I have just started a new contract and it is awful

Started a New Contract - Kick Ass Managers and IT Contractors
Started a New Contract - Kick Ass Managers and IT Contractors

Started a New Contract

A reader who has just started a new contract sent us this.


I‘ve just started a new contract and it is absolutely awful.

There is this young manager who wants to throw his weight around and he criticises all the contractors.

There‘s nothing you can produce that he says is good.

It‘s all bad according to him and he says it loudly.

He doesn‘t take you into a meeting room or office.

He says it in front of all the other contractors and the permies.

Indeed I think it is mostly for their benefit.

I heard soon after I took this contract that I had been offered another one.

However, I told he agency that I‘d already accepted this one and now it is too late.

By the way he treats all the contractors the same and they are in near revolt.

Dr McLaughlin’s Contractor Surgery

Jane, you‘ve made the same mistake that all contractors do, i.e. you turn down contracts without knowing if the one you have taken is any good.

Very often you will not be working for the person or people interviewing you but someone else entirely.

What you should have done is string the other agency along by saying that you would take the other contract.

As you got the other contract later than this one it is likely to start later than the one you are on so it gives you a chance to suck this one to see of it is any good before declining the other.

You should keep your options open.

If you had you would now be able to jump ship letting the company know that it was because of this idiot manager that you left.

Looking for Another Contract

However, you are not in that situation.

There are a number of ways of dealing with this.

Firstly you could recommence looking for another contract.

If you do this then you should keep your head down where you are till you get one and then you should jump shop letting the company know why you are terminating early.

Started a New Contract – Contract Get out Clause

Don‘t worry if you have a contract with no ‘get out‘ clause.

You can always get out of a contract.

For instance how long do you think you would last after having had a stand-up argument with this manager in front of all the permies and contractors saying out loud how useless a manager he is?

Get New IT Contract

If you cannot find a new contract quickly you‘ve then got to decide on whether you want to stay and be humiliated by this guy or to leave.

I don‘t know what your current financial state is and how quickly you could get a new contract with your skills set.

If you have to stay on, try and keep your head down and maybe have to put up with the nonsense from him.

Other IT Contractors Demotivated

You say the other contractors are in near revolt.

Perhaps one or two of them might do the job for you by packing it in and telling senior management that it was because of this idiot that they are leaving.

Senior management know that de-motivating people is not the way to get high productivity and a big turnover of staff, contractors or permies, does not produce high productivity.

Telling Senior Management

Even if no one leaves there may be ways to get to them.

Often contractors are older than the people they are working for and are often more the age of more senior management.

Often, also, when there are drinks in the pubs after work it is possible for the contractors to start up a rapport with those more senior managers.

It might be worth a few of the contractors putting a word or two in the ear of the senior managers about this idiot manager and how it is affecting permie / contractor relations and productivity on the contract.

Management Techniques

Everyone has their own ideas on management and it is far more likely that hose senior managers will have views more like your own on how a project should be managed rather than the management ‘˜techniques‘ of this idiot.

Kick-ass managers are not in the majority. They are very much in the minority.

You may get the opportunity to put the boot into this clown without him knowing you have even done so.

Missed IT Project Deliverable

Of course, the very best time to go to senior management would be after a deliverable has been missed especially if it is a major one.

He will be panicking and will have given them his reasons for it being missed.

You have an opportunity to give them another reason for the missed deadline.

Always remember that senior managers have someone else to report into and their success or failure will be judged by this project.

They won‘t let some jumped up kick-ass manager whose management philosophies they don‘t agree with ruin their careers.

Good Luck!

Agency Workers Regulations

I just had a late thought.

I wonder if with the Agency Workers Regulations whether you now have the right to go to Human Resources and make a formal complaint about him.

There‘s no way that he would be able to treat permies like that.

I wonder if that is one of the rights that agency workers like contractors now have, i.e. the right not to be humiliated and insulted by your boss.

Other IT contractors who have started a new contract and are the subject of bullying could try this.


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