Despised IT Contractors
The People I Have Despised was written by guest writer Paranoid Pete.
I have been IT contracting for nearly 20 years now. I have met lots of people who have irritated me in some way. This is no big deal as I have, I‘m sure, done the same to them.
There are a few backstabbing permies, though, that stick in the mind and it‘s hard to wish them well at all. Hopefully, if any of them are reading this, they‘ll recognize themselves.
Despised Team Leader
The first one was a project manager. He even had the sort of face you didn‘t like – ruddy and pudgy.
He hated contractors – especially me!
This was in the days of IBM Mainframes when you might have a 3000 line program on the go. This took a couple of minutes to compile during which time he expected you to work on something else.
He would stare at you if you left your desk too long or even spent more than a couple of minutes in the toilets. He got his comeuppance when the manager wanted a contractor to renew.
The IT contractor said that, sorry, he‘d rather not. When pressed, had to admit it was because of the hard time this team leader gave him. The manager was incandescent with the latter and we had a lot less hassle from him after that.
Upper Class Geek
A few years later, I was responsible for a smallish system in an Asset Management company. I loved working there in my own little empire just round the corner from Buckingham Palace. However, I decided to leave for what I thought was a fantastic opportunity. (Of course this didn‘t work out but that‘s another story).
In my final week, they introduced me to the new freelancer who would be taking over.
What struck me was how posh he was.
In my experience most IT contractors come from lower middle class backgrounds. There usually isn‘t enough kudos around to satisfy the upper crust. Someone pointed out that he couldn‘t have been that bright if all that money spent on his education had only turned him into a run-of-the-mill Oracle developer.
Anyway, the system was like a lot of others in that they could possibly have improved it by a few tweaks but was otherwise quite reliable and easy to maintain.
This chap in his first week decided to make changes without consulting anyone and was aggressive when I questioned why. The next day, somebody else who had been on holiday, came back, saw him and immediately asked the manager to sack him as he had worked with him before and had been totally irritated by him along with the rest of that company.
Unfortunately there was no happy ending. I left and I heard that this obnoxious type was still there a year later, behaving exactly as before.
Despised Ice Maiden
The third one was an Ice Maiden.
She was attractive with blonde hair and cold blue eyes but she had a personality that could turn milk sour.
I had returned to a company that I‘d worked before at, and had more or less, been foisted upon her team. I was the only contractor there and she took great delight in catching me out – asking obscure technical questions in front of the rest of the office.
Her next stunt was to ask me to take an immediate rate cut during the contract, not at renewal, and then to complain about my lack of professionalism when I didn‘t look too keen.
I managed to get another post at the same company when my contract wasn‘t renewed and on my first day there she told the manager a concoction of lies and untruths. He didn‘t really listen to her and I managed to see this term out OK.
Finally I worked at a software house and the pressure was on, as it always is at software houses.
The team leader was affable enough but he liked to let his deputy have a free role in making our lives a misery. She would literally scream at you if there was something she didn‘t like even if this was fixing a production problem and waiting a few minutes before telling her.
Anything that went wrong was the contractors‘ fault and she held onto this view even when conclusive proof was offered that it wasn‘t.
The project, though, was successful and I was amazed at her sweetness and light reaction on our final day – no hint of an apology was offered.
There you have it – 4 permies who have annoyed me in 20 years that I have despised isn‘t too bad. Maybe someone feels the same about me!
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