General discussion

  • Creator
  • #2276459

    consultant that is family friend


    by rlindstrom ·

    I work for a family run business (2nd generation – enough said). We outsource some programming to a consultant that has become a family friend over the years. I was promoted to IT Mgr. a few years ago and much to my disdain, he was basically untouchable even though we are way overpaying him. Recently, he found out that we are replacing all of his sub-systems with some new BI tools from Cognos. He offered to helo with the conversion and we declined. He then threatened me by saying “We’ll have to see what “….” says this afternoon. I’m at a loss on how to handle this. Has anyone else run into this??

All Comments

  • Author
    • #3295597

      What pull do you have?

      by gralfus ·

      In reply to consultant that is family friend

      If you are part of the family and he is only a family friend, shouldn’t you have at least as much pull? If so, document the issues and present them to those in charge (his costs, his contributions, the harm to the business, the relative cost of other consultants, and your own opinion).

    • #3312728

      Broke the rule… now try to fix it.

      by pr0x1 ·

      In reply to consultant that is family friend

      I have a rule, never go into business with family or friends unless its a vested mutual investment with shared risk. Seems this isn’t the case, but you still have this friend to deal with.

      You could ask him to retool himself, even pay for his training to upgrade himself. Of course given his actions I’d make him sign a document stating that if he takes the paid training, there is no raise for at least 18 months, and if he quites, he has to pay back the cost of the training, including the days he took off for it.

      I’ve run into this before, and you just have to be honest with everyone as to the reasons for the change. Not just the IT friend, but everyone involved. And these need to be seperate conversations. Ultimately, you need to follow executive decisions. Do whats right for the company, but follow chain of command. and document the crap out of everything (CYA).

      Good luck.

    • #3310953

      Show your professionalism

      by th7711 ·

      In reply to consultant that is family friend

      I believe you have everything to support your move. But you have to manage human reaction. At first, you should pull him on your side by offering him training and take part in the conversion unless you try to kick him away by doing this project. Anyway, what you can do now is to present you points to your boss, may be his too. Hopefully, you get support from your boss. You may not achieve what you expected, i.e. kick him out from your sight. But you may gain credit from your boss by considering the benefit from the company.

      • #3293704

        Am I missing something here?

        by markdmac ·

        In reply to Show your professionalism

        This guy is a consultant. He’s not an employee. It is HIS job to stay current. Don’t offer him anything.

        He sees an opportunity to try and maintain some form of control/ownership of the systems since you are replacing his custom written stuff.

        Your best bet it to severe ties with him by doing the implementation yourself. He wants to learn the new system so he can keep coming back. Smart move on his part but don’t let him manipulate you.

    • #3310949

      Solution is itself in your Problem

      by nurpak ·

      In reply to consultant that is family friend

      What I could percieve in your message that you are working in a family run business. I believe in family run businesses decisions on changes, purchases or replacements where money is involved are not totally made by the hired Managers. There must be an Owner, Who agreed,approved or gave you the final decision replacing all of his sub-systems with some new BI tools from Cognos? Go to that Authority person, because that family friend is not going against your decision but against the Authority decision. This is always good to keep your higher-ups informed. It saves one from lot of backfires.

      However, no one is in your position who can completely understand and give a correct solution, Listen to everyone, analyze and make a careful decision.

      Wish you good luck!

    • #3310946

      It’s 90% About the Sizzle = Approach; 10% About the Steak

      by 94mssilver94 ·

      In reply to consultant that is family friend

      This is a great opportunity to broadcast a range of skills
      that are common to those successful in business,
      including but not limited to 1) Selecting difficult
      business options (solving the dilemna of progress v.
      loyalty to an old family friend); 2) Placing principles —
      priority of business growth & revenue production over
      personalities; 3) Navigating company politics,
      previously existing loyalties and alliances; 4)
      Traversing the company culture of the past while 5)
      Exercising leadership into the future.

      What approach set you choose — solve the problem or
      leave well-enough alone — depends on your will to risk
      it all, and success depends on many factors beyond
      your control and view especially since this is a family
      business. A “compassionate” business decision made
      cheerfully and without apology works in a male, alpha
      dominated business culture.

      If I were you, I’d risk it in a healthy, growth-oriented
      business because a focus on the bottom-line is always
      a smart play. To achieve the goal of upgrading the
      programming function, I would adopt the most
      successful methods in the business problem-solving
      and style arsenal of the family member / boss(es) most
      involved with your future and advancement in the job.
      There are myths and tales of such endeavors that travel
      around companies. Listen up at happy hour for
      consistently described tales, and form a plan to adopt
      them to your style and the situation facing you here.

      I’d document like mad, prepare proposals and proceed
      with a large helping of tact and understanding
      accompanied by a no non-sense and no apologies
      approach for adjusting the IT department to the pace
      and demands of a vigorous and rapidly changing
      business environment and client market(s).

