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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??

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Power Politics

by bob_steel In reply to consultant that is family ...

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.

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Who is the we that declined

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.

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Family Friend?

by In reply to consultant that is family ...

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.

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by schoolerj001 In reply to consultant that is family ...

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

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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

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In with the new unproven out with the tried and proven

by rb_snow In reply to Why does this guy want to ...

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

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by vltiii In reply to consultant that is family ...

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.

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This is how it will go down:

by DC_GUY In reply to consultant that is family ...

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.

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Let us know what happens/ has happened

by g_tilghman In reply to consultant that is family ...

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.

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Not just IT

by fedup In reply to consultant that is family ...

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.

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