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  • #2258651

    I just need to vent about consultants….

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    by menace65 ·

    I have been placed on a project by my company because (as they say), they wanted the “best of the best” to make this project a success. Nevermind that we had no choice on the matter (which is another vent altogether). This vent has to do with consultants, and their feelings of entitlement when they get to a job site. I am a part of the technical team, and in my previous life, I did technical support for the company. It has been part of my responsibility to support the project members with technical issues…now, it seems, I am also to supply the consultants with mice, keyboards, monitors, power supplies for laptops, etc., etc. It is not uncommon for me to find that computers I set up in a conference room are missing various pieces…so I search to find out where they walked off to, and lo and behold one of the consultants is using the mouse, keyboard, whatever. Is this normal practice for consultants to just TAKE whatever they want? Why the hell don’t they come equipped with their own stuff? The last straw was one consultant who forgot his power supply to his laptop at his home (in another state), he asked me if I had a spare, and I responded no (did think I could just pull one out of my ass?), obviously he didn’t like that answer so he proceeded to start looking around my cubicle for one that I was obviously hiding from him. I *suggested* he order one online to be shipped overnight (would probably cost about $50) and he immediately shot down my suggestion. From now on, this jackass is on his own. At this point, I just keep chanting to myself, “Yes, this project will end, this project will end..!”

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    • #3283552

      Not all consultants…

      by mark ·

      In reply to I just need to vent about consultants….

      IT Chick, I make my living as a “consultant.” Having been on your side of the fence before going this route, I feel your pain. I certainly can’t speak for anyone but myself, but I would never do any of the things you mention. I consider my association with a client to be a partnership, and alienating the staff I’m supposed to work with only makes my job harder. I don’t want those in your position to be pining for the project to end knowing that I’ll be gone.

      • #3283548

        Same here

        by stress junkie ·

        In reply to Not all consultants…

        I worked as a consultant/contract employee for 15 years. I always felt that my job included working with the direct employees. I worked many different jobs/assignments in large companies like Digital Equipment Corporation and small ones, so I’ve met a lot of other consultants. As a group I think that we are pretty much like any other sample set of society.

        ITChick, I don’t think that you need to vent about consultants as much as you do about the generally poor state of people’s attitudes. By that I mean that it is not limited to consultants. A lot of people are rude, self centered, and other unflattering stuff.

        BUT I’M NOT BITTER!!! NO SIR. NOT ME. 🙂

        • #3283521

          Another old DECie, eh?

          by mark ·

          In reply to Same here

          Hey Stress Junkie, I’m an old DECie too. Rolling Meadows, IL. in the early 80s. I worked field service on PDP8s.

          Good to see one of the old gang here!

        • #3283267

          Yes I am old. :-)

          by stress junkie ·

          In reply to Another old DECie, eh?

          Yes I worked at lots of different DEC facilities in Massachusetts and southern New Hampshire for many years. I never got to work in The Mill, though. I did work in the hallowed halls of ZKO many times (VMS Development, Spitbrook Rd., Nashua, NH). 🙂

          DEC employed a huge percentage of the tech talent in this area. When the DEC board of trustees and Bob Palmer deliberately destroyed the company it really messed up the economy around here. Bastards. They should be in prison.

      • #3283547

        I have been both a consultant and a direct

        by tig2 ·

        In reply to Not all consultants…

        I carry my office with me- pens, paper, post-its, as well as general equipment.

        I have been somewhat dismayed to find the client’s employees taking and using MY things- one even said that their company supplied it, what was my problem? Their company didn’t supply it, I did.

        The other side of that is that I don’t think it is acceptable to put a project in danger over a $0.49 post it pad.

        I am not there as a consultant to make the project a living hell. I am there to deliver. I will do whatever I have to in order to accomplish that goal. My next association may depend on it.

        Now I clearly mark my belongings, and carry most of them home in my bag. I purchase pink ribbon marked office supplies- and I am generally the only person that will come within miles of them. I have a spare battery and spare power supply. My keyboard is flexible and can be rolled up and put in my bag at the end of the day.

        I understand that the consultants that you are dealing with are a trial. I have dealt with consultants that truly amazed me so I understand some of what you are going through. But not all of us can be painted with the same brush.

        Edit typo

      • #3199024

        Re: Not all consultants

        by waltjones40 ·

        In reply to Not all consultants…

        I have to agree with levy. I’m a consultant and alienating the staff or management of my customers is a good way to lose business. The consultant you’re dealing with is boorish at best and an idiot. Anyone willing to jepordize a contract over a keyboard and mouse shouldn’t be in the business. I make it a point to carry my tools with me and if I need to borrow something, I get permission first.

      • #3199002

        One bad seed …

        by dave.j-s ·

        In reply to Not all consultants…

        I have spent a great deal of my working career as a consultant and though I have encountered the type of person you describe, I can honestly say that out of all the contracts I have worked and consultants I have met and worked with, this behaviour has been the rare exception to the rule.

        Maybe I have been lucky but I know I would NEVER do something like that. If I am on a client’s site, I am a guest in someone else’s home. I have been 2+ years on site for projects and nothing changes. That kind of behaviour is rude and insulting, though it may not be intentional.

        The handful of people I have met who behave this way have all had some other type of issues ranging from god complexes to poor interpersonal skills even though they may have been stunning when it came to the quality of the work they did.

        My suggestion is to take the people who rub you the wrong way with a grain of salt. I truly believe that you will find they are in the extreme minority and I for one would not want you to get the wrong opinion of us.

      • #3198977

        Thanks for the bad name…

        by mloucel ·

        In reply to Not all consultants…

        I hope you have never be in our side of the fence, I’ve a consultant for almost 20 years, I’ve always been clear with my customers and always take good care of them, but you know the old saying: “If the river sound, it may have rocks”, could it be that your hands are not so clean and you are trying to cover the sun with one finger, maybe your soul is not so clean and you are just trying to blame someone else for your own faults, if that is the case look for help..

        • #3284286

          At what consultants make……

          by hanes_ray ·

          In reply to Thanks for the bad name…

          Get them what they need. Trust me no one in your company is going to want to hear that 2 hours of billable time was wasted due to not being able to get hardware when they know the hardware exsists within the company!

        • #3284283

          Crap!

          by nicknielsen ·

          In reply to At what consultants make……

          It’s bloody stupid to take a job, then show up not prepared to do that job. Everywhere I ever worked, any consultant who lost time from not having all his tools or equipment was charged back for that time.

        • #3284246

          I agree with Crap!

          by miubhi ·

          In reply to Crap!

          I have seen too many consultants come unprepared to our site to work. Management doesn’t want to hear they are unprepared and I have never seen the hours billed back to the consultant.
          I too have refused to provide a piece of equipment to a consultant and will do it again. They are being paid high dollars to consult, so they need to come prepared.

        • #3284211

          Better keep your fingers crossed

          by rhomp20029 ·

          In reply to I agree with Crap!

          All you need at this point is for some virus or bug migrate to your system from this consultant because of a mismatch in the security updates or anti-virus software. Then your refusing to provide a piece of equipment can cost a whole lot more than you should be willing to pay to stand your ground. \

          The point has been made that many if not most of the large companies are very chary of allowing just anyone to hook their own equipment to the systems. There is a reason for that and so in many cases that is why consultants may come unprepared in your eyes. The company SOP to do with equipment handling should be a part of the contract but in most cases is left out. Again it all comes down to communication all the way.

        • #3284051

          True enough

          by tony hopkinson ·

          In reply to Better keep your fingers crossed

          I can count the number of times I was expected to bring equipment with me with my mittens on.

          So if someone assumed I knew I should they would be feeling let down.

          Personally if I was asked to plug my PC inside someone elses sytem, I’d be asking questions. If the issues haven’t been dealt with properly I’d be be putting my expensive and hard earned kit at risk.
          At that point we would be re-negotiating.

        • #3201584

          consultant arrogance

          by oreamnos_americanus ·

          In reply to Better keep your fingers crossed

          We had a team of consultants on an Oracle project from a very large company known by three letters.

          Part of the contract was that we provided computers on our network at their workstations for their use. None of their computer were to be connected to our network.

          From the very first day they all started swapping their network cable back and forth between our machine and their comany issued laptops, our management did nothing. They regularly entered my office store room and set up lab without asking to look for peripherals and just walked off with them if I was not there, these spaces are now all locked to keep these parasites out. If they need something they have to request it through their team lead. BTW after they whined incessantly they all got second data jacks for their laptops despite the contact terms, and were not VLANed off from the rest of the network (also despite our tech team’s recommendation). Of course they didn’t keep there AV program up to date and passed a virus into our network.

          To add insult to injury guess who got to clean the offending laptop that belongs to their company?

        • #3200733

          I agree

          by upuaut ·

          In reply to Better keep your fingers crossed

          I’ve been a ‘consultant’ for 12 years. I’ve worked on projects for very big and very small companies. All provided the equipment. I would not have mind to get my own.. actually I rpefer to do that. But for securtiy of the company’s network, a smart company will provide you with what you need.

          I do not think it is smart for a company to have policies, written or unspoken, to have different treatment for an employee vs a consultant.

        • #3230725

          Been on both sides

          by critch ·

          In reply to Thanks for the bad name…

          Couple of observations (and not trying to PO anyone off):
          – of course only the “I am a good guys are responding – the a$$holes never realize anything like this could/would apply to them ( and that applies to both sides of the fence)
          – a lot of consultant COMPANIES I have “worked with” do not work for overall project – they work for the CEO/CFO because after all they pay the check
          – A lot of IT shops DO resent “outsiders” being forced in; it is a fact of life, deal with it.
          – My opinion is same as stress junkie – Rude people who see themselves as unable to take the time time/effort not be rude, because, after all, they are the most important going on right now. Applies to Consultants, Sales, Customer Service, CEOs, help desk techs, yada, yada, yada

          Ah, I’m just getting old – (hey- you kids get out of my yard!)

        • #3230546

          You must be kidding

          by r.a.m. ·

          In reply to Thanks for the bad name…

          How can you justify being unprepared when going to a customers site? That would be totally unacceptable at my job and the contractor/consultant would be replaced immediately! Its called the “PROFESIONAL SIDE OF THE FENCE”. You should try it sometime… And what do MY dirty hands have to do with an unprofessional/unprepared contractor?

    • #3283543

      We are there….

      by pgm554 ·

      In reply to I just need to vent about consultants….

      because companies are too cheap to do it inhouse and actually hire somebody full time with bennies and such.

      We are there because they are unwilling or unable to train you ,their IT staff.

      Don’t blame us because your CIO or CEO is trying to cut corners.

      We are hired guns that if we don’t pass muster, are out on our ears with NO notice.

      I have, as a consultant ,had to supervise 3rd parties.

      If I felt that I had to run to McDonalds to get these guys lunch or dinner to do the job,I did it.

      It is your job to facilitate how well they do their jobs.

      You are a professional,so act like it.

      • #3283528

        You are obviously one of those he’s dealing with

        by nicknielsen ·

        In reply to We are there….

        There’s no way to fake such arrogance.

        Now, speaking for the average IT person on the front lines, and maybe even a project manager or two:

        You are very often here simply because you provide a capability we don’t have in house and don’t need on a permanent basis.

