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Frequently Asked Questions

I am a Optometrist looking for work. How do I use (navigate) your website? How do I find the available jobs and put my name in on them?

Refer to the WELCOME EMAIL that was sent after your registration. If you have not created an account, do so (and then follow the WELCOME EMAIL).
Login. Click on AVAILABLE JOBS, then click on BROWSE to scroll through the jobs. Click on a date to find out more about a job and the optometric practice's details. Scroll down to CREATE a bid. To indicate your availability click in the appropriate date boxes. CONTINUE BID.
Enter your fee and choose daily, hourly total or other. Enter any questions or prerequisites regarding your bid in the comments section. The optometric practice's reply will be sent via an email within 48hrs or ReliefOptometrist will follow up for you and keep you informed of our attempts. In the meantime you may bid on other jobs and dates at will.

I own a optometric practice. I need to post a job, how do I use your website? What if I need to make changes after I have completed my entries?

Complete as much information as possible so we and prospective candidates may familiarize ourselves with your practice. To POST (or advertise) a relief and permanent job click on Jobs then Create New.
For a relief job, select the months for which you need coverage. CONTINUE. Select the appropriate dates in the calendar matrix. CONTINUE. Change or accept the Optometrist's hours. Next, submit or make interim or permanent changes to your account/job.
Click on SUBMIT JOB.
To post a permanent job, select JOBS again. Choose Create New, permanent job. Enter a tentative start date. CONTINUE. Next select weekdays and enter shift information. Enter your comments regarding the position. CONTINUE. The last page features facts about your practice and facilities. This information will be displayed to Optometrists. To update your information, select the best of three options offered. Click on POST JOB.

You will receive bids or inquiries via email or fax. Respond PROMPTLY (bear in mind that the temporary or temporary or relief Optometrists are bidding on other jobs simultaneously). Correspond via BID MEMO at the bid (reached by LOGIN->go to pending bids). If it is easier you may simply reply by email or fax. The important thing though is to reply.
Edit posted Jobs
Select Jobs again. Click on View Current.
Click on the Job id# to view your Job info. Click on (+) to add a shift, click on (Delta) to update the shift, and click on (X) to delete a shift.

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Why are there two id #s? What is the difference between a bid and a job?

Are you referring to the BID number and JOB number? As optometric practices post their jobs, each job consists of desired dates. Each job is assigned a sequential job ID number. That number remains that ID for that particular (group of) date(s). When a Optometrist bids to work one or more of the dates from that job ID, the bid is assigned a sequential Bid ID. If another Optometrist bids on any or all of the remaining dates from that Job ID, that bid receives a new bid ID number. Hence, the same Job ID but different bid ID's: the same group of dates but different Optometrists' bids.

What is this going to cost?

Are you inquiring as a Optometrist or on behalf of an optometric practice? Optometrists and practices pay nothing to create an account, post jobs, search for employment, bid on jobs, meet, greet, and interview each other. We charge each party a modest SUCCESS FEE only WHEN HIRED.
Our success fee is enumerated repeatedly throughout their registration, bidding, and acceptance agreements. Our terms are also available online in the Optometrist and optometric practice content pages.

How do I determine what to charge a optometric practice for my work?

ReliefOptometrist.com is neutral with regards to your money and how much a optometric practice is willing to spend. To derive a reasonable INTRODUCTORY fee consider the potential of the practice. Is it urban or rural, how many patients will you see, what is the average exam charge? Is it your opinion that the temporary or temporary or relief Optometrist should make money for the practice or just pay their own way. Are you bidding during a vacation or holiday season, a major conference? Remember to consider your expenses. They should be included in your fee and not added on as extras, i.e plus $.XX per mile door to door and tolls. In most cases, expenses can be used as a tax deduction. The extras are considered income.
Finally factor in your personality skills, income generation capabilities, medical and surgical experience, as well as your professional demeanor. Arriving at a fair fee to bid is a logical deductive process.

How long does it take to get an answer? Can I withdraw my bid and then bid on something else if it is taking too long?

As a matter of routine and procedure we follow up on your bid every 48 hrs. provided that there was not an immediate reply sooner. Until your bid is acknowledged and accepted you are not obligated just because you made an offer to work on certain dates. You may create additional bids that are compatible with your interests and availability. When one of your bids is accepted, the other optometric practices or practices that have conflicting dates will be notified and withdrawn automatically with no action required on your part.

I am bidding on a job and before I bid, I need to know what kind of neighborhood it is and if I am going to be alone at anytime?

As you know, in each bid form we provide a general comments section. Here you may ask prerequisite questions regarding the job or optometric practice. After you bid, direct communication between Optometrist and optometric practice may be accomplished via Bid Memos. Either your home page at ReliefOptometrist.com will display pending bids or use the Bid and Schedule menu to navigate to the bid. Enter or read bid specific Memos. And finally we encourage you to visit the practice during the bidding period to further evaluate its suitability. [ top ]

Why does ReliefOptometrist.com charge
a success fee?