      Caveat: There are some business cultures that work
      against themselves and, thereby, oppose or sabotage
      their own success. If you are in such an environment,
      the personalities (and the egos) will reign victorious,
      and the principles of business i.e. growth and advances
      in revenue production will be over-shadowed.

      If your reasonable and rational efforts to do the job you
      are paid to do to the best of your abilties are not
      respected, you will know soon enough, and under
      those circumstances you may be faced with the
      decision of finding another job. It is not
      unconscienable, I believe, when faced with such an
      unhealthy business culture to consider your own best
      self-interest ahead of the company and perhaps leave
      well-enough alone.

      Taking the risk and making the logical changes or
      leaving well-enough alone could lead to the same
      result, you fail and are fired. So, I’d go down swinging
      for something I could be proud of and let the chips fall
      where they may. Backbone, guts and the quest for
      growth always play well in business even when
      sensitiive toes are bruised.

      Reason this out with a mentor you can trust before you
      execute a well-thought out and documented plan. And,
      go for it!

      Good luck! Keep is posted!

    • #3310942

      Follow the procedures

      by italian ·

      In reply to consultant that is family friend

      I also work for a “family” run business. I was employed as an I.T. Manager and I was also a friend of the chairman and so all the other I.T. personnell. I handled the situation by eliminating all the possible obstacles by talking the language they know: MONEY! If the consultant is too expensive then write down all the FACTS and present them to the chairman, managing director or the financial director. Make sure you have all the facts right! Point out also other facts, such the non compliance to ISO standards and other procedures. You are the I.T. Manager, so make sure you write the procedures for your deparment in a way that you have some freedom on hand! If all this fail, another methods is to give less and less work to that consultant, and if he is on a retainer type of package, remove it and put him on a time and material! I hope this will help.

    • #3310938

      The Customer is Always Right

      by jevans4949 ·

      In reply to consultant that is family friend

      In a family business, economics is not always the bottom line.

      Make your case for not using the guy in this situation, both in terms of cost and his technical competence (if that is in question). If the boss wants to go with him, then make it clear it’s against your advice.

      In the end, however, it’s his money you’re spending, so must be his decision.

      If YOU maintained normal courtesy when dealing with the guy up to now, then hopefully you can manage to work with him.

      If all else fails, you can always offer your resignation.

    • #3310937

      Similar Situation

      by david_sorenson ·

      In reply to consultant that is family friend

      In a prior job, I was in charge of overseeing accounting functions, day-to-day operations and centralized IT activity for a family-run business (I was friend of the family).

      It was while at this job that I encountered a similar situation. I submitted receipts for reimbursement of business expenses (it was about 8 receipts totaling $75) and had a check cut for that amount.

      One of the owner’s sons had a car repair bill for about $325 that was reimbursed earlier in the year. Long story short, the boss decided that employee expenses would no longer be reimbursed and I was to repay the money. When I asked him about his sons car expense and reimbursement I was told “that’s different, he’s my son”.

      Seeing what was perceived as a double standard, I chose to dust off my resume, finished a degree program that I was enrolled in and left the company by the end of that calendar year (about 7 months after repaying the expense money).

      Lesson learned: You can’t fight family, more often than not you will end up on the short end of the deal. Do what you need to do for your career, yourself, or your family. It will be worth it in the long run.

      Your situation may be different, but the boss’ friend described sounds like he will trump any move you make, so it’s your decision how to handle it.

    • #3310936

      change job

      by subhashanarayan ·

      In reply to consultant that is family friend

      You better look for other job

    • #3310935

      What kind of a friend?

      by yanipen ·

      In reply to consultant that is family friend

      It depends on what kind of a friend he is.

      You see, on everything you do, it all comes down to the family’s decision. No more, no less. I was in a similar situation a few months ago.

      What I did was to document everything. I have explained to the family what will be the pros and cons. Even the familys decision. You know what? I lost that time. At the start, the favor is with him. Because he is untouchable.

      Until they saw the bill. And felt the effects afterwards. And surprisingly, they compared it NOW to what I have been showing them all along.

      Patience is what you need now. Alertness and awareness can always overcome working hard. Let them have their way first. Then show them what they have been missing afterwards. its kinda, “I told you so” thing. By then, hopefully, they will listen to you.

      I hope this helps.

      • #3310855

        re. What kind of a friend?

        by leoforward ·

        In reply to What kind of a friend?

        Of the all the advice, this is the best one. Your dilemma is based on the assumption that your boss will automatically side with this friend, which might be true, but using this approach puts the onus on your boss.

        If you lose, don’t let it bother you but be patient. Once the boss sees the bills, especially if the boss has something against which to compare, the boss has an opportunity to see this friend as the bloodsucking parasite that he is. Let your boss come to this revelation by simply presenting the facts including acknowledging this consultants powerplay without rubbing your boss’s face in it or appearing to be challenged. Take the Vulcan approach and keep your emotional responses out of it.