        Before you assume we’re clueless, chat with us a while; ask questions; observe for a day or two, if time permits. You may find that you are here not because the capability is not there, but because management will only believe the truth if it costs them $50 or more per hour.

        If you show up without all the pieces to your laptop, don’t blame us when we can’t support you. It’s not our fault you’re not prepared.

        We had no say in your employment here or even the terms of your employment here. Don’t take it out on us if you don’t like your contract.

        You get what you give; if you treat us like crap, we’ll give it right back to you…but you won’t be able to prove a thing.

        If you walk through the door and pull a God complex on us, the only thing we’re likely to facilitate is your rapid exit.

        You are a professional, so act like it.

        • #3199038

          Works two ways

          by rhomp20029 ·

          In reply to You are obviously one of those he’s dealing with

          I was a consultant for over 20 years. My experience was on mainframes, not PC’s. What I usually found, and what friends of mine have also found, is that the company brings us in for whatever reason. We walk in and are supposed to produce immediately. They have not assigned a desk to us. They have not set up a way for us to sign onto their system. They have not gotten us a password. They have no idea of what they really want and tell us that they want such and such a thing done. They have no documentation for their current system. In many cases I had to go to the computer room and get the job streams from the operators even to find out how the jobs were run. They have not let the users know that we were even coming. They have not set up a phone we can use or a list of who to contact in house. They have not told the other staff we were coming. I have even been brought in at times to supervise the guy who was currently doing the job without their letting him know I was being brought in.

          I may be a professional but I am not a total superman. I am also not there to be the answer man for all the current staff’s questions. If I have the time I may help solve a problem but that is not what I am there for. I try to get along with the current staff but have often found that the current staff acts as if we are taking the bread out of their mouths when we are brought in. Don’t blame us because your management wanted someone else to do something.

        • #3284287

          My response was to the arrogant SOB

          by nicknielsen ·

          In reply to Works two ways

          But you are correct. It is incumbent on the company to pave the way for your arrival. And it is almost always never done properly, mainly, I think, because there is no central location in the company that is responsible for such actions. The manager is whatever shop you walk into already has too much going; that’s why you were hired.

          I have seen two responses to this situation. In the first, the consultant notes that we are obviously not ready for him to start work, advises the contract monitor of such, provides a list of support requirements not yet met, and leaves, returning the next day. In the second, the “natural superiority” of the consultant comes to the fore, orders are snapped left and right, sarcasm and arrogance raise their ugly little heads, professional and personal feelings are bruised, and the consultant loses the cooperation of the entire shop during his first hour on site. From the tone of your post, I expect you would fall in the first group. The post I responded to was obviously made by a member of the second group.

          As I said, if you are willing to work with me, I will work with you. Show me a God complex and the only thing I will be in a hurry to show you is the door.

          Edit: OK, who put the Enter key so close to the Shift key?

        • #3284221

          Communication is paramount

          by rhomp20029 ·

          In reply to My response was to the arrogant SOB

          I agree with your major point. I would stay but I would also try to find who to talk to to get things done, where to find whatever documentation was available, wne who I would need to meet with to get a handle on what the real job was that needed to be done.

          What I have found, as I noted before, there is a huge lack of communication in the business world today. There is also a huge problem IMNSHO with people not realizing that the staff is all working for the same company and to reach the same goals. All too often you find the “not my job” mentality and as a result everyone is working at cross purposes. As an example my last job was managing the final part of the processing. When I got a problem that problem was always caused by a prior system letting erroneous data through. I tried to pitch in to help zero in on where the problem was and what needed to be done and where to solve the problem. Zeroing in was a special talent of mine from back when I taught and you had to be ready to follow the logic of all kinds of people. Where I tended to lose it (internally) was when you found the problem, realized that it was a problem all through the process and then hit a brick wall with theperson who was responsible for the part with the problem not wanting to fix it. I was told on several occasions by other managers that I could handle it at my end.

          Long way of saying that walking into the middle of a turn contest, especially as a consultant who was not being prepared for, is the pits. You have to be very light on your feet to get around that one just as managers have to be that way with the other managers.

          One more little quickie. I was an employee at a major hospital here in NYC and my boss was an ex-pro football player. The hospital had brought in a consultant to do some work and his desk was between my boss and me. The b*stard had a habit of whistling softly and tunelessly while he worked. We asked him nicely 3 or 4 times not to do that. He apologized and then a day or so later back came the whistling. My boss finally saw him in the hallway and told him bluntly that if he didn’t stop the whistling he would hit him so hard that he would not be able to purse his lips to whistle again. End of problem. Point of story is that when you are a guest worker you need to be especially considerate of the staff. The one you are talking about and the one in the original posting obviously never learned that lesson.

        • #3284147

          Been there, too

          by nicknielsen ·

          In reply to Communication is paramount

          The peeing contests are a major part of any political machine, I mean, large business. The problem is, senior management often encourages them because it keeps the mid-level managers occupied on something other than the VPs’ jobs.

          A friend of mine was once encouraged to write a “completely honest” report, so he did. The problem was, as you pointed out, the person responsible essentially saying “Not my problem.” In this case, the problem was costing the company about $15k/per day. The report was written and submitted; the CEO’s response was “Fix it. The money we save goes into management bonuses.” The problem was actually fixed. 😀 Strangely enough, my friend was never hired in that industry again…

          That is a unique way of dealing with an irritant. I like it.

        • #3230486

          What’s a Shift Key? And don’t call me num_lock

          by falconeer ·

          In reply to My response was to the arrogant SOB

          Ha, that’s really funny. After some 20+ years of both sides of the fence I had a fellow who called me Num-Lock.
          It was because I refused to use the new-fangled addition of the ‘numbers’ pad. A habit also acquired because I love to play games…
          Anyways, M2Cents

        • #3284064

          But don’t blame the victim either…

          by daveo2000 ·

          In reply to Works two ways

          You make some valid points. You want to be treated well by the folks you have to work with. That is reasonable as long as the position you are put in is a reasonable position.

          When you were asked to supervise somebody, did you ask the manager if the supervisee knew? If the manager said “Yes” did you then verify with the employee that they knew? If the manager said “No” did you let the employee know that you were there on the manager’s behest?

          It sounds like a simple enough question and may not sound necessary. But if you were the person that was now being supervised, what would you think? I have seen many occasions when a new manager was hired in [i]above[/i] another manager and the only reason was that the management didn’t have the guts (or legal reason) to actually fire the first manager so they wanted them to get disgruntled at having a new manager put in above them to do their old job and, therefore, quit.

          It sounds to me like you may have learned to deal with being put in a rotten position. It is important to know that the employees are mad at the position that you are filling and not you personally. And, the employees probably have a right to be mad at the position that you are filling. That’s why “you guys” get paid the big bucks. 🙂

        • #3199000

          Thank you Nick

          by danlm ·

          In reply to You are obviously one of those he’s dealing with

          I have had the pleasure of working with consultants that were very professional. Sometimes the black hole of corporate didn’t have the user id/passwords set up as soon as was needed. But, these individuals understood that. They always acted professional, and very rarely have I had the displeasure of working with someone like pgm554.
          Bet he went to the same school as what’s his face did that was replaced with a shell script because of his arrogance.

          Dan

      • #3283464

        Consult is a compound word

        by roger99a ·

        In reply to We are there….

        Consult is a compound word from the words “con” and “insult”. (a Dogbert quote)
        Hired guns are more often refered to as Mercenaries.

        I remember years ago when I worked for a computer store. Were weren’t consultants, we were techs. We didn’t consult, we provided service.

        • #3283425

          I don’t call

          by tig2 ·

          In reply to Consult is a compound word

          They call me.

          Most consultants are brought in precisely why Nick said- the skill set is more defined to a specific arena that is not required on a day to day basis.

          Most of us are of the mind set that says, “provide service”. More importantly, we try to be team builders as our teams are comprised of direct employees, other consultants, and 3rd party vendors.

          We are pretty accustomed to being treated like crap by the directs. We strive to overcome that.

          There will always be those that think their clients are there to serve them. They would be wrong. But those folks would act the same way if they were direct employees.

          Let’s stop with the global thinking here. It simply isn’t accurate.

        • #3283058

          What is a Consultant?

          by roger99a ·

          In reply to I don’t call

          “a person who gives professional or expert advice” according to Dictionary.com

          If you’re actually going to do some work, well that’s different. Maybe it should be called something different, too. I’ve never personally had an issue with either consultants or contractors except they tend to cost a lot.

        • #3283057

          From a Yankee farm boy

          by nicknielsen ·

          In reply to What is a Consultant?

          My uncle, a veterinarian used to defined a consultant as a gelding in a field of stallions. When I asked why, he replied “He can’t actually do the work, but he sure can talk about it!”
          :^0

      • #3283195

        In addition

        by jdmercha ·

        In reply to We are there….

        If I hire a consultant I don’t want his personal machine connecting to my network. God know what kind of spyware or viruses may get passed on. Not to mention trying to figure out every software conflict betwenn his/her system and my network.

        If I hire a contractor I’ll provide the computer hardware and software he needs to do the project. Although I recognize that sometime they do have to use their own equipment.

        Not to mention the fact that I hire a contractor to do short term work that we don’t have in house resources to do. So that contractor probably costs me more than a regular employee. So I want to make sure that contractor has everything he/she needs to do the job and does not waste any time.

        • #3199089

          Contractor vs. Consultant

          by daveo2000 ·

          In reply to In addition

          There is an increasing tendency to confuse the words “Consultant” and “Contractor”. In fact, this confusion is sometimes used to cheat a little on which budget gets used to pay for the work and how many headcount a manager uses up.

          In general, a “Contractor” is better referred to as a “contract employee” and a “Consultant” might be called a “short term specialist”.

          The mindset of these two is often very different (as would make sense from the intended reference of the title). The “contract employee” wants to stay on the job as long has s/he can or until they feel like leaving (2 years?). The “short term specialist” often wants to get in, impart their special knowledge and get on to the next job/company.

          The “contractor” usually gets paid to be there and perform an ongoing task, the “consultant” gets paid to change things and get out.

          “contractors” usually (or, at least, “should”) get treated (socially) as regular employees with the exception that you normally shouldn’t expect them to be around in 3 years.

          “consultants” often stay to themselves, nose to the grindstone (and other worn out phrases) and don’t make friends with “the locals” unless they really need to. “Friends” can be distracting.

          The stereotypes emerge with the really visable folks from each category. We all hear stories about the other 2 groups (employees / contractors / consultants) no matter which group we are in.

        • #3284036

          Friends?

          by mark ·

          In reply to Contractor vs. Consultant

          “”consultants” often stay to themselves, nose to the grindstone (and other worn out phrases) and don’t make friends with “the locals” unless they really need to. “Friends” can be distracting.”

          I strongly disagree. Acting like you’re “too good” to be friendly with the “locals” only serves to widen the gap between yourself and the staff, and makes them less likely to cooperate with you. I always try to be friendly and participate in as many of the social things that I can, it makes me part of the “staff” and not to appear to be some aloof “hired gun” who’s only interested in the money. Besides, one of those “locals” may end up in management or at another company someday, and I want them to have a positive memory of me.

