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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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I'd like to hear both sides of the story

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

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.

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disdain? overpaid? who says?

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.

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disdain? overpaid? who says?

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.

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Conflicts

by rene In reply to consultant that is family ...
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What does Scientology have to do with it?

by KDubya In reply to Conflicts
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Consultant that is a friend

by usaatca2001 In reply to consultant that is family ...

"Has anyone else run into this??"

OH **** 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.

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Policies & Procedures

by KDubya In reply to Consultant that is a frie ...

Policies & Procedures are the best way to cover your proverbial ***. 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.

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Shouldnt be a problem if you state the facts?

by paul.osborne In reply to consultant that is family ...

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.

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state the facts

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

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

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Stand your ground

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

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.

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