        This isn’t so much a threat to your authority as a chance to strengthen your position by attempting to do the right thing for your employer in such a way that it is clear but not in your boss’s face. Bosses often have large egos and larger insecurities.

    • #3310930

      Time to move on!

      by rascal2be ·

      In reply to consultant that is family friend

      It’s obvious that this “Power Struggle” has become an untenable and it’s always nice to have another door open in your situation. However, my advice in any event, is to swallow your pride and enlist this friend?s help. He’ll have to know how to support the infrastructure when you post your vacancy and your employer will appreciate your efforts in a way that may be beneficial to you in the future. That is, be bigger than all of this and bend over backwards to try to accommodate them. Look past this to your long-term career goals and try and turn every negative into a positive. Turn this rival into a friend and an asset.

    • #3310928

      Proper procedure

      by wrlang ·

      In reply to consultant that is family friend

      Your other replies are good.
      You took a deceitful position and everyone knows it, trying to get rid of a person without talking to them. Especially bad when the person is a family friend of the boss. Like it or not, the CEO has the right to make any decision he/she wants, and that includes wasting money on a friend.

      Sit down together with them and iron it out using the financial methods described in other posts. If the company is doing well financially, you probably wont get rid of the friend, but at least everyone will understand you were doing it for the company (if that’s really the case).

      Next time be up front and talk to them both before you make a decision to try and cut the friend. Talk with the CEO first if you want to cut the friend outright, the friend first if you want to retool them into a useful resource.

      Also, understand the scope of your powers when taking a job.

      Good luck.

      • #3310890

        Not deceitful

        by choppit ·

        In reply to Proper procedure

        I’d disagree that this is a deceitful position to take. The family friend is a consultant, and consultants are hired or fired on the basis of current requirements (no requirement = no contract). I’d be far more concerned about a manager who puts his ‘easy life’ ahead of the needs of the business.

      • #3293603

        Does this friend of the boss know of this discussion board?

        by g_tilghman ·

        In reply to Proper procedure

        Some of the replies I am seeing sound as if they are coming from “the friend ofthe boss”.

        Is this guy a subscriber and making multiple posts to try to steer your decision?

        If you are a family member, ur blood will probably run thicker than water. After showing the boss the benifits of the new program and how cost efficient getting rid of the friend would be, he may or may not listen. But, If you want this guy gone, are you willing to sacrifice it all and say “It’s either me or him”? If so, be prepared to find another job. But you just might win.

    • #3310924

      Why are you fighting?

      by rldillonma ·

      In reply to consultant that is family friend

      I understand that the consultant does not meet your standards but I question the reason for your battle.

      What is your “win”? Do you get more money or power or less hassle and rework if this consultant is gone? Can you really get rid of him?

      Are you fighting for something that is real and tangible or do you just like to fight?

      You should only be battling this situation if there is a clear “win” for you AND you know you will win.

      • #3310915

        Why are you fighting?–Integrity

        by pedwards17 ·

        In reply to Why are you fighting?

        I was in a similar situation years ago–I was trying to make business decisions that, in the end, would result in severing the ties to a contractor who had been providing services for years. He made so much money from our company, in fact, that he was able to leave his gov’t job and establish his own consulting company. The steps I was taking were pushing him out. In the end, he got his way and I got another job.

        I had nothing to gain by phasing the contractor out except that it was right for the company. I hate to see waste, even if it’s not really my money. I take a sense of ownership in any job I have, and I suspect that’s the case here.

    • #3310922

      Consultant Friend

      by noortech ·

      In reply to consultant that is family friend

      Many Tears ago, I was in the same situation. Let the consultant talk to the BOss. If you have knowledge of the systems then you have nothing to worry abot. Point out to the Boss Long term Financial gain if it is done Inhouse. In the end, it depends on what the Boss wants, His Company’s benefits or his friend. Don’t be afraid. Tackle it professionally. This friend is using the old school bullying tactics. I talked with my Boss explaining to him the Long Term Benefits and also poited out to him, his friend’s threatening behaviour. My boss accepted my explanation. Best of Luck to You.

      • #3293602

        HEAR HEAR!!!!!

        by g_tilghman ·

        In reply to Consultant Friend

        I agree, let the boss know about the friend’s bully tactics.

    • #3310921

      Dogs and Bones

      by ex-military nut ·

      In reply to consultant that is family friend

      It sounds like a dog rooting for a bone.

      Stick to your guns. You are on payroll; the friend is a contractor. This ‘friend’ has no concept that business is business. Having friends in business is a wonderful resource if not abused. Once the abuse starts, business relations should be severed. If the friendship suffers as a result, the motives behind the friendship should be questioned.

      Bottom line: You are the IT Manager. You were put in that position because you evidently know what you are doing. If the boss overrides (or submarines) your decisions, it may be time to move on. Either way, your boss has an issue to deal with.

      Good luck.

