Dishonest Agent – I thought I had seen it all in IT Contracting

Dishonest Agent
Dishonest Agent

Dishonest Agent Fools Me

A dishonest agent did me good and proper.

In my many years contracting in IT in the UK thought I had seen/done it all. That was until this happened to me recently.

I got a 9-month rolling contract with a small bank. They agreed to pay me overtime (so the agency told me). That’s as the project was likely to generate a lot of this. As the daily rate was moderate the overtime was a massive pay booster to attract an experienced hire like me.

No problem!

Made Role More Attractive

It made it more attractive otherwise I would have passed as I did not really want to take the role. The agent was constantly hassling me to start this role but I was really unsure. I suspected something was not quite right about it. The manager really liked me & wanted me to start ASAP. However, I kept delaying until he hit his deadline to either hire someone or lose the headcount.

So the agent told me I had to accept and would even pay me full holiday pay as well as other perm perks like company laptop, blackberry, gym membership etc etc you name it. Whatever they have the perms they offered me except the pension scheme. That’s even though would be employ me as a contractor.

I still did not want to take the role. Something about the agent did not click with me. However, it‘s always nice when someone wants you, right? That’s especially in this economic climate and money is money even if its way less than they gave you in your last role. That’s about £800 a week less to be precise –  not exactly chump change.

First Few Days

The first few day‘s pass normally. Then I discover to my horror what was wrong with the actual role. It was a very junior role a 1st jobber would do ideally. The manager has been very remote since I started because it was such a junior role.

I asked for a meeting to see how I am getting along thinking I have done something to upset him. Then the ugly truth appears. In the meeting it transpires that under no circumstances would the bank pay overtime to anyone. If you do extra work you get extra time off pro-rata which they would add to your holiday entitlement!

This means I am suddenly £800 per week out of pocket. So without saying anything to the client next day I speak to the agent offsite. I tell him to get someone else and ask does he want me to finish the week as I didn’t want to work there any longer. That’s because he was less than honest with me. He denied it, obviously, but he was not a good liar.

Turned Down Other Opportunities

So in the end I wasted a week and turned down other opportunities all because a dishonest agent lied to me to get someone decent onsite as the bank had trouble getting experienced staff as their perm rates were way below market rate. So the IT dept was in a very poor state and morale was low.

This was not surprising to me when they used the services of a very dishonest agency (the agent ran his own agency and had HR contacts in the bank to get the few contract roles they had). The IT manager was also partially responsible he had to lie about the role otherwise experience staff would not interview.



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