed from me.