    • #3310918

      Dollars and Sense..

      by itmanager175 ·

      In reply to consultant that is family friend

      Present to your boss the business reasons for not having this consultant on the project.
      It sounds like it would not be cost effective as well as it wouldn’t make sense because of his lack of knowledge in this area.
      slowly keep him off projects and eventually he may just go away.

      You may find that your boss has been trying to find a way to get rid of this leech for a while and you might be the answer.

      • #3310909

        The decision has been made.

        by ex-military nut ·

        In reply to Dollars and Sense..

        If the IT Manager is already in the process of implementing these new items, the choice has already been made. I agree with another post about “old school bully” tactics. There is no room in this business (or ANY business for that matter) for a strong-armed approach. Like I stated in my original posting – the boss has the issue. Either way, you will be vindicated!

        • #3293601

          Ur boss torpedoed your decision?

          by g_tilghman ·

          In reply to The decision has been made.

          If your boss torps ur decision, maybe you might want to think about getting another jobs because your boss doesnt have faith in your abilities and doesn’t respect your position.

          You might want to point out to your boss that if this is they way he sees your position, you would be better off working “out of the family” since his friends come first.

        • #3314598

          I agree, however…

          by ayuknotna ·

          In reply to Ur boss torpedoed your decision?

          I agree, let this consultant catch up with you. Just emphasize to your boss all the benefits your company will be getting in this process. Document and make presentations, if you must, make “gain and lost” chart if necessary to justify your decision/opinion and wait for the judgment day.

          Consider this, you cannot change job every time you encounter this kind of problem — sooner or later you will be in this same situation and you will end up looking for another job and this is not good. Goodluck.

    • #3310900

      Declare the Conflict; Speak to the Common Ground

      by wpennycook ·

      In reply to consultant that is family friend

      I’ve not read many of the other responses, and I suspect there are many good suggestions. My experience is that an honest approach is always the best one in the long one.

      The conflict is that the “family friend” consultant feels like he should have the conversion work and you don’t think he is the best resource. I would declare this and present your case to boss, while placing an emphasis on the characteristics of your case that speak to the boss’s values and the values of the company business (i.e., the “Common Ground”). Best Wishes!

    • #3310897


      by choppit ·

      In reply to consultant that is family friend

      This is an attempt to blackmail you, plain and simple. Do what’s right, not what’s most comfortable. If there is no business case for this SC working with you then your proposal to your boss will need to highlight this.

    • #3310894

      Ask the boss why he hired you.

      by hheightman ·

      In reply to consultant that is family friend

      If this consultant has been in the picture since before you were promoted, ask the boss why he gave you the job instead of the “friend”.

      If he didn’t offer it to the friend, find out why. His reasons become your case for “running the show”.

      If the job was offered but the friend declined, find out why. His reasons become your case for “running the show”.

      You are on the inside and friend is on the outside. Leverage the reasons by making the boss say them out loud.

      • #3310866

        Wrong Answer

        by anarchocapitalist ·

        In reply to Ask the boss why he hired you.

        I don’t know what kind of company you work for, but, in my experience, trying to back the boss into a corner and boldly questioning his judgement will probably cause you more problems than you have now. Don’t go down that road.

        Instead, I would present a cost-benefit analysis on the new project, and use the facts and figures to let your boss figure out (on his own) that you know what you’re doing, and you have the company’s best interest in mind by doing the upgrade. Let your presentation speak for itself.

        As a manager, I don’t want to hear petty squabbles between associates–friends or not. If I’m putting a good deal of money on the line, I want to see a good return on my investment (ROI) and significant overall improvement for the business.

    • #3310885

      I sure wouldn’t quit

      by seanmcpherson ·

      In reply to consultant that is family friend

      You are the IT manager, talk to your boss about it and explain why he isn’t needed. If your boss just insists on using his friend, you have to deal with it. Make him your gopher, after all, you are the manager. Give him something trivial to do while you do the real work.

    • #3310882

      Missed opportunity

      by bughuntermi ·

      In reply to consultant that is family friend

      You have condemned yourself with your own words…
      Using words like ‘disdain’ and ‘way’ make you appear jealous, petty and whiney.
      You state the consultant ‘has become a family friend over the years’. One does not become a friend and sustain the relationship without trust and MUTUAL BENEFIT. Also, since he is a consultant, you have no way of knowing that he doesn’t perform/provide other services to the company (family) outside your realm of knowledge. This may, in part, explain his ‘way overpayment’. It could be considered a clear indicator of his perceived value/worth to the company. You go on to state ‘He offered to help…’ yet you declined. Why? He has intimate knowledge of the old sub-systems and could potentially help in making the transition to the new far less bumpy.
      Bottom line: If you have VERY GOOD reasons to not involve him you should have gone to the boss BEFORE throwing down the gauntlet. This would have possibly given you the ability to preempt his threats with, “ has decided we will be replacing the sub-systems with XYZ and that we should be capable of completing it without your assistance at this time – he must have other plans for you.
      This may sound like the ultimate suck-up, but everybody gets what they want. You get him off the project, the boss is informed at the onset rather than being blindsided and the consultant gets to keep his pride/dignity. You missed a real opportunity to gain this man’s allegiance AND phase him out if it is still your ultimate goal. You will never know what he could have done for you. So, take the lesson, learn it well and, someday, YOU might be the consultant someone is ‘way overpaying’.