        • #3199031

          Actually the cost may be different

          by rhomp20029 ·

          In reply to In addition

          In many cases the contractor costs you less than a regular employee. When you consider training time, benefits costs, the fact that the regular employee is still there when the current problem is solved whether you need him or not, the skill set the contractor should bring to the job, and that the contractor should be working harder, the contractor may be cheaper. There are contracting companies who really gouge the clients and I have worked for a couple of them but my last and best contracting company did a flat charge of my rate plus 20% and stayed in contact with the clients and with me to ensure that both were satisfied. He had good contacts in the business area and kept me working without a break for over 10 years. I was never out of a job and I was always given good jobs with good clients and it was a real pleasure.

          The consultant that the original post was about should have been taken out and shot. Those of us who offer good work at reaonable rates and come in to do our job and go on to the next contract are in my experience the majority. The hot shots are a waste of air.

        • #3198912

          Contractors do cost less

          by tony hopkinson ·

          In reply to Actually the cost may be different

          at least in the short term.
          If you get brought in as an expert, or a fireman or even to address a temporary resource deficiency, you are nearly always going to be cheaper than a permanent employee.

          After all it was a temporary shortage, a one off problem or not a skill you need permanently on site.

          It’s when you find a colleague has been in a place 15 years on a rolling three month contract, your eyebrows sort of lift a bit.

        • #3284303

          Funny you should mention rolling 3 month contract

          by rhomp20029 ·

          In reply to Contractors do cost less

          I had one of those for 10 years. I was there so long that the people who cut my check thought I was really an employee. Problem is you get kind of insulated from the real world when you get those jobs. You have to really keep your skill set up or you will be left behind and have problems getting your next job.

        • #3201620

          I left after eighteen months

          by tony hopkinson ·

          In reply to Funny you should mention rolling 3 month contract

          because I could see it happening.
          15 years he’s still doing Fortran 78. He was picking up VB6 as an update to his skillset in 2005 !

        • #3201542

          15 years on contract

          by too old for it ·

          In reply to Contractors do cost less

          We found one like that during a recent re-org. Fifteen years, month-to-month contract. Sheesh.

        • #3201462

          Month to month

          by rhomp20029 ·

          In reply to 15 years on contract

          Mine was not quite month to month. It was every 3 months and they signed it two days before the contract was up each time. What made it worse from my point of view was that for the whole time I was there until the last 3 month contract they never assigned anyone to learn what I was doing. I could have put them out of business and they would never have known what hit them.

          The bad thing is that the contract was not in my home area so when it was up and that area had a bad business downturn I had to go back to my home base and get re-acquainted with all my sources as if I were a newbie. Longest I was ever out of work in over 20 years as a consultant – 3 weeks.

      • #3283097

        We should be too!

        by jonathan h ·

        In reply to We are there….

        As a consultant of sorts I would not dream of subjecting a client to that type of behavior. In a professional environment the professionalism should go both ways. We put our best foot forward by arriving with power supplies for laptops, appropriate hardware, and maybe even our own cables.

      • #3199087

        Sounds like you are where you belong.

        by daveo2000 ·

        In reply to We are there….

        There are different types of consultants. Some have tact, poise, you know… human skills. You send them to the really good companies that pay well and respect people. They usually act like complete professionals.

        Others are sociopaths, couldn’t give anyone the time of day in a polite way, you know… jerks. They get sent to the companies that are to cheap to do it in-house and are unwilling to train their IT staff. They tend to tell other people to act like professionals. They usually act like complete sphincters.

      • #3201284

        Oh Really??

        by lorenfoster ·

        In reply to We are there….

        You seem to have a very high opinion of yourself. Must be why we never asked you to assist us. If you are ‘THE’ hired gun, then better get in early, with your own stuff and put your head down and produce. Otherwise, leave.

    • #3283477

      I was a consultant for six years, and I’ve got

      by tony hopkinson ·

      In reply to I just need to vent about consultants….

      to say.
      Mainly correct.

      Course I was in your position before I went consulting. A scenario that should be a qualification for doing the job.

      Anyone who treats a colleague like an arse, has a colleague who has a colleague who’s an arse.

      • #3230715

        Don’t Think So…

        by now left tr ·

        In reply to I was a consultant for six years, and I’ve got

        “A scenario that should be a qualification for doing the job”

        What goes around does not always have to come around. This attitude stinks.

        • #3200853

          I think what he meant

          by nicknielsen ·

          In reply to Don’t Think So…

          was that you should not be allowed to consult until you have worked with a consultant as a member of an IT shop. Of course, the consultants who need this the most are those least likely to learn from it.

          Not all consultants are a$$holes; not all IT managers are the good guys. But if you are an a$$hole as a consultant, the word will go around and eventually work won’t come around. This is life.

    • #3283428

      Thanks!

      by menace65 ·

      In reply to I just need to vent about consultants….

      It was good to vent, and good to hear I was not alone in my ranting. Of course I realize that not all consultants are like this, I happen to have a very good working relationship with the majority of them, but if you think I will be a welcome mat for someone who thinks I’m here to serve them, it’s not going to happen.

      There needs to be a certain level of professionalism and responsibility on the part of the consultant, and it should not be expected of the client to supply them with certain items (and I’m not talking stationery supplies!)

      There were a few consultants who did not have their own company-provided hardware (they kept telling me their laptops were broken and would give me a song and dance about what a pain it was to get them repaired) so we had to supply them with desktop computers (temporarily). We purchased only a certain amount of computers for this project with the understanding the consultants would supply their own equipment. New people joined the project (from my company), and I had to take these desktops (after repeatedly asking the consultants to get their equipment repaired or replaced). This finally forced them to do something about their own laptops!

      I think I have actually been too nice, from now on, I won’t be so accommodating.

      Take it easy!

      • #3283410

        Same problems, but with in-house employees

        by dmambo ·

        In reply to Thanks!

        We’re a subsidiary of a global co. and get visitors from overseas frequently. I will often get calls at home at 5:00 or 6:00 AM Mondays about setting up PC’s in conference rooms, or parts that laptop user have forgotten. Nobody knows on Friday that these folks are due to arrive Sunday afternoon???

        The worst part of it is that I’m always worried that they’re here to get info on our production floor so they can take our product lines overseas. But that’s a whole different issue.

      • #3283402

        Laptops.That’s a strange one actually.

        by tony hopkinson ·

        In reply to Thanks!

        All the places I worked as a consultant, if I’d have plugged my portable in they’d have gone ballistic.

        • #3283389

          We have…

          by menace65 ·

          In reply to Laptops.That’s a strange one actually.

          the consultants use a DSL line, and they log into our environment through a secure website. We never let consultants with their own hardware connect directly to our domain. 🙂

        • #3283380

          Good way to go!

          by nicknielsen ·

          In reply to We have…

          I’m full-time contracted and, while allowed to connect my laptop to the store network, prefer not to. Since I don’t have the ability to log through the firewall from outside, I keep files I will need on the store network on a thumbdrive or a USB HDD and use those as necessary. All executables are downloaded from a maufacturer’s web site or ftp server and signatures/checksums are verified.

          It eliminates the possibility that something I got on my laptop will infect the store network…and vice versa.

        • #3283249

          I should hope not.

          by tony hopkinson ·

          In reply to We have…

          I wouldn’t have let me connect direct either.
          LOL

          One bright spark did say I could after they’d sanitised my machine. I er passed on that opportunity.

        • #3283015

          It really depends on the Project

          by hal 9000 ·

          In reply to We have…

          About the only time that I’ve ever used my NB on a job is to setup Routers and the like before they are connected into the Internal Network.

          Generally speaking I use the supplied hardware but this depends on the project. If I’m installing a new network I tend to use my NB to setup any components but it’s defiantly a [b]No Go[/b] area when the system is up and running for any form of connection from my hardware into the network. I always use their hardware no matter what as if something goes wrong it can only be something that was on their hardware that has caused the problem. I’ve had my own hardware infected way too many times to ever want to do this again.

          But if you are allowing these Outside people to use their own Hardware and they are out of state people involved I would have suggested that no I don’t have a Power Supply for your LT but I can arrange to have it freighted in Overnight so you can be working tomorrow.

          It doesn’t happen often but occasionally when I get an [b]Emergency Call[/b] I rush out the door and fail to pickup something that is necessary and once I forgot the Mains Adaptor and as the job was lasting over a week I got the adaptor freighted up to me. Naturally I was only told that I would be required there for a few hours to fix a problem that had arisen so at the time I didn’t think much about it till I found out what I was getting wrapped up in.

          What you are seeing here I think really looks like what you can expect from any group of people some will be rude and some will be nice and helpful. When I was managing a IT Department I found that the more that I helped the Outside People that where from time to time brought in the better the results that I got from them but that only involved in helping them make it easier to do their job not actually doing their job for them I was mainly there to interface between them and our systems so that they could ask how to do something like ordering a part or something similar. If necessary I would arrange alternative Hotels and the like but this all depended on the situation generally speaking when someone wanted to move closer to the office we encouraged it and I did all the Paper work. But when I go out to a job I expect to be treated as a [b][i]Professional by another Professional[/b][/i] and it really gets under my skin when I’m hit with the [b]New Guy from Outside CRAP![/b]

          I’ll always remember being called in as a [b]Test Driver[/b] for a racing team who where comprised of mechanics who worked on Production Cars who had been gathered together by the company involved as Race Mechanics as the company was building a Race Team so they got the best of the best to do the spanner work and when the car was built I was called in to test drive it. I did one slow lap and pulled back into the pits and said [i]I think the tires are too soft[/i] to which the head mechanic took offence so I did one medium lap and then on the next lap I put my foot down and walked the outside tires off the rims and the car swerved off the track and ate Armco for about 300 yards. When I had got out the Head Mechanic had just about reached where the car was and I just grabbed the Pressure Gauge out of his top pocket and took a tire pressure reading from the one remaining inflated tire which was 35 PSI which was great for a Production Car tire but way too low for the race tires that where on the car. These people didn’t want any help and actually took offence when I offered any. So instead of just altering the tire pressure which could have been done in a few seconds they had to rebuild the car so I could test it again so what should have been several seconds work took them nearly a week to fix and countless $ to put right as well. The next time that I drove that car they listened to everything that I said. 🙂

          For that incident I got paid regardless of the time spent in the workshop so I didn’t mind teaching then a lesson but this is something that you don’t want to reach as it will only adversely impact on your own reputation so if you can make the project run smoothly I would try but at the same time you don’t need to be a [b]Door Mat[/b] for every whine. But when something goes wrong you should always be in a position of having a possible solution available. You don’t want to [b]Crash & Burn[/b] the entire Project because of some simple little thing that could have been easily fixed before it caused major problems.

          Many years ago at one place that I went to they didn’t have any Mains Power Available so they where using Generators during the night to recharge LT Batteries and Solar Chargers during the day to do the same thing. There are always some things that can not be expected and then there is normal [b]Wear & Tear[/b] that needs to be allowed for.

