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I have been working as a contract manual tester; currently, I have managed to get myself into a problem, can you please give me some pieces of advice?

One major client I was contracted to work for has emailed my manager and asked:

  1. Where are my test scripts / test cases?
  2. How did I spend my time as there was so few test cases recorded on Jira?

When I was working for them, there were two project phases; we pretty much stuck on the first phase. But the client manager asked me to work on the second phase, which I did not as without the first phase, I could not proceed to the second phase. I spend most of my time on fixing problems that belonged to the first phase. That is why there are so few test cases for the second phase.

Regarding my missing test scripts, I did email them to a girl working next to me.

How do I explain this to my manager?

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    As a general note (not just specific to this case), your manager should have heard all this from you before he heard it from the client. You always want to be ahead of the communication curve, especially when it means friction between you and a client. Whenever you say things like "The client asked me to .... which I did not do" your manager should be involved immediately. – corsiKa Feb 9 '17 at 0:49
  • @corsiKa, thank you. Yeah, I should have informed my manager. – QAbird Feb 9 '17 at 6:00
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Most testers run into this kind of problem sooner or later, especially if you are a contractor.

From my personal experiences, a contractor tester is different from a permanent tester in several ways:

  • Contractors are less trusted as you move from one client to an other, you have less time to earn your colleagues' trust. In general, people develop trust over time.
  • Contractors cost more than a permanent employee for a given period. In New Zealand, a contractor will cost around 800 dollars a day, while permanent employee costs a third of it. Higher cost means more expectation.

Your situations are:

  • Missing test scripts, this should not be a problem, tell your manager to ask the girl you sent your test scripts to. If she is no longer working there, they can dig it up from their email server.
  • So few test cases on Jira, I am assuming the test cases on Jira are about the second phases? As you were still working on the first phase when you were told to work on the second phase (I understand there was little to be done in the second phase). Tell your manager as you have told us, that is the only solution.

Please remember one thing, communication is the key. If you had communicated with your manager when you realized there was not much to be done for the second phase, you would have avoided getting into this situation.

  • You are right, I thought I could handle this issue without telling anyone. – QAbird Feb 8 '17 at 21:30
  • @QAbird, why would you not tell anyone? A manager assigned you a job that you could not do, you needed to inform them right away. – Yu Zhang Feb 8 '17 at 21:31
  • I thought I would be bothering my manager too much so I kept it to myself. – QAbird Feb 8 '17 at 22:21

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