      • #3310850

        Watch out for Trouble!

        by gmccague ·

        In reply to Missed opportunity

        I have experienced situations where the boss is a friend of the employee where the employee negatively impacts the productivity of the team. His work may seem quite productive but the subsequent support and management of the code impacted the rest of my team. The boss thought he was getting good stuff because he saw neat things fast.

        The best thing to do is document issues. If the person is truly incompetent it will come out eventually. It did in my case. Take the higher ground. Don’t belittle the contractor and work hard with the individual to see if you can obtain some sort of middle ground for a relationship.

        Never make a move until you have a clear understanding of the parameters of the relationships. Even if that understanding is wrong.

    • #3310880

      Wait and see

      by bhunsinger ·

      In reply to consultant that is family friend

      All you can do is wait and see. A second generation family business that has passed the torch,(however poorly) has these execises in loyalty every once in a while. He may or may not have overplayed his hand. You run the dept. he is a prefered vendor. His imput was not budjeted for this project. ‘You want him in Chief? I’ll need $xxxx.xx more for the project.”
      Remember though, loyalty to people who have stood by you is one of the advantages of working for a family business. You are trying to break his rice bowl, and he is howling. Don’t see it as a battle for vindication, just document.

    • #3310869

      Power Trip

      by wje_jr ·

      In reply to consultant that is family friend

      He is on a power trip acting like an elementary kid. You are at a fork in road. One, you can cave in and sway your hips and limp your wrist. Or you take him aside privatly and tell the brat to grow up this is how it is. And maybe kick his ass. You might lose your job. But if his ideas sub systems are junk. they will bank rupt the company anyway. Go find someplace else to work.
      or request a meeting to sit down with “The Boss and his best friend and put on your presentation.
      YOu might get fired- or you might not.
      There is also chemistry involved- the two might be sleeping together.
      You have to wiegh your pay and options and how nice/bad is that place to work.

      • #3310847

        Preemptive Action

        by saper ·

        In reply to Power Trip

        It appears there was an opportunity for you to have avoided or diffused the situation early. When the “friend” asked about his involvement, you could have told him the project was still being planned and you would get back to him. Then with pros/cons in hand (especially vesting knowlege in permanent staff) present an overview to the owner. Then you could ask about whether he wanted the “freind” in the project with any of you misgivings and his shortcomings.

        You would then have the answer from the owner and know whether you have a battle to fight or not.

    • #3310846

      And your problem is ?

      by ron.riley ·

      In reply to consultant that is family friend

      Without knowing how good this consultant really is it’s hard make a general statement.
      I have been consulting for 19 years to numerous companies and the US Navy. During that time I have worked with some really poor and some very good consultants and managers. I have found consultants to be more of the “Techie” type while MOST managers are charts & graphs types that are constantly trying to justify their own existance.
      By shortening project schedules, cutting the number of people, or refusing to purchase the necessary resources to make the project work.
      If this family friend/consultant has been working for this company for many years. Then the boss must have been impressed with his work. Which is why he still does work for the company. Since the job being converted was originally designed by the consultant, no one would be better qualified to help with the conversion. He has insight about the internal design and coding others might find trouble dealing with during the conversion.
      The fact that you don’t want this person working on the conversion tells me, that either your jealous of this person and the relationship he has with your boss. Or your more interested in proving YOU can get the job done CHEAPER without him, to further your own career. And impress the boss with YOUR accomplishments.
      The reason the consultant draws a bigger hourly fee then YOU is: The company DOESN’T pay his: Vacation, Holidays, Sick leave, Medical Insurance, Life Insurance, Liability Insurance, Accountant needed to fill out Company tax forms, social security (15.x percent, half paid by the EMPLOYER for EMPLOYEES) workmens comp insurance, workmens comp TAX, Federal unemployment Tax, State unemployment Tax. Training materials and expenses. State minamum tax (NJ is $550.00 per year, even if you have no income). Actually he is probably cheaper to hire then you are. So, just WHAT HAVE YOU DONE FOR THE COMPANY LATELY, BESIDES charts & graphics to justify your existance ??? If you can do the job better, then DO IT. But if you fall on your ass, you have only yourself to blame and the boss will probably rehire him and fire you !!!

      • #3315056

        His Problem Is

        by thomasmac ·

        In reply to And your problem is ?