          At one place they crushed my NB with a 40 ton excavator while trying to run some diagnostics on it and I was effectively unable to work for the 3 days that it took to replace my NB and get it reloaded with all of my software that I used. Of course it would have been much better if they had of asked could they use my NB instead of just taking it to use themselves. That one was a complete new network install and my NB was the only one there so they thought that as I brought it with me they had every right to use it as they saw fit. Lucky for them it happened on a Friday afternoon and I could order in a replacement that arrived the following Monday so effectively they only lost a day but then they tried to do the same thing again with the replacement NB. It didn’t impress me one little bit but at least the second time they asked to use the NB and even though they didn’t see any reason to pay for the destroyed one they thought it was part of their right as I was working for them at the time so they not only owned me but all my equipment.

          Col
          [i]Edited for a Typo[/i]

        • #3284058

          40 ton excavator????

          by kiltie ·

          In reply to It really depends on the Project

          Is that a metaphorical expression Col? Or a literal one?

          In the latter case, I am struggling, in vain, to imagine a situation where heavy duty earth moving equipment is used in a tech environment….. lol

          Regardless, they had an obligation to pay for the replacement of your equipment, as it appears to have been totally their fault.

          So did they replace it?
          Or did they just grumble about having to?

          They acted like a bunch of kids, seeing a new “toy” and wanting to play with it.

          I wouldn’t want to work for them again.

      • #3199033

        I think you need to find another job…

        by itinatl ·

        In reply to Thanks!

        …as you obviously don’t want to do the one you have. You are employed by a company to work on this project and to help these ‘consultants’, and whether or not they are a pain in the ass is totally irrelevant – you just need to help them, get them what they want, and smile when you do it. If you can’t do this then I don’t see why your company keeps you around. If you were part of my organization and voiced the diatribe/rant you have just gone off on, they would fire you.
        We can’t all be perfect and completely prepared like you must be all of the time. Does it feel good to have your nose in the air and be above everyone else? Like I said, I think you need to find another job – perhaps you could be a dog groomer for spoiled rich dogs in Beverly Hills, where you can deal with the cream of the crop while you clean up their crap.

        • #3198973

          This guy has GOT to be a troll…

          by trilln451 ·

          In reply to I think you need to find another job…

          Or the perfect example.

        • #3284107

          Don’t look for work here, IT

          by mark ·

          In reply to I think you need to find another job…

          IT in Atl, you appear to be exactly the kind of “consultant” ITChick is complaining about. Do us both a favor and don’t send me your resume.

        • #3283975

          So tired…

          by itinatl ·

          In reply to Don’t look for work here, IT

          …of whiny, bitchy IT people…
          If you can’t take the heat, get out of the IT kitchen.
          This job is all about making sure the customer gets what they want, with great service and in an appropriate time frame…
          …from the posts on this thread no wonder IT people get a bad name – as just about everyone is complaining about the work they have to do.
          If it’s so much stress and angst for you, go work at McD’s slinging burgers.
          Oh, and Levy, don’t worry, I own the company. Let me know when you hit your glass ceiling in your own position, and I will be sure to turn you down for a job when you want to move.

        • #3201602

          Why would he want to work for you ?

          by tony hopkinson ·

          In reply to So tired…

          I wouldn’t. This post alone , would put you on the not worth the sweat off my brow category.

          If you are good at what you do, you can pick and choose employers, so what are you offering?

          Respect is out of the window already. If you are justifying the contractors the original poster mentioned, so are professionalism and honesty.

          Oh don’t try the whiny crap on me, I consulted for a long time, I’m still an MD and I guarantee I’ve worked in far hotter places than you.

        • #3201380

          Work for you? HA!

          by mark ·

          In reply to So tired…

          I can’t even begin to fathom why I would even consider for a microsecond working for you. You see, I also “own the company.” Two, in fact. One is a successfull computer equipment reseller & consultancy, the other is a facilities-based ISP providing Internet connectivity, web hosting, and and E-mail services. I decide where that “glass ceiling” is, bucko, and I’ll bet it’s considerably higher than yours.

        • #3230644

          head in butt syndrome

          by shraven ·

          In reply to So tired…

          Hey buddy, when a company pays a consultant to come in and do something, guess who the “customer” is? The one paying! Novel concept, but one you obviously can’t grasp.
          Considering the exorbitant charges consultants levy, fairness would be charging them $100 for a keyboard and 2.5 times cost, plus handling and shipping for ordering a power supply. And yes, they should arrive at the customer’s site equiped to do the job.

        • #3230501

          Couldn’t Agree More

          by mhbowman ·

          In reply to head in butt syndrome

          IT’s convinced that he’s the hero who’s the answer to everyone’s prayers and should get whatever he wants.

          The reality is you’ve hired to do a specific task. I’ve seen great consultants who are experts and very appreciated for the work that they do, and solutions the come up with. The other two-thirds are the ones mentioned by ITChick.

          In addition to what she’s described I’ve personally walked in while they were on the phone with another consultant working to solve someone else’s problem on my company’s dime.

          With your attitude you wouldn’t last 5 minutes before you’d be sent packing regardless of your supposed skill set.

          MB

        • #3201019

          “Exhorbitant” charges?

          by mark ·

          In reply to head in butt syndrome

          It’s easy for someone with a full-time job to think that my hourly rate of $85.00 to $125.00 (depending on the project & duration) is “exhorbitant,” but you have to remember that out of that not only do I need to make a living, but I also have to pay both my and the employer’s portion of federal and state withholding, 100% of my health care insurance, 100% of my disability insurance, and 100% of my retirement. I also don’t get paid sick leave, vacation time, or a pension. In addition to all that, I’m rarely able to bill for a full 40 hour week, because I have to spend time marketing to keep the pipe full.

          Many employers calculate that employer-paid benefits (such as health care, vacation & sick time, pension, etc.) adds more than 25% to what it costs the company for your employment over your base salary. You don’t see all of those benefits on your check, but your employer has to pay them, and so do I.

          That said, the reason I’m self employed is not because it’s more lucrative, which it certainly isn’t, but because I never disagree with the boss, and every day is different.

        • #3282899

          Dear Levy,

          by itinatl ·

          In reply to “Exhorbitant” charges?

          Sorry it took me a while to gt back to you, but I did a little research and found out a few things…
          You say you own (quote) ‘two successful companies’ (unquote).
          Apparently the truth is that you work in Level 1 Support for AOL and earn about 60 cents a day plus bread and water.
          Why you would lie to the members of TechRepublic I am not sure, but I doubt that those members would believe that you owned a pair of socks without holes in them, let alone that you own ‘two successful companies’.

    • #3283049

      Isn’t it a matter of what’s in the contract?

      by marchred ·

      In reply to I just need to vent about consultants….

      My contracts have always stipulated the terms of my engagement – i.e. whether or not the agency is required to supply equipment, etc. generally if I am working in-house the agency will require me to use their systems – including e-mail, whereas if I am working off-site, then I provide my own resources. As with any project, it’s a matter of defining what’s “in scope” and what’s “out of scope”

      I do find occasionally that the staff may not be aware of all of the terms of my engagement and I have to explain to them why I am making a particular request. I always approach an issue from the stance that I am the “outsider” and therefore I have to comply with the agency’s way of doing things.

      I think the attitude(s) that you are experiencing, ITChick65, is more to do with the person than the mode of their engagement.

    • #3199111

      I am a consultant too

      by dasec ·

      In reply to I just need to vent about consultants….

      I guess I am luckier than most because I am consulting for the same company I worked at for 28 years and doing the same job that I left. The company provides a Laptop (ironically the one I had before) and its as though I never left the place.

    • #3199107

      A CONSULTANT RESPONDS

      by welshjames ·

      In reply to I just need to vent about consultants….

      Hi ITchick

      Please may I apologise to you for the terribly bad behaviour of some of my fellow consultants.
      What you are describing is incredibly bad manners from somebody paid to act professionally, and possibly borders on the boundaries of criminal theft.

      Neither I nor any consultant I work with would ever dream of doing anything such as this, but there are good and bad in all walks of life. Please accept all the apologies in the world, and please don’t tar all of us with the same brush.

      James Welsh
      Educational Consultant

      • #3199084

        I think she meant “IT Consultants”

        by daveo2000 ·

        In reply to A CONSULTANT RESPONDS

        IT consultants seem to be a different breed and sometimes species. I expect that the vast majority tend to get the job done without creating too many tsunamis of hate following them. There are some, however, that feel that the world should worship the chairs that they slouch in.

        As an “Educational Consultant”, you probably go into a site to advise how certain processes should be performed. “IT Consultants”, very often, will go in and actually do the work which is a one-time job to get a new project off the ground. They often have impossible tasks to perform with unbeatable deadlines. Sometimes, either they or their companies have overpromised what they can deliver and when just so they get the job and beat the competition. Once they get in the office, they have little time to worry about who they offend when they demand every bit of attention available, and then some.

        I think that this is the type of person that ITChick was referring to. You are probably safe from her Ire.

    • #3199074

      In writing

      by jcritch ·

      In reply to I just need to vent about consultants….

      Every contract I sign for outside assistance details the expectations of equipment I must furnish and what the consultant will bring with them. We sit down with each consultant to explain to them the process of requesting additional equipment and access and how the request flows through our help desk.

      We had had one incident similar to yours, disabling a training room. We walked in, reclaimed the missing equipment and explained once again what they must do. We also charged back 1 hour for each consultant who obtained equipment without proper channels. Ended that process quickly.

      • #3198954

        A pleasure

        by rhomp20029 ·

        In reply to In writing

        It must be a pleasure to work with you. I was a consultant/contractor (did both at one time or another) the experience of working with a client who had his act together would be unique. I only ever had one like that. Usually it was a cl***terf*ck with the client not having anything set up and really not having a ral definition of what was expected.

        The worst was when a contractor hired me to program a system that was designed by another consultant. Did the programming and had it tested, went to the user to show what was done and found that the original designer had never even talked to the client to get the system requirements. I had to throw out everything I had done and do it all from design to production, this time after finding what the user really needed and wanted. I should have checked but assumed that the designer before me had done the job. Mucho bad feelings over that one but we got it done finally and almost on time after many 80-90 hour weeks.

        I wish we could patent you and pass you aroudn to all the other installations.

        A friend is right now going through a mess with a government agency. He was brought on to do one job but they found they didn’t have it defined so they moved him onto another job with a different team to document a system that will be canned after January and replaced. When he gets that done he is to check the documentation on another system. Meanwhile the original task is still being defined and they have transferred two people off that job onto something else as well so it will be even longer before he gets to do what he was brought in to do. Why did they staff the job before they even knew what it was to be. They had not even set up the group to define it when they hired him on. This is an all too common situation and part of the reason some consultants are so hard to deal with.

      • #3198942

        I enjoy a company like this…

        by cloakedmirror ·

        In reply to In writing

        I’ve worked in situations like the one you describe. It’s wonderful to charge the company for the hours that I can’t work because some control freak of an admin can’t seem to get around to getting me the tools I need to do the job.

        What do I care if it costs your company an extra $120/hr for me to sit and read through some document that has no bearing on what I am going to be doing? And when your management gets a bill for my time and they wonder what the WFE/WFP code on my task list means, I am happy to tell them that it was the time I waited for equipment/passwords to be supplied by the IT folks.

