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You can do the final project alone, or with one other person. It's best to work with someone else, if you can.


I've been in groups where I ended up doing all of the work. It really made me mad!

Right, freeloaders. They take advantage of others.


So what do we do if that happens?

Good question. Let's see what we can come up with.

Make excuses harder

First, make it harder for someone to make excuses.

  • Have a list of tasks. Use a shared Google doc, or a file on the server where your project is going to be. If you use Github, you can put the file there.
  • Divide up the tasks on the list. Put names on them.
  • Each person give the other person an email address they check regularly.
  • Each person give the other person a text message number.
  • Every week, email each other on what you're done.
  • If you don't get an email for a week, contact the other person, and ask for an update.

Any other ideas? Let your instructor know. Your "Your stuff" menu has a Class link. From there, you can send a private message to your instructor.

Responding to excuses

Here are some things you might hear from freeloaders, and possible responses. Feel free to copy-and-paste:

Freddie Freeloader: "Oh, I'm sooo busy! I just forgot!"

You: You should use a calendar. I use Google Calendar, it's free. Anyway, what are you going to do to make up for it?

Freddie Freeloader: "I didn't know what I was supposed to do. I didn't get the email."

You: Then you should have contacted me. And you know we have the task list. There's no excuse for you to sit around, and do nothing.

Freddie Freeloader: "Hey, I have a full-time job, and a family. You don't!"

You: You're ready to spend my time, on tasks you should be doing, to make your life less hectic? Does that sound fair to you?

Freddie Freeloader: "Hey, be a pal. You want to help your friends, right?"

You: Sure, just like you want to help your friends, right? Shouldn't a friend be doing their share of the work?

Freddie Freeloader: (Silence. You never hear anything.)

You: Well, I guess this team thing isn't working out. Let's break up. Good luck on the project.

Breaking up

If you need to, you can walk away.

There are a couple of things you can do after that. First, you can try to find another partner, someone else who had a problem with a freeloader. That can be tricky, since you don't want to hook up with another freeloader.

Second, you can work on the project by yourself. Not ideal, but the project is designed so that one person can finish it.

One thing: be clear about breaking up. Tell the other person you're breaking up. Use email, so you have a record of the message.

Consequences of freeloading

Skills and bennies

Freddie Freeloader: "Freeloading is smart. Someone else does the work, and I benefit. Ahhhh, I'm so cool."

Freddie, you're an idiot. There are consequences.

Freddie Freeloader: "Oh yeah, like what?"

First, your won't learn as much.

Freddie Freeloader: "Oh, give me a break! I don't care, as long as I get a passing grade."

Freddie, you're an idiot. The skills your learn in this course, you can sell to employers. These skills are worth benjamins. Here's one:

A benjamins

This might be the closest you get to one, duder.

Your diploma won't let you keep a good job. It's what you can do for people that matters.

You have a chance to learn skills worth bennies. Are you going to throw that away?

Your rep

For the second problem with freeloading, let's rewind a bit.


I've been in groups where I ended up doing all of the work. It really made me mad!

Freddie Freeloader: "So she's mad. What's she gonna do?"

Freddie, you're an idiot. Georgina will tell her friends. You'll get a bad rep. Nobody will want to work with you.

And what happens in a few years, when you apply for a job at the company Georgina works at? How will that go down?

Freddie Freeloader: "OK, so, I won't apply there. Anyway, I'll charm them in the interview."

Freddie, you're an idiot. How will you know whether Georgina works there, or has a friend who works there? The friend sees your university and graduation date, and thinks:

"I wonder if Georgina knew him?"

You won't even get an interview.

Freddie Freeloader: "Hey, that's not fair!"

Freddie, you're an idiot. It's fair. Georgina knows something about you that's relevant to your performance. There's a difference between "fair" and "Freddie doesn't like it."

Hey, Freddie.

Freddie Freeloader: "Yeah?"

There's a way around all this.

Freddie Freeloader: "What's that?"

Be smart. Don't be a freeloader.

Time for an exercise.



A guy you knew in college wants a job in your company. He has a management information systems (MIS) degree, just like you. Problem is, he was a notorious freeloader.

List at least three reasons why you might not want to hire him.