        This person I take it from the short paragraph
        that he wrote and quote “Recently, he found out that we are replacing all of his sub-systems with some new BI tools from Cognos.” He offerd to help and
        I said no ! SOOOOOOOO then he threatened to tell
        the boss ! Seems to me sounds like sour grapes
        from the CONSULTANT not the IT person Promoted
        to IT Manager By owner(boss??) He should document everything and Wait to hear from Boss
        Then Present his case and if the Boss doesn’t
        agree then Do it the owner’s way and document
        how it was done and the cost instead of doing
        it in house Compare the cost with Said consultant
        and if it had been done more with expense then
        Present the facts to the owners and let them
        decide if it was worth it or not!


    • #3310836

      Stand your ground

      by ryanrollings ·

      In reply to consultant that is family friend

      It’s that simple (even though it’s not). Your doing the right thing. The “boss” will be the final decision and you will have to support that but in the end you will be able to stand by your own integrity and character.

    • #3310829

      grow a spine

      by bvanho1 ·

      In reply to consultant that is family friend

      The core issues here are the power play on the part of the consultant, and the posters ‘disdain’ for this consultant. He cries that he is at a loss…

      You need a separate meeting with your boss to express your disdain for this guy. Why? Well, if you can’t make a business case for why he’s not good enough or shouldn’t be around, then your case is essentially about your emotions, and you might as well just change your attitude towards this guy and accept his presence.

      If you think he’s some sort of fraud who hangs on due to connections then state this to the higher-ups. See, the problem here is you don’t really want to risk that, do you? People in these situations invariably are trying to have it both ways. They have ‘principles’ which apply to the other guy, that scummy overpaid consultant, but not to them, “Oh, I can’t go tell the truth to the boss, I can’t risk it.” In other words, the principles are good enough to whine to others about but usually not good enough to go stand up for, risking your job. And therein is your problem. Lots of folks hang onto bad situations that are “secure” and grow old and miserable doing so.

      If you have a legitimate business case and have documented it, go make it. If you don’t like being in an environment that is unhealthy wrt politics, then speak up about it and risk losing it. Otherwise, re-examine what you are doing, or just keep your devil’s bargain, your choice.

      I may sound harsh but I’m not trying tell you you’re a bad guy like some of these other twits, I’m just telling you that the responsibility here lies with you, and you’re going to have to make the difference here and decide what you really value.

    • #3310822

      See what the boss says

      by jonf ·

      In reply to consultant that is family friend

      Just handle it with tact. I have seen this situation in the past. Consultants get offended that they are being replaced by more efficient means. If the Boss has any issues with it then explain the situation and show the cost savings. If the consultant is worth his dirt he wouldn;t of even made it an issue. Most consultants realize that they may be replaced by IT staff or that their custom software will be replaced by a packaged product that provides more ROI.

    • #3310818

      Power Politics

      by bob_steel ·

      In reply to consultant that is family friend

      Stand your ground and be prepared to loose your job for doing so… You probably won’t break your boss’s aliance but you’ll have integrity and dignity intact.

      If you get the sack, trash the joint on the way out and enjoy every moment of it.

    • #3293709

      Who is the we that declined

      by reflecting on history ·

      In reply to consultant that is family friend

      It seems that the “we declined” is undefined. If the we is yourself and the vendor that is one issue. If the we is you and your staff that is a separate problem.
      Vendor “we” first. With the aid of the vendor the discussion focuses more directly on the ability of the “friend” to offer help. Use this help to build a rapport with the boss – it is his business. If he chooses to bypass the vendors position then go with it and have the potential for delays built into the schedule.
      Staff “we”: This is much more of a problem. The focus is on your perception of the person’s ability to contribute with the necessary skills. If you believe that there is trouble ahead with a lack of the friends skill build it into the schedule and share with facts and data that the schedule is longer because of the “getting up to speed” requirement of hiring “the friend”. If the boss chooses to go with “the friend” take a professional attitude and determine what you can do to help. Show the boss that you can work with anybody he/she determines to be part of the workforce.
      However, this sounds that the problem is more about your relationship with this person. IT IS ONLY BUSINESS and as such many battles are fought in making policy.
      Good Luck and God Bless.

    • #3293705

      Family Friend?

      by johnweber ·

      In reply to consultant that is family friend

      From the eagerness of the “family friend” & the fact that this “friend” developed these sub-systems, makes me wonder if MAYBE there may be more in these sub-systems than what is known. And now the “friend” is running scared.

      I could be reading more into this situation, but it is certainly possible.

    • #3293689


      by schoolerj001 ·

      In reply to consultant that is family friend

      If your boss has any business sense at all, he will appreciate and support your decision to save your company money on something you can do in house. Remember, you dont work for the freind of the family, you work for your boss. Your boss promoted you to the position of IT Manager because he valued your skill and ability to perform those duties….So do them. This approach has worked for me on numerous occasions …I cant guarantee they will work for you. That’s going to depend on your working relationship with your boss. Good Luck

      • #3293683

        Why does this guy want to help

        by rmkjr ·

        In reply to STAND YOUR GROUND

        If you’re replacing his custom software with another, chances are that he wants to have a chance to examine it, find it’s flaws & go to the boss and say ‘I can do better than him’. Before you see the boss with him check out the old software & the new – whats the pros & cons? Which is better financially, both now and in the long run. You were put in the position on merit and know what you are doing – does this guy. Anf also, with his threatening attitude, he sounds kind of petty to me. See if you can’t metion that somehow. Even family members usually look down on a person who responds with a threat. But, unfortunaley what it boils down to is – what’s his relationship with the boss.