        The problem isn’t with the contractor/consultant. The problem is with the management that didn’t communicate that I was coming, and the SA that was too afraid to give out a password to someone that s/he hadn’t personally approved.

        Maybe if you got off your backside, guys like me wouldn’t be able to find jobs. Until then, thanks for the free money!

        • #3201510

          AHHH HA!

          by rlyonsmd ·

          In reply to I enjoy a company like this…

          Cloaked,
          Thats one of several reasons I left my previous employer.. Management and no backing!

          A department would bring in a consultant, let say on Monday morning, and ask IT where the accounts, equipment etc were..

          My response, where is the signed consultant agreement, non-disclosure agreement and proof of citizenship?? We need this information since it was a Govt contractor and had to follow ITAR guidelines for foreign national access.

          Their response, duhhhhhh we need that??? or just give them the access and we’ll get the paperwork for you..

          IT response, get the paperwork, PERIOD. Yep, some did set around for a few days.. Not ITs fault but we get the burden of dealing with it.

          Time after time we told departments this. Published info telling them this and STILL they wanted to circumvent guidelines and SOPs. Even the Compliance deparment attempted this!

          So no, its not always the consultant’s fault and yes there are some very nice people that come in as consultants, it just seems they are few and far between.

    • #3199048

      Consultant Behavior

      by richieb123 ·

      In reply to I just need to vent about consultants….

      I have been consulting for over 20 years and I believe you have one of the unique ones on your site. As a rule, when a consultant arrives on site, the hiring manager has a desk, computer, and all the goodies he/ she will need to do the job hired for. If ANTHING is needed, than the consutant will ask for it, period. Have a nice day too. Richie.

    • #3199043

      Clarification

      by amattucci ·

      In reply to I just need to vent about consultants….

      The Professional Services Agreement and Statement of Work commonly contains an assumption regarding the facilities, equipment, connections, and support that your organization will provide as part of the project. Regardless, an experienced consultant will never just “take” things and that behaviour is both unprofessional and inexcusable. There is a big difference between a consultant and a contractor that seems to have been lost.

    • #3199032

      Not Common Practice, Just Bad Manners

      by km8295 ·

      In reply to I just need to vent about consultants….

      This is not something unique to consultants. Consultants come from all backgrounds and all upbringings. This appears to be just thoughtlessness and poor training in their youth. Your mission is to kindly explain why this is wrong and costing others time for their convenience. And if that fails, then lay down the law. Chances are these consultants are not thinking and not valuing others above themselves.

      Also, there may be a catch-22 involved: perhaps it is hard to communicate around there, and they need to get work done and feel they have no choice. I don’t know, but if you are seeing a trend there, the reason could be the local environment. Or you just had a streak of tactless, thoughtless people.

    • #3199030

      I Need To Vent

      by bvanloon ·

      In reply to I just need to vent about consultants….

      ITChick,

      We’re not all like this dork (nice professional term). Obviously, he thinks he can get away with childish behavior. Can you serve this guy some notice; that if his immaturity continues, he will be sent packing? Sorry to talk like this but in a former life I dealt w/ bad consultants. I found that a well-placed phone call or two to the person’s firm solved the problem. How much latitude do you have to correct the problem? Can you make that kind of call?

      I don’t mean to question your side of the argument without warrant. But, within the constraints of your company and your department, have you given him what he needs to do a good job for you? Some consultants don’t come with their own equipment and if the equipment they are supplied does not work or is not available on a consistent basis, it can be problematic. The less mature consultant will take (which is not proper). The more professional and mature type will work with you to get the right equipment. I am not pointings fingers; just asking.

      Anyways, judging from your post alone, he sounds like a schlomozel.

    • #3199025

      I’m a Consultant. You have a bad one!

      by rw17 ·

      In reply to I just need to vent about consultants….

      Hi, I’m sorry to hear about your experience with your consultant(s). They are not behaving properly or professionally. They must realize that they can advise you of their opinions but that YOU have the final say! You are the client! Thus, you are omnipotent in this relationship!
      Discuss your concerns in a rational manner with your consultants’ superior. If we want keyboards, etc we must bring our own (many of us are adept enough to simply use our laptops). As for power cables… unfortunately, that happens once in a blue moon… but it is the consultants responsibility to find a replacement which often means a visit to the local office of his consulting company to procure a temporary replacement.
      Sometimes people who think they are “entitled” just need a swift kick in the butt “Wake up call”… it sounds like you have an excellent candidate for a “field goal-type kick” right now…

    • #3199015

      Creating One’s Own Bad Situation

      by wayne m. ·

      In reply to I just need to vent about consultants….

      Perhaps it might be more beneficial to support the consultants than to resent their presence.

      One cannot reject requests for help and then act surprised if the requesters help themselves. It would be more beneficial for the technical support person to introduce himself at the outset giving the consultants a point of contact for fulfilling their needs. Without this point of contact, the consultants are left with two alternatives, either sit idle or fulfill their needs themselves. Please also recall that the consultants will be reimbursed for any out of pocket expenses (ODC expenses). In many cases, corporate management will not approve purchase of resources (e.g., power supplies, monitors) that are already on hand and available.

      A consultant is typically brought in with a limited timeframe. The consultant must ramp up very quickly to accomplish his tasks before the end of the contract. I applaud a compay that has the foresight to place a support person on such a project and as a manager, I would expect anyone placed in such a position to step up and aid in meeting corporate objectives.

      • #3199003

        I disagree

        by cweb ·

        In reply to Creating One’s Own Bad Situation

        The consultant is brought in to do a specific job. Now if he forgets his power supply at home, it is in no way the responsibility of the parent company to provide him a new one. That was his fault for showing up on the job site unprepared to what he was paid for.
        Stealing equipment from your client is never a popular method of endearing yourself. Because as a Consultant, you should always be looking for future contracts.

      • #3198904

        Not often I disagree with you Wayne, but

        by tony hopkinson ·

        In reply to Creating One’s Own Bad Situation

        Anyone who blames, or tries to make someone else reponsible for their mistakes is an unprofessional f’wit and should be treated accordingly.

        As a contractor I had little time for people who laid out obstacle courses for me, I didn’t go around blaming them when I fellover because my shoelaces were undone though.

      • #3283969

        Clarification

        by wayne m. ·

        In reply to Creating One’s Own Bad Situation

        Cweb and Tony. Thanks for the comments, but I had not intended for my reply to be a justification for the contractors’ actions, nor even to comment on them. It is doubtful that the contractors will ever see this post.

        My intent was to indicate that the poster could take action to address the matter. The poster was assigned to provide support to the contractors and very much appears to resent that assignment.

        There is simply not enough information provided to know what equipment expectations were set nor why there is a perceived need for keyboards, mice, and monitors. I do not find it acceptable for someone to move equipment without asking. I would expect, however, that assigned support personnel be readily available to move and provide equipment when there is a reasonable justification.

        Cweb and Tony, we may have to just agree to disagree on this one, but I still feel that the poster can and should take a more active approach to addressing the situation. I still suggest that the poster take the initiative and ask the consultants what their equipment expectations are and then determine what the company is able and willing to provide.

        • #3201440

          I agree with you to an extent

          by tony hopkinson ·

          In reply to Clarification

          Wouldn’t be the first a couple of parties have ended up at loggerheads because of some twat from purchasing or worse HR.

    • #3199009

      you are too nice!

      by cweb ·

      In reply to I just need to vent about consultants….

      It depends on the contract (I’ve worked contracts that the company provided everything) But the consultant is expected to be a professional. One wouldn’t hire a carpenter and expect to provide him with a hammer. Or the next time you get some work done on your car, the mechanic ask you for a set of wrenches!
      In your case, lay down the law! Let him know if he can’t do the job because he failed to come to work prepared, then you need to find someone that will come to work prepared.

    • #3199005

      Re:vent about consultants.

      by abnet85-techrepublic ·

      In reply to I just need to vent about consultants….

      Each of your companies “employees” have a job function and the tools to complete that function.
      Part time help (*consultants) apparently are not afforded that luxury. Too often, the consultant is hired but not equiped with the necessary tools to actually be effective. Instead, the consultant is placed in the position of having to become resourceful in order to do the job they were hired for. Either look the other way or talk your company into supplying the consultant the same way they would any other employee. Remember; companies using consultants save on employee service expenses (SS, workers Comp, vacation, health ins., etc). I’m sure the budget could afford a computer, mouse and keyboard!

      • #3198957

        Sometimes their equipment fails…

        by trilln451 ·

        In reply to Re:vent about consultants.

        My husband pointed out that it’s possible the contractor’s power supply went bad & that’s why he needed to borrow one. Of course, continuing to look for one in her cubicle after her saying she didn’t have one was a bit obnoxious – or maybe he was feeling panicky?

        As far as using mice or keyboards, there shouldn’t be a problem as long as the contractor makes a point of letting someone know. That’s just good manners. I’ve definitely worked with fellow full-time employees who were equally prone to helping themselves to my stuff (scissors, white-out, cleaning solution, little annoying things like that) without stopping to think that I often bought my own supplies!

        Courtesy should be a high priority for ANYONE who works with other people.

      • #3284095

        Communication is the key

        by nicknielsen ·

        In reply to Re:vent about consultants.

        What are the contract requirements? The hiring company should know what they are willing or able tp supply to the consultant. The consultant needs to lay out any requirements. All this should be done during the contract negotiation and spelled out in the contract.

        If this is not done, shame on both parties.

        Edit: My thoughts on what should happen in this case are at http://tinyurl.com/oqwgp

    • #3198966

      You have not been well supported….

      by think180 ·

      In reply to I just need to vent about consultants….

      Sounds like you have been dumped with this role, with neither
      involvement in the consultants (sounds more like a contractors),
      nor the training in how to manage external resources.

      External resources (contractors/consultants) typically have to
      provide their own equipment, unless the work they are doing is
      actually servicing your company’s equipment. Otherwise they are
      missing one of the IRS’s key criteria for “Independent Contractor”
      status.

      Second, do you have a copy of the contract/agreement? What is
      set out there about providing them with equipment? If you don’t
      have a copy, your manager has failed you. If you manage them,
      you should have a copy of the agreement.

      I would take this up with you manager, assuming he or she
      supports you and doesn’t just dump stuff on you. If the latter is
      the case, then you are not in good shape. And a copy of the
      agreement is even more crucial to you.

      Having said all this, it is still your job now to manage these
      resources, and to get the best results from them. If you get all
      passive-aggressive by withholding assistance, then it may come
      back to bite you at your performance review.

      So, check with the agreement about the milestones and service
      levels these guys are supposed to meet, and what resources they
      are supposed to provide and what your company has agreed to
      provide.

      You will find some useful free info on my website, starting at
      http://think180.com/Pages/RIPs/ITprosmanage.html

      Hope this has been helpful.

    • #3198965

      Developer consultant

      by onbliss ·

      In reply to I just need to vent about consultants….

      I work for a consulting company that places me at their client offices to carry out programming tasks for their clients.

      Except for one project that was for a week (MS Word automation), all the contracts have been for more than 6 months.