ReliefOptometrist is a service that incurs expenses, even though ReliefOptometrist.com is free to use at no obligation to a Optometrist or optometric practice until they agree to a hire. There is no membership charge or monthly fee to use ReliefOptometrist.com. Our fee is contingent upon successful negotiations between Optometrists and optometric practices accessed through this network. When you strike an agreement you have benefited with work by the value of ReliefOptometrist.com and the optometric practice benefits by hiring you and fulfilling a critical human resource need. And remember if you don't strike an agreement then no one owes anyone anything. [ top ]

My wife and I are planning a vacation. If I hire a temporary or relief Optometrist and then something comes up that forces us to change our plans, can I cancel my contract with you and the Optometrist?

Thankfully, cancellations occur infrequently. They are handled on a case per case basis. Here is our position: good faith cancellations are a cost of doing business. Good faith cancellations made two months or more prior to the first work date should not pose a problem. A good faith cancellation made one month prior should fall under a 'no harm no foul' rule. Meaning to say if the canceled relief date(s) can be offered or recaptured somewhere else, then no other special consideration is required (no harm no foul). A good faith cancellation made prior to weeks or last minute should receive some re-numeration. This is especially relevant when relief work offered by another facility was turned down to honor committed dates.

I am dumbfounded! After making childcare arrangements, etc to work tomorrow, the optometric practice just called and cancelled me. What recourse do I have?

Cancellations! ReliefOptometrist.com recognizes the need to standardize a cancellation policy. No one is interested until it happens to them. In response, cancellations and many other relief issues led to the creation of the ReliefOptometrist forum. There is a section devoted to cancellations. In an attempt to derive some kind of industry consensus, please take a look at ReliefOptometrist Forum Cancellations . In order to post your comments to the forum you have to create a separate account. (The reason for a separate forum account is to foil the Internet bots that post unwanted and explotative commericals.)

Now to your question, call or send them an itemized invoice explaining the expenses you've incurred to uphold your committment. If you have turned down other work ASK for some renumeration. If no response or a good-faith offer is forthcoming you may have to resort to small claims court for recourse. [ top ]

What happens if a optometric practice cancels me, or the job? How will I know?

The website is a tool. It is designed to empower and enable you to check and recheck a bid's status 24/7. If ReliefOptometrist is notified of the cancelation we will immediately post a message and send you an email alerting you of a change requesting your acknowledgement. If your acknowledgement is not forthcoming we'll follow up next by telephone.

If I accept a job for multiple days, can the owner cancel me after the first day or so because they think I am slow in becoming acclimated?

The answer is complicated and beyond the scope of these faqs. First off it depends upon your employment relationship. It is important that the employment status is clear prior to providing your professional services there. Are you hired as a temporary Optometrist employee or as an independent contractor or locum tenens Optometrist? If you are an employee then you may be terminated 'at will'. If you are an independent contractor and if there has been a breach of contract then you may have a right to seek recourse through small claims court.

I am scheduled to work at a practice but now they say they want me for permanent work (part time). I am moderately interested but considering my agreement with you (ReliefOptometrist), what should I do?

Employers advertise their employment opportunities in many places, not withstanding ReliefOptometrist.com. It is common during their search, to hire temporary or relief Optometrists to fill their scheduling gaps. It is also common for Optometrists to accept additional work as well as a permanent position through their relief contacts. Your agreement with ReliefOptometrist.com is to notify us of any new arrangement and schedule with this optometric practice should you decide to make the change.

I posted a job but no one bid until the last minute. I have made other arrangements and don't need an interim Optometrist. Am I obligated to accept this bid? Do I owe you (ReliefOptometrist) for finding someone?

You are not obligated to accept the bid. We do encourage you to withdraw (close) your posted job offer as soon as it is no longer needed. You do not incur a charge from ReliefOptometrist until you hire someone. Consequently, in this case, there would be no success fee.

Does ReliefOptometrist screen the temporary or relief Optometrists?

Our efforts are focused on finding Optometrists to present as candidates for your consideration. Not all Optometrists are created equal - they come with their own attitudes, capabilities and work expectations. Screening of any value would be a Herculean task and subjective at that. We depend upon you and other practices to ascertain and evaluate each Optometrist's qualifications. At minimum a telephone interview better still a face to face one is strongly recommended. It is helpful to your cause to develop a list of criteria based upon your expectations and past experiences, and quiz each candidate to your satisfaction. On request, we gladly provide any references that we may have on file.

I received a bid from a Optometrist who I found and have used as a substitute Optometrist before. I am definitely interested in having her come back. What is my obligation to you (ReliefOptometrist)?

It seems fairer that you maintain your own contacts to call first if you don't want to pay our success fee. Once we use our resources to locate candidates for you, we have supplied a service for which we expect to be paid.

What is the difference between a permanent temporary or relief Optometrist and a part time associate Optometrist? How do you charge for each? Do I get a better rate from you if they are my employee?

When you desire to arrange an ongoing work schedule you must mutually agree to the employment status and terms of hire. Our success fee for either arrangement, permanent or relief, is the same based on the fact that an income generating Optometrist has been removed from our pool of referees. Our charges are stated in our terms. Please login and click on terms at the bottom of your home page. There is no difference between a permanent temporary or relief Optometrist and part time associate. Under a regulatory scrutiny both would probably be construed as your employees. Relief work is key for meaningful introductions to employable Optometrists. For many practices the initial step toward filling their permanent associate position was hiring temporary or relief Optometrists. [ top ]

Our optometric practice accepted a Optometrist's bid for a permanent position but now I can not find the bid or any of the Optometrist's comments on your website.