        Get your resume ready and good Luck.

        Happy Thanksgiving

        • #3293648

          In with the new unproven out with the tried and proven

          by rb_snow ·

          In reply to Why does this guy want to help

          It seems you have a few issues yourself. Before you try to condem the old and proven. carefully examine what your motives are. I have lost out to consultants several times in my life. Both instances the company failed shortly after. I don’t want to imply that I was a pivotal player in the results, but I did offer something that the company did not recognize. Willingness to work for minimal pay overtime until I dropped to correct a problem. At the same time the consultants had extra resources to help the company. (On paper) One company did not want me to close to thier extra business, which cost to much to support at any rate. They wanted a outside person incase I was fired? There are many reasons to have consultants. As a consultant I have cost many more dollars than an employee, but during the periods that I am not needed the savings are great.

          As to a IT person thinking that he is king, I can see the logic of management in trying to limit the scope of employees by using a consultant. I just don’t believe all of the facts are always visible. As to family friend, it may just appear this way. Until he marrys into the family, he is not guaranteed a job, so he will continue to try to retain the customer.

          From these comments, I have tried to show both sides to your complaint. Good Luck

    • #3293658


      by vltiii ·

      In reply to consultant that is family friend

      It seems that there are one or two issues that need to be addressed here:
      – Are you willing to continue working under these conditions? If the answer is yes, that’s the end of it. If the answer is no then you need to make your employer aware of this and be prepared to take specific actions if they decide to let it continue.

      It seems to me this individual is abusing his friendship by using it to get what he wants professionally and your employer should keep the two seperate.

    • #3293627

      This is how it will go down:

      by dc_guy ·

      In reply to consultant that is family friend

      If you prevail, this is what will happen. The family will tell the friend that his work isn’t good enough and let him go. When it is over, the friendship will be destroyed.

      This is how it always works when two people who are friends have an unresolvable problem at work. Believe me, I’ve been there a couple of times.

      So before you start, take stock and try to determine whether the family values the friendship more than whatever they stand to gain by doing things your way. There are an awful lot of morons holding down really good jobs and doing them terribly, because they are somebody’s friend. Americans are very reluctant to cut a friend loose “just because” he’s not a good worker.

      Make sure you know where you stand before you initiate anything.

    • #3293596

      Let us know what happens/ has happened

      by g_tilghman ·

      In reply to consultant that is family friend

      I really want to hear the outcome on this one. Both sides make valid arguements and I have read every one of them.

      Please let us know how this worked.

    • #3293569

      Not just IT

      by fedup ·

      In reply to consultant that is family friend

      I have seen this time and time again. If you are doing what the boss hired you to do, great. Don’t go barging into his office telling him what a loser his consultant is. If this guy is a family friend, documenting might not work. I work with the Gov’t in a non IT job. I am lucky though, my problems retire or get an assignment someplace else. My worst nightmare just left. I tried everything I thought was right letting everyone know this guy didn’t know his job. Nothing mattered to the higher ups, he was the supervisor. He quit learning our job years ago and since no one higher up bothered to try and learn our job, they believed him. Now that he is gone we are picking up the pieces. His name comes up a lot because of what we are trying to fix now, but does any one care? NO. They want things to work now. Their appreciation (or lack of) may only come when you’re gone. Do what you were hired to do and authorized to do. Only get in a fight if it is the last possible option.

    • #3293463

      I’d like to hear both sides of the story

      by rcom ·

      In reply to consultant that is family friend

      I have run into this situation but was the guy your talking about. So I know another side of this issue. The difference is that I stepped aside and let the person hang himself. He no longer works there but I still have a customer and the owner is still a good friend.

      That’s why I prefer to hear both sides. If this person has been there long enough to become a family friend then he must have been doing something right.

      The offer to assist with the conversion may be that whether working there anymore or not, a friend’s best interest is the main concern.

      You said “I was promoted to IT Mgr.” but say “we overpay him, we are replacing…. and we declined…”. Who is this “we”?

      What was the reasoning and cost to implement the new tools. Does it improve processes save time or was it something you finally found to replace what was already working so you could get rid of this guy. Is the new solution tested and proven to work as a replacement. You may end up being responsible for problems associated with not knowing his system. And how will you explain the reasoning not to accept his help.

    • #3293396

      disdain? overpaid? who says?

      by Anonymous ·

      In reply to consultant that is family friend

      Why the disdain? Is the guy incompetent? Who says so, you?