      All the clients have provided me with a desktop with all the required hardware (keyboard and mice :-)) and software, including Internet access.

      You can look at me as part of staff augmentation. Baring a few things, I am treated almost like an employee and am not expected to get my own things. Infact at some places they would’nt allow my laptop to be connected to the network because of company policies.

      But I never take things for granted, and believe I have conducted myself professionally.

    • #3198884

      Additional information on tools

      by think180 ·

      In reply to I just need to vent about consultants….

      My answer to you was not complete, and I note that5 a number
      of consultants have indicated that they are supplied with
      equipment.

      Another way contractors (more accurate than “consultants” for
      this work) can be engaged is if they are through and agency that
      they are employed by. In this instance, it may be expected that
      your company would supply material and the tools/equipment
      they need.

      And if this is what is in the agreement then it is your
      responsibility to make sure they have all they need.

      Again, it all boils down to the agreed terms of the engagement.

    • #3284290

      Entitlement? Sort of…..

      by techytype ·

      In reply to I just need to vent about consultants….

      As a consultant somebody has to supply whatever equipment is needed to do the job. Either the client supply it or I do, and then bill for it. If the client has it great! I suspect however the issue is one of a “consultant” just taking parts without properly clearing the acquisition, however temporary. There is no excuse for creating other problems by “borrowing” parts in use somewhere else. Of course there is also no excuse for not having the required components readily available. The consultant would be well advised to arrange procedures to get what is needed from the proper source. Doesn’t sound like that is happening here.

    • #3284285

      Prior Personal issues?

      by ksat ·

      In reply to I just need to vent about consultants….

      ITChick – no offense, but, after reading your message a few times, it seems there are more issues to this than meets the eye and more than what you are telling us.

      I have been consulting for almost 15 years and I feel your situation is not as bad as it may sound. While I don’t know the circumstances around the use of a power supply, I would have to assume he had some reason to believe you may actually have something that could work. If your company deployed Dell laptops, for example, of the same model or series, it’s feasible you may have an extra one. So, technically, you might be able to pull one out of your ass… If there was prior tention between you and this consultant, I can understand his feeling you may have been uncooperative. Regardless, I’m sure he could/should have just ordered one – just as an extra to keep on hand in the future.

      It is also possible that your method of *suggestion* was none too kind. For what it’s worth, I think both parties could have acted more professionally.

      In my situations, I have been lucky to have my clients provide all hardware for me. This is due to stringent network security policies in place. However, it can not be expected of ALL IT CONSULTANTS to provide their own equipment all the time.

      • #3284262

        RE: Prior Personal Issues?

        by rlyonsmd ·

        In reply to Prior Personal issues?

        I have been in the IT arena now for over 20 yrs, mostly as an employee of a couple of companies and it tears me to NO end that some consultants come in and expect the world.

        Unless it is in the consultant agreement that the company will provide equipment, then the consultant SHOULD supply his/her own equipment. Thats the cost of being in business for yourself. If that consultant is part of a company that is doing consulting, then THAT consulting company should provide needed equipment.
        Why should companies, big or small, have to provide equipment for consultants that are getting PAID big money to provide their
        would-be expertise??

        Sounds like KSAT is just another conslutant that thinks he should be entitled to ‘his’ needs.

        • #3284249

          Quite the Contrary…

          by ksat ·

          In reply to RE: Prior Personal Issues?

          If you would have read my entire post you would have seen the last remark I made – ”
          In my situations, I have been lucky to have my clients provide all hardware for me. This is due to stringent network security policies in place. However, it can not be expected of ALL IT CONSULTANTS to provide their own equipment all the time.” I don’t think this shows that I am “just another conslutant that thinks he should be entitled to ‘his’ needs” at all.

          I’m simply pointing out that it sounds like there is more information to this scenario that inhibits anyone from making an assumption. I have been lucky to work for some of the largest corporations in America who support their consultants just as they do their own employees. The small companies can not afford or may not want to afford this additional expense – especially for short-term projects. Most of my engagements have been for 2-3 years in length – the clients have lease agreements with vendors that allow them to provide systems with relatively little cost to them.

          There are many reasons why a company would provide a the hardware for a specific engagement – and typically, it’s either dependent on cost effectiveness and terms of the contract. Like I have said, I have been engaged with clients who will NOT allow outside hardware be connected to thier network and, therefore, provides the necessary hardware (and software, for that matter) to make the connection to get the job done.

          However, Not every project requires this…

        • #3201523

          I stand corrected. :-)

          by rlyonsmd ·

          In reply to Quite the Contrary…

          Enuff said on that.

    • #3284155

      Us versus Them

      by marchred ·

      In reply to I just need to vent about consultants….

      I’ve just returned to this thread and noticved that it has grown.

      There seems to be an “us vs them” trend evolving and for some people it depends on which side they are on.

      The one thing that is eveident, is that we only have one side of the ‘argument’ here and we are assuming that side has represented all of the facts. And I’m not disputing ITChick’s veracity but there are always two sides to the story.

      As a consultant, I have encountered aggro from company employees as soon as I walk through the door – merely because I am one of those pariahs known as “consultant”. In such circumstances, I just get on with my job and if I need to engage those antagonists, I do so with all of the professionalism and courtesy I can muster. I recognise that I am the interloper and I need to fit in as much as possible to get my job done, but I will not accept “roadblocks” which are erected to deliberately make the job harder for me. A project achieves its outcomes when all resources are working cooperatively to the same end.

      The incident that ITChick has recounted seems to be a clash of personalities rather than a matter of professional differences. I’m wondering if the same result would have ensued had they been employees of the same company but from different areas.

      Now obviously as a consultant I will get shot down by some of the more militant employees, but stop and think before you do so. Do you find that every consultant with whom you work fits the mould as described by ITChick? And on the other side, do you find that every company employee with whom you work is professional, organised and someone with whom you enjoy interacting?

    • #3284119

      Consultants

      by golfosd ·

      In reply to I just need to vent about consultants….

      “The wrenched hide of scum and villainy” Obi Wan Kenobi, Star Wars, A New Hope.

      I will not bore you with my story, but get to the point, I had a very similar situation and my company (Military) came up missing a projector, desktop and a laptop after a consulting firm was hired to consult. Anyway, when the project came to an end the idiot who received the equipment figured that the equipment belonged to him. What he failed to realize is that I had him sign an equipment loan sheet. Clearly stating that if the equipment was not returned by a certain date the consulting firm would be charged.

      In a nutshell, just bill them for any equipment. Yes it can be done, especially if it is a matter of principal. I was lucky and had a great mentor. After it was said and done with the amount was deducted from the consultant?s original fee.

    • #3284087

      Is the consultant really the problem ?

      by j.g.camp ·

      In reply to I just need to vent about consultants….

      I have been placed on a project by my company because (as they say), they wanted the “best of the best” to make this project a success. Nevermind that we had no choice on the matter (which is another vent altogether). This vent has to do with consultants, and their feelings of entitlement when they get to a job site. I am a part of the technical team, and in my previous life, I did technical support for the company. It has been part of my responsibility to support the project members with technical issues…now, it seems, I am also to supply the consultants with mice, keyboards, monitors, power supplies for laptops, etc., etc. It is not uncommon for me to find that computers I set up in a conference room are missing various pieces…so I search to find out where they walked off to, and lo and behold one of the consultants is using the mouse, keyboard, whatever. Is this normal practice for consultants to just TAKE whatever they want? Why the hell don’t they come equipped with their own stuff? The last straw was one consultant who forgot his power supply to his laptop at his home (in another state), he asked me if I had a spare, and I responded no (did think I could just pull one out of my ass?), obviously he didn’t like that answer so he proceeded to start looking around my cubicle for one that I was obviously hiding from him. I *suggested* he order one online to be shipped overnight (would probably cost about $50) and he immediately shot down my suggestion. From now on, this jackass is on his own. At this point, I just keep chanting to myself, “Yes, this project will end, this project will end..!”

      I don’t see anything positive here, just one rant right after another, so he forgot his cord power for a notebook. Your attitude is negative about the project in the first place and the consultant here is an easy mark to rant and vent over something ridiculously trivial in the first place. You sound like every little inconvenience is a major tribulation on this project. “Drowning in a glass of water” comes to mind. Change your attitude and empower the team to accomplish the project, if it takes a loaner power unit, so be it, issue it to him and collect it at the end of the/each day so it doesn’t disappear for the long term, make him sign for the item and record it’s serial number, make him responsible for returning it at the end of each day if you have to. What’s all the drama about ? If he pilfers it, head over to accounting and have his check reduced by what it costs to purchase a replacement and have that overnighted just the same. There are many ways that anyone can be held accountable and responsible for loaner equipment.

      • #3284059

        You aren’t serious, are you?

        by daveo2000 ·

        In reply to Is the consultant really the problem ?

        I am curious about some of your comments…

        “one rant after another”: The title of the thread is [b]I just need to vent…[/b], isn’t it?

        “every little inconvenience”: In this case, the inconvenience sounds like somebody taking/borrowing equipment that is there for others to get work done. The consultant is there to help the company, not hinder the existing workers in the process, right? Otherwise, it isn’t teamwork, it becomes “I, the almighty consultant, am far more important than you.”

        “empower the team to accomplish the project”: While the consultant hinders others that are working on the project?

        “if it takes a loaner…”: ITChick didn’t say she lied about having a power supply, she said she didn’t have one and he started looking [b]on her desk[/b] for one.

        “If he pilfers it… [bill him]”: So now the company is a store where consultants can buy computer equipment? You are encouraging theft with the only deterrant being paying the market rate for the stolen goods?

        Yes, there are many ways to deal with any given situation. Most of the good ways start with trying to understand where the person at the center is coming from. ITChick probably doesn’t have anywhere to vent at work that won’t involve repercussions. The guy that started looking at her desk for something she said wasn’t available was a jerk and, notably, not acting professionally.

        Are you suggesting that she keeps it all bottled inside and not hear the many positive responses here that say “I have met jerks like that but, rest assured, there are a lot of other consultants that are really nice and/or professional”?

        By the way, ITChick, I have met jerks like those you mention but, rest assured, there are a lot of other consultants that are really nice and/or professional.

    • #3284038

      Def. of a consultant

      by stephen ·

      In reply to I just need to vent about consultants….

      I use to work for a guy that had an excellent definition of “Consultants”

      A Consultant is some one that knows how to have sex 400 different ways….but has not one girl friend!

    • #3201559

      It boils down to needs !

      by pj8089 ·

      In reply to I just need to vent about consultants….

      Tech’s/Consultants.. NEED the tools to do their job… the bad thing about coming in from the outside is the problem of having the right euipment to do the job. If businesses need the work done, they should immediatly assign an employee to supply them with what the need. Allowing or actually requiring an outside person to hunt his/her required needs is pound foolish ! Setup a source they can contact to gather/furnish what is NEEDED !

      • #3201434

        Poster said

        by tony hopkinson ·

        In reply to It boils down to needs !

        The contract was that they supplied their own kit.

        Got to admit it’s a new wrinkle in my experience.

        But if the air con engineer turned up and said right “wheres the spanners”, you wouldn’t be happy would you?