Login and go to the Bids and Schedule menu. Click on View pending bids or enter the Bid id#, you'll find that the bid is still there. While we follow up with the bidding Optometrist and direct them to contact you, your job is still posted and open to bids from other Optometrists. [ top ]

Can I modify or change or withdraw my bid?

Yes, you may modify or withdraw a pending bid because there has not been as acceptance and it remains unconfirmed. We will notify the optometric practice of your revision. [ top ]

I have established some personal policies for doing relief work. I want to know where to put them in my bid?

Of course it is only common courtesy to discuss these terms and issues in advance. When the bid is created by the Optometrist aside from their available dates and fee, they are asked for their comments that they might have for working at a practice, such as their personal policies or need for accommodations. Enter your provisions in the comments section. On the other hand you may want to make your policies appear with every bid you create. To make your policies part of your permanent profile login and go to the My Account menu. Enter your provisions in the Bona Fides section.

How long do I have to notify ReliefOptometrist if I am working at one of your optometric practices on my own? Exactly what is it I am obligated to send you each month? What if I forget?

When you book additional work dates regardless of the terms of hire you agreed to keep us updated and informed. To do so, login and post a memo to the corresponding bid id #. If easier an email will do. As a courtesy the web site will queue up and email you a reminder usually a month after the last work date we have on file. Based upon your response you'll receive another reminder and so on. As you respond to these web site generated reminders and when you have worked the required # of shifts, or you are no longer working there, the corresponding bid id will code closed and you will not be reminded again. However, if you reschedule at a later date then we expect you to update us again.
In general, we have recurring work setup as a pay-as-you-work program rather than a lump sum payout requirement. In addition if the Optometrist moves on and doesn't work all the required shifts then the success fee is based only on the shifts actually worked. This seems to be more equitable and fairer-minded. [ top ]

I just signed up with your service as a traveling Optometrist. If I bid on a job am I then obligated to accept the job if offered?

FYI: until a optometric practice responds to your bid, you are free bid on other jobs. Once a optometric practice accepts your bid, then agreements are drawn to confirm (or reconfirm) the bid. In the meantime any other pending bids that contain conflicting work dates will be notified that you are no longer available and are withdrawn. [ top ]

If I am an Independent Contractor, am I obligated to have a business license?

The requirements for a business license vary from town to town. Check the web site of the town listed as your business address and see what they require. A business license should be deductible expense for you doing business as a temporary or relief Optometrist. [ top

I just bid on a job. If I get hired, what guaranty do I have that I will get paid?

There are no guarantees. However, we provide written contracts stating the specifics of your agreement. Some of the items included are fees, work dates, when you will be paid, and where payment is to be sent. In addition an invoice is prepared in your name and presented on your behalf to the optometric practice. Consult an attorney if you require more reassurance.

Is it policy that practices may pay a temporary or relief Optometrist by mailing a check as many as 10 days after service is rendered?

Payment of fees should be discussed after a bid is accepted and before the first work date. When you first initiate contact with the optometric practice during the course of that conversation a well-timed' when may I expect payment?' should be all that is required. Most payment issues when they arise are due to the Optometrist's anticipation, during a optometric practice's check writing cycles. Ten days is a bit long, but ok. It should be noted that if you bid an hourly rate usually the owner/check writer is not around during your time there. Leave behind an invoice that includes and itemizes your hours and total amount owed. In ALL instances, provide the optometric practice with a W-9 form indicating your correct address and tax identification number. Consider making additional allowances when a check is coming from an off-site corporate office.

Unfortunately, we just received a bid from a Optometrist who has worked here before and it was not a pleasant experience. This situation has never happened to us before and we don't know how to handle it

Simply reply to the bid with a simple 'no thank you'. That should be enough. Posted jobs are listed anonymously. A bidder does not know the name of a optometric practice until they have bid.

I just realized that I bid on a job where I already work part time. What do I do?

If you withdraw your bid and then work the date based on the fact that you learned of the opening from our website, you should inform us of a job worked off the book (a direct book). Otherwise leave your bid as-is to be followed as usual.

I need an associate Optometrist for my small optometric practice. Do you have any Optometrists in my area?

To rephrase your question can you depend solely upon ReliefOptometrist.com to find an associate? Maybe, but it takes time and is not always easy to find an associate. We are definitely one of the places to begin your search, but depending on the urgency of finding someone, continue with other venues also. To increase the number of candidates who may be willing to work in your area, we strongly recommend that you post a relief job to run concurrently with your permanent one.

I am not getting any bids on my posted job. I can't afford just to close the doors. What else can I do?

What can you say about your job offer-optometric practice-locale that is compelling? Read some of the ads in the back of the professional journals. Which ones stand out? Borrow a few words or phrases. Also, a monetary incentive is very helpful along with an offer of accommodations, travel assistance, etc.