      Overpaid, again who says he is overpaid, you?

      Does the stuff he wrote work. You state that it has worked for several years, are there problems. If no, why replace it? Do you have a business case for replacing it? If you have a business case then you should have brought the guy onside at the beginning by asking his advice in replacing the subsystem. You say he wanted to help, but you turned him down. Why, are you afraid of him?

      It seems to me that YOU are the problem. The tone of your original posting makes me think that your reason for replacing his stuff is personal. You do not seem to recognize that this guy has earned the trust and respect of your employer over many years, have you!
      You say you were promoted to IT manager a few years ago, but this guy still has the boss?s ear and has more clout than you. You have failed to consolidate you position. You have failed to make yourself THE source for IT decisions. You forgot that a very important part of business is not what you know, but who you know.

      YOu need to dust off your resume.

    • #3293395

      disdain? overpaid? who says?

      by Anonymous ·

      In reply to consultant that is family friend

      Why the disdain? Is the guy incompetent? Who says so, you?

      Overpaid, again who says he is overpaid, you?

      Does the stuff he wrote work. You state that it has worked for several years, are there problems. If no, why replace it? Do you have a business case for replacing it? If you have a business case then you should have brought the guy onside at the beginning by asking his advice in replacing the subsystem. You say he wanted to help, but you turned him down. Why, are you afraid of him?

      It seems to me that YOU are the problem. The tone of your original posting makes me think that your reason for replacing his stuff is personal. You do not seem to recognize that this guy has earned the trust and respect of your employer over many years, have you!
      You say you were promoted to IT manager a few years ago, but this guy still has the boss?s ear and has more clout than you. You have failed to consolidate you position. You have failed to make yourself THE source for IT decisions. You forgot that a very important part of business is not what you know, but who you know.

      YOu need to dust off your resume.

    • #3315068


      by rene ·

      In reply to consultant that is family friend

    • #3315029

      Consultant that is a friend

      by usaatca2001 ·

      In reply to consultant that is family friend

      “Has anyone else run into this??”

      OH HELL YES, I have!

      Right after I was hired as the Systems Manager at a clinical research management company, the Exec. VP asked me to look into the billing from their consultant. This consultant was the friend of the company’s controller (the EVP was both of our boss). In a strange twist, this consultant was my 2nd interviewer for this position, but I didn’t know about their relationship at that time.

      It didn’t take long for relations to get strained between me & the controller & consultant. At first I felt the consultant’s billing was OK, but eventually came to believe it was excessive.

      After being there 2 weeks, I told my wife I might have to start looking for another job, & after 3 weeks did start job hunting again.

      Even with the EVP’s assurances that the controller could not fire me, because the EVP had hired me, the controller eventually did fire me after just under 3 months. The spineless EVP was nowhere to be found.

      Get your resume up-to-date & start looking.

      • #3314958

        Policies & Procedures

        by kdubya ·

        In reply to Consultant that is a friend

        Policies & Procedures are the best way to cover your proverbial ass. If you have some in place now, then great, they may be applicable to this situation. If not, then basically you are going to have to clear the air with your boss and hope for the best. I would probably polish up the resume while hashing things out with the family friend and the owner.

        What the consultant did was unprofessional and childish, but it put you in a tight spot.

    • #3315004

      Shouldnt be a problem if you state the facts?

      by paul.osborne ·

      In reply to consultant that is family friend

      Although probably already too late for this – it would be good to get to your boss first.
      Mention ‘in passing’ that this guy has offered to help, but that you dont really see the need for the added cost that would entail, and the experience taken outside of the company that would be more useful kept internal ‘But what do you think Boss!?’
      Any half decent boss, from the facts youve given, only has one answer – its his pocket its affecting after all!
      If your boss does want outside assistance from this consultant at this point…. id start looking elsewhere. either 1) he doesnt have any trust or respect for your skills or descisions, or 2) he doesnt know whats he’s doing and the companys going downhill.
      Solution to both; Walk.

    • #3314841

      state the facts

      by markeschwartz ·

      In reply to consultant that is family friend

      I agree with everyone who says, “Be honest about what this guy knows and doesn’t.” If the boss decides he still wants to get him involved then there is nothing you can do about it….but I think once you show him the non-benefits of doing so, he will also decline his help.

      The bad part is that if the boss decides to involve him, that leaves you in a unique position of no control on this issue and maybe others that come up in the future. At that point you will have to stand your ground and ask him (boss) straight out how you’re supposed to run a department efficiently without the means to do so

    • #3314831

      Stand your ground

      by lahurricane ·

      In reply to consultant that is family friend

      I would stand my ground with this guy. Just because he is a family friend of the boss, doesn’t mean that he has your organization at heart. He is out for himself. Your boss is out for himself. Your boss should back you up on this by evaluating both sides. You should go to your boss in advance first and explain the situation. Remember this is business.

Viewing 42 reply threads