        If he started rummaging though your desk after you told him you didn’t have any spanners, you’d be even less happy.

        If he then broke into your company car and ‘borrowed’ your emergency repair kit, you’d become downright irritated.

        Probably post to TR, to blow off some steam, so you didn’t get into trouble for kicking him in the nuts.

    • #3201451

      Think that is rude, check this out!

      by lrichter6 ·

      In reply to I just need to vent about consultants….

      A network consultant recently hired, disconnected my cat5 patch cable on my desktop while I was logged in and installing software for a user in next room. He then connected his notebook to it, and took my chair. Hmmm…couldn’t be because I am the only female tech???

    • #3201308

      Relax

      by awconnor ·

      In reply to I just need to vent about consultants….

      Nobody is perfect. People forget things, you do it all the time, don’t you? Your keys, your pen, how important it is not to get too stressed about the little problems in life.. If you’re gonna be using consultants, it might be prudent to supply a machine for them to work on. Or you can be obstructive and let your project slide. Your call. I suggest you take control, buy a machine or two for them in case it’s needed. And some desk space (or are they expected to bring that too?) By the way, I am NOT a consultant.

    • #3201301

      Its all True

      by trailer ·

      In reply to I just need to vent about consultants….

      I work as both a consultant and interim manager. The approach I take varies as a consultant I would normally hold back untill I had assesed exactly who was who in terms of competancy and role. However I am frequently hired as an interim manager because the previous post holder has just been fired and in such cases I will quite often be briefed by the employer to ” go in and kick shit” ( apologies for language) its not my preferred method to turn a department round but can be a requirement of the client. So occassionally think before you get upset it might just be the guy is doing what he or she is being paid to do. We all need to be loved even consultants.

    • #3201295

      Take Names and Send Bills

      by ross.porter ·

      In reply to I just need to vent about consultants….

      Those were the instructions I gave my company’s tech people for dealing with this sort of problem. Straightened it right out, too.

      If you are on the tech side, discuss it with the functional leader of the project — you dont want him or her to lose face — but what you descrive is wholly unprofessional.

      R

    • #3201275

      consultant bashing … venting, as it were

      by donaldlrobinson ·

      In reply to I just need to vent about consultants….

      Are you venting about the actions of the consultant or angry that the company felt a need to hire them? The other side of the story is — being a consultant that gets hired for these jobs — walking into a project and not knowing anything about the setup, supplies, computers and then getting angry attitudes from employee’s who resent my presense. I’m in a situation like that right now. I don’t defend rude consultants but after a certain point, what do ‘we’ do? I spent two days trying to be nice and play fair but got nothing but attitude … so at a certain point I’m on my own. After all, I have a job to do also. Question: how do ‘we’ consultants get on ‘your’ good side?

      • #3201270

        Sometimes you just can’t

        by tony hopkinson ·

        In reply to consultant bashing … venting, as it were

        At that point you can only satisfy the ‘management’ that brought you in.

        I’ve been on the recieving end of a management contractor who got brought in to ‘sort things out’.

        I tried to point him at where the real problem was, but seeing as that was ‘management’ my helpfulness didn’t make his job any easier.
        LOL

        I never resented him for it though, I’d spent all that on the arses that were in charge of us both !

        • #3230574

          yes .. management is part of the problem

          by donaldlrobinson ·

          In reply to Sometimes you just can’t

          I agree and am amazed at the ‘management’ that brings in the consultant(s) and then expects the employees to help them. I guess if I was in that position, I’d be a little resentful also.

      • #3200838

        In this case

        by nicknielsen ·

        In reply to consultant bashing … venting, as it were

        The impression I got was that she was venting over the behavior of the consultants, not that they were there.

        Im my case, regardless of my personal feelings about whether you should be in my shop, I will act professionally unless you give me reason otherwise.

        Once I have that reason, you can…I think you get the picture.

    • #3230730

      consultants….

      by 50kilroy ·

      In reply to I just need to vent about consultants….

      I have been a consultant since 1995 and have always treated my clients like, well, clients.
      That means that I come to work prepared to work, with my own tools unless my customer has specified otherwise (some do, due to their internal security policies).
      Also, I have never hesitated to ‘supply’ my client with what he needs. That seems to be part of the job as well as a really good relationship builder.
      Sorry that you got stuck with such an inexperienced person. Maybe he will get tired of being a MSC”engineer” and go back to BurgerKing.

    • #3230721

      About Consultants

      by john.mayo ·

      In reply to I just need to vent about consultants….

      Dear ITChick65,
      I have been a consultant for over 20 years, but presently for the last 5 years rejoined the ranks of corporate IT.
      First, you should not accept the behavior you described, as this is way over the line of professional conduct. I recommend that your company project manager conduct a meeting with all team members and lay down the rules and expectations the consultants are expected to follow. I also recommend that the project manager explain the consequences of non-compliance as removal from the project. I have done this (including removing people from my projects) and it is very effective. I also recommend that the project manager meet with the VP of Professional Services from the consulting firm and work out expectations, issues resolution and escalation procedures.
      It sounds to me that the project maanger does not know all the responsibilites of that position. It also sounds like the culture of the consutling firm your company has hired is suspect.

    • #3230698

      Professional Ethics and Business Needs.

      by dr_zinj ·

      In reply to I just need to vent about consultants….

      1. Professional Ethics. Any consultant worth their pay is going to bring their own materials needed for the job. That includes backups in the trunk of their car/van/what-have-you. And materials supplied by the company will be stipulated in the contract.

      If you have consultants prowling around snagging stuff around your business; then you don’t have a consultant, you have a theif. They’re costing you loss of productivity in trying to locate ‘mis-placed’ materials and equipment. And you may find that you’ve lost a lot more after they’re gone.

      2. Business needs. Your business hired the consultant. It’s your responsibility to get the most for your money. Usually the longer they take to do the job they wee hired for, the more it costs your business.

      Make it plain to the consultant that they should come to you for their needs if they haven’t supplied them already. Keep a list of materials consumed by the consultants; especially if you have a clause in the contract that reduces their award for supplies provided above that stipulated in the contract.

    • #3230668

      Rooting around the cube

      by rob ·

      In reply to I just need to vent about consultants….

      If someone started picking around in my cube without direct permission, I’d tell them immedately and firmly to get out of my cube and that they do not have permission to use any company owned equipment without direct permission first. Document everything, and make sure the “consultants” know you are.

      The group you have in there are not professional by any stretch. IMO, you need to bring their behavior to whomever was responsible for their presence. If they blow you off, you don’t want to work at this place anyway.

    • #3230663

      Consultants…

      by ryanlair ·

      In reply to I just need to vent about consultants….

      I feel your pain. I am a network admin. at a custom commerical/defence contract company based out of Cincinnati, OH. We are currently going through an Oracle Implementation, and let me tell you how fun it is to deal with consultants. Perot Systems is the recommended firm for companies who are implementing Oracle. One consultant… lets call him Bob, became a very very very annoying pest the first day he walked into the door. He was doing the exact things that happened to you. Looking around my office, mice/keyboards, he even took an external hard drive! WHEWW!!!!!! I was mad. After a few verbal arguments with the man, I was on witts end with this fellow and began to monitor all of his activity on my network just waiting for him to break one violation of my computer policy. Then one day… it happened. It comes to find out the old man is a nuddist. The dumbass logged into my domain using his network id but he done so on a different terminal than what he was assigned too. I have all my users on roaming profiles so they can log onto any machine in the building. He began to browse on google and searched “Horseback Ridding Nude.” As soon as my monitoring software picked it up, I got and email. I then let him browse for about 20 more minutes before making the report to administration so he could dig himself a deeper hole. So while he browsed the web for nudist sites/clubs/vacations for a half hour I had enough on this guy that the pest became a bright light of joy in my workday. After a reaming from our local administration and one two days later from Perot, needless to say he wasn?t back in work on the next Monday!! Point of the story…. PATIENCE IS A VIRTUE.

    • #3230550

      WOW! You don?t like us too well do you?

      by tracyb ·

      In reply to I just need to vent about consultants….

      A couple of things? (and I didn?t go through the entire thread so this might have been addressed but?)

      First of all, us consultants are paid a lot of money to assist you and your company with various needs. I personally specialize in information security but that?s another story.

      Well, that may not be another story. Many of the companies I work for have policies against un-approved, non-company owned equipment being connected to the company network. That is something that all companies should consider adopting. While I keep my equipment in tip-top shape, free of viruses and such, I wouldn?t count on everybody doing this. How would you like it if a consultant brought your network to its knees by introducing a worm?

      And If I am getting paid lots of money, and if I can?t connect my own equipment, then you or someone in your company had better have a workstation ready to go the second I walk into the door so I can start being productive immediately!

      Can?t speak for everyone but I prefer to get my job done as quickly and efficiently as possible. I remember one contract with a bank where I was sitting around twiddling my thumbs for a month before they granted me access to everything I needed to perform the work that they were paying me $125 per hour to do. That, in my books, is a loose, loose. I hate being board, the company lost 20k of my productivity, and I was a month longer in helping you get your technology solution into a state of its own productivity (more dollar losses there).

      I would suggest that if you want to advance both your career and the general goals of your company you take the lead in ensuring that us consultants have the proper tools we need to help you and your company. If on the other hand you are just holding out for retirement – continue as you are ? complaining about us consultants!

      • #3230456

        RE: WOW! You don?t like us too well do you?

        by rlyonsmd ·

        In reply to WOW! You don?t like us too well do you?

        WOW. Just amazing!

      • #3200834

        Twiddling your thumbs, eh?

        by nicknielsen ·

        In reply to WOW! You don?t like us too well do you?

        Next time bring a book. May I suggest “How to Win Friends and Influence People” by Norman Vincent Peale?

        • #3200626

          Not much tact yesterday huh?

          by tracyb ·

          In reply to Twiddling your thumbs, eh?

          I guess I was just modeling after the original post – and with that said I thought I was rather pleasant 🙂

          But seriously, I?ve worked with some pretty negative people in the past both as a consultant (to the negative employee) and as a fellow employee. People, especially employees, need to realize that the company is not there to offer them a paycheck each week; it?s there to provide a return on investment to its owners. As an employee or a consultant it is our job to do the best we can to make that happen.

          Also, as a consultant, I get calls at 8:00pm on a Wednesday night and am asked to be half-way across the country at 8:00am the next morning. While I try to keep a ready bag with most things I might need – every situation is different and YES, I?m human, I do forget things at times. I agree that it is my problem not the employees I am working with but since we are going to be working together I think that a better attitude on everybody?s part would make the job and life much easier!

    • #3230484

      Consulting needs two way cooperation

      by greytech ·

      In reply to I just need to vent about consultants….

      After more than 30 years in this business I’ve learned to live with all sorts. I have also been on both sides of this fence.

      As several have already mentioned, consultants have a job to do and if you have the task of supporting them then you need to do it with good grace whether they are jackasses or not. The object is to get the most out of them so the project gets finished properly and quickly.

      If your company has not laid down the rules clearly, as is often the case, then you need to make it clear to the consultants what you consider acceptable. Do it in a friendly and profesional manner so they have no come-back. Make sure that you make it clear what your role is in supporting them and perhaps that it does not include changing their daipers.

      One problem is often that someone gets off on the wrong foot and the relationship moves immediately into an antagonistic one instead of a professional one. If you don’t fix that, then you are likely to be the looser, because “management” will perhaps take the side of the very expensive team “they” hired.

      I am a very assertive type and this is often mistaken for agressive behavior. I therefore often have to quickly back off to re-establish a professional relationship so that the project gets done and I get paid, and I get more work.

      Keep it busineslike and not personal that way you can stay cool and maybe the jackass feels the heat.

    • #3230431

      Another One

      by iammr2 ·

      In reply to I just need to vent about consultants….

      Our company hired one of these jerks. The absolute worst at teamwork and cooperation. Also seems to have exagerated his abilities and knowledge to the other execs. Few like him and nobody trusts him. Can’t understand why he’s still here.

    • #3230430

      Well…

      by menace65 ·

      In reply to I just need to vent about consultants….

      this vent of mine certainly did not die, did it? It’s interesting to see that those who blasted me did not even bother to read all the posts in which I made clarifying statements, so here is a synopsis:

      1. The items in question were NOT ones the consultants needed to do their freaking jobs.

      2. I have been extremely helpful to the consultants, to the point I have all their access set up for them PRIOR to their joining the project.

      3. There are, and there always will be, consultants, employees, insert noun here, who are inconsiderate jackasses, and it’s those types I am venting about.

      Just today I was asked for a screwdriver…I actually happened to have one…it was not right the *kind* of screwdriver… I guess I should have said, “Don’t worry, I’ll run out right now and buy you one!”

      Uh, oh, jackass is back…gotta go!

      • #3230413

        IT Chick

        by tig2 ·

        In reply to Well…

        I think that you have the sympathies of many of the consultants/contractors here. We have had to deal wtih the kinds of braindead morons that you have described. I don’t know that any of us have ever figured out the magic answer.

        It does sound like something that can have some negative impact to the project however. How do you feel about your PM? Are they someone you can enlist in this? I know that I would consider this to be an issue worth addressing as it doesn’t allow the team to come together well.

        If your PM is someone that will hear you- and you really are the best judge of that- try discussing what you see as the issue- that you are trying to provide service but it is difficult to do. You have fulfilled your obligations but there is an obvious disconnect in EXPECTATIONS. I would approach from the standpoint that you really can’t provide what you don’t know. And there is a process for people to get their needs met. Also find out from the PM if there is a tolerance for additional billing- as in, you will facilitate the order of an additional power supply billed back to the project.

        My guess? The PM doesn’t want to pay additional costs. And the PM is better positioned to put an end to the silliness- especially when you charge back the hours it takes to hunt up all the equipment that has gone missing.

        Incidentally- I have had the same tool kit for over 10 years. I don’t loan ANYONE a screwdriver if they plan to take it out of my sight! Had too many of them go missing… Spent a lot of time as a support tech!

        Hang in there, the good thing about bad consultants is that they inevitably go away.

      • #3200734

        Chick you are too funny…

        by falconeer ·

        In reply to Well…

        Maybe you might give the poor fellow a stiff vodka & tonic.

        I hear it?s relaxes the inner turmoil of people who really need to be elsewhere.

        I am appalled with the misspellings of our group. Well maybe I want to impress, or don?t like to appear ?stupid? but the new technology of multitasking will allow one to open Word and kludge away knowing that most of the (read, my) blunders are caught with rapid, rapt attention.

        Of course it can’t make me non-stupid; that’s my responsibility. Or is it?

        Good luck with JA.

    • #3230420

      This has nothing to do with being a consultant….

      by briggch ·

      In reply to I just need to vent about consultants….

      rather it has to do with the consultant being thoughtless and self-entitled. The truth of the matter is that the consultants need to be informed of correct procedures and held accountable for their actions. If the consultants want to take whatever the feel they want, let them. Then deduct the costs of the items, and labor to replace them from their consulting fees and I bet the problem straightens itself out.

    • #3200910

      Try a non-technical approch, and display a little reserve about yourself.

      by silverbullet ·

      In reply to I just need to vent about consultants….

      If you are responding with a defensive attitude, remind yourself that perhaps you are smarter and capable of superior support reguardless if the “man-in-the-moon” has been invited over for any kind of business anaylsis. Your support should never differ, ever! Kindness Kills

    • #3200693

      Unprofessional, uncalled for …

      by randy hagan ·

      In reply to I just need to vent about consultants….

      I work as a consultant today. Have for the last 15 years. And I agree with you, there is no excuse for laying the five-fingered discount/appropriating client resources without permission or documentation. You have every right to be annoyed by what you’re experiencing.

      That’s not to say that consultants don’t need to provide consultants needed resources to do the job.

      I currently have a client’s new laptop in the shop for developing documentation, because it has their configuration and their resources set up as they will be for client rollout. I specified the need in my service plan, set the terms for using their equipment, and will abide by them from the moment I picked up their gear to the point where I return the gear to the client.

      There are also unforseen times when I need client euipment on the fly. But I ask for it first, and document that I needed it and provide that documentation to the client. I also document when I return it and provide a thank you to the person who provided what I needed.

      I don’t know if this is “normal” practice, but it certainly isn’t mine.

    • #3204950

      Providing for consultants

      by tumbleweed_biff ·

      In reply to I just need to vent about consultants….

      The answer to your question would be: what is the most cost effective answer for your company?

      You are paying that contractor $$$ a day to be there and do work. If they can’t do their work, they are still on the clock and nothing is getting done. So does it make cents to provide keyboards and mice? Absolutely. Consider the cost of a basic keyboard or mouse – $20 or less. That consultant is charging you at least $100 / hr, probably a lot more. If providing them a keyboard or mouse saves them 10 min of work, it has paid for itself and then some, especially since you get to keep it afterwards for future use. There comes a point of being petty. Just get the job done.

      In the case of the consultant above, you have a different situation. He should get off his arse and on *HIS* time, go out and locally purchase a power supply with *HIS* money. All productive time spent by him to resolve his computer issue should be deducted from the charges by his employer. If they question why, tell them it was because he came unprepared to do the job he was being paid to do and you deducted those charges.

    • #3203195

      2 out of 3

      by mr_rc ·

      In reply to I just need to vent about consultants….

      At the last company I worked for, I worked with 3 different consultants (at different times). Of the 3, only 1 was bad.

      The first consultant I didnt even know was a consultant, I thought they were a regular employee. They didnt make any waves, acted like part of the crew and basically blended in pretty seamlessly. It wasnt until the project was over that we found out that it was a consultant we were dealing with, we were sad to see him go and went for drinks on their last day as a farewell. We supplied all the hardware for the job, and they were left to crack on with it.

      Our second consultant was a woman, once again management didnt mention anything to me. She came in on her first day, introduced herself, explained to me what she was doing here and what she would need from me. She had her own laptop which was barebones, OS, office, AV/AS. What she did for each job was wipe the laptop and use a ghost image of the base programs so she wasnt bringing anything harmful with her. For the duration of the project the laptop remained in the office to avoid being compromised and if any further kit was needed, she put through the required forms and followed procedure.

      She was incredibly professional, and because she took that hour initially to introduce and explain her position, we had a very respectful working relationship. Honestly a pleasure to work with.

      The last consultant I dealt with, was the absolute worst. If this person was the first consultant I’d dealt with, then I’d make it my job to make sure none were ever hired again. Even if I had to give up my evenings and weekends learning a skillset that I might only use the once.
      This time I was informed a consultant was coming, and after my last two experiences, I was looking forward to it. She barged into my office when she arrived at 10am (we start at 8am) and started barking orders at me and making demands. Needless to say, she got on my bad side from the word go. She was rude and arrogant, often taking things to her own office without letting anyone know or even asking.
      Often I had to go hunting for stock that I knew I had, it was still listed in my resource list but wasnt there. Every time I would either find it in her office or get the ‘I left it at home’. So I started documenting everything that was missing, documented her rude, arguementative and unprofessional behaviour and language and put it all through to my boss.
      Unfortunately, this consultant was a friend of the bosses family, so this got me absolutely nowhere except to make the consultant absolutely hate me. I did stay professional, I did continue documenting and I somehow (even now I’m not sure how I managed it) kept my cool through the whole ordeal.
      Her project went over time and budget, numerous staff left the company rather than work with her anymore, the phone bill went through the roof due to her international calls and it wasnt until the company started getting into some serious financial trouble that my boss started paying attention to what I was saying. This wasnt a power struggle, or me against her, it was me trying to keep the company afloat.
      When her contract was finally terminated, I submitted the hardware list of all the property to be returned or payed for, it came to well over $10,000 AUD.
      It was afterwards that I found out that she was trying to get me fired as well but the thing that saved me was that I made everything work, nothing was ever too much trouble for me, and I had a rapport with all the staff. (not to mention I was the only person who knew everything there, I did have documentation but it was kept offsite for security.)

      Though I dont blame the last consultant entirely, if my boss hadnt turned a blind eye to what was going on, things probably would have been a hell of a lot different.

      All I know is that I did my job properly and professionally…

    • #3204362

      you have an unfortunate experience…

      by sctang73 ·

      In reply to I just need to vent about consultants….

      Been in the industry for 10+ years. Worked for consultation firms, internal IT teams and even had my own shop at one point. I can honestly say that you have unfortunately encountered one bad apple amongst many good ones.
      As some previous posts have already mentioned, communication is absolutely critical. I also live & die by the phrase “Karma is a revolving door. What goes around, comes around.” Thus, if I don’t ever want to be treated like a jackass, I make it a point never to act like one.
      All humans are capable of acting inconsiderately towards others, especially in the work environment. It is neither justifiable or excusable, but crap happens.
      I have tried to always come prepared (at the expense of my back and knees) whenever I go to a client site. As I live & work in NYC, I endure the occassional bag searches and bomb sniffing dogs. Cops/ security guards ask me all the time “what the hell do you carry in here?”, as I routinely carry 30+ pounds in my backpack.
      I am very independant and don’t like to bother people for stuff – IMHO, an unprepared tech is either sloppy or irresponsible (extreme rush jobs are an exception). At the same time, I also dislike dependant people who need to borrow everything, be guided/ helped along like little children. There is no place in the professional world for people who act that way.
      There is also no place in the professional world for people who try to bully/ intimidate others with a god complex. Remember – a consultant is brought into another’s home turf. Chances are, you will be outnumbered by a bad ratio. The numbers game will always win even if you’re actually right. No one likes an arrogant know-it-all. Asking nicely can yield much faster and more accurate results than huffing and puffing your way to an answer.
      Bottom line is that consultants are paid to work & BEHAVE professionally. If a client pays you the agreed sum to complete a job, you had better come out w/ guns blazing. Be prepared to do work and answer questions. Make the client regret not hiring you sooner and not regret hiring you to begin with.

    • #3140265

      They expected me to train them and troubleshoot their equipment

      by m_johnson ·

      In reply to I just need to vent about consultants….

      We had some legal consulting here about 7-8 years back. They wanted me to train them in MS Word, help with their outline formatting and style, and troubleshooting their daisy-wheel printer.

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