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OT:corporate snobbery..good or bad?

I work for A company which hires B consultant company. B is reknown worldwide as elite, only hiring the best and brightest. What I can't stand is the snobbery of these B folks. Why it is so hard for the company to ingrain a 'down to earth' value to their employees? I don't think these snob attitude helps them in dealing with the users.

What do you think? How can a company be 'elite' and 'down-to-earth' at the same time?

Marc Albertini
Tuesday, November 25, 2003

Er, remember that it's the client who ultimately pays their salaries?

Kilroy
Tuesday, November 25, 2003

Attitude comes from the top down. My guess is that the owners of B foster a local culture of being the in-crowd, and talking internally of anyone they deal with on the outside being an idiot needing education and guidance. We're holy and noble, everyone else is a stupid unwashed philistine, etc.

Company culture is determined by the company's owners and executives. If they don't think that stuck up employees are a problem, then don't expect it to change.

Bored Bystander
Tuesday, November 25, 2003

One other thing. It's the client's EXECUTIVES who pay the consultant's salaries indirectly, through B. What matters is what the executives of A think of B. And it's unlikely that A's executives have any contact with B's consultant employees.

In most companies, the executives don't give a rat's ass if their employees were offended by stuck up consultants. Generally they will view any friction as a beneficial hazing of their "stupid", "low-achieving" employees... familiarity breeding contempt, and the unknown being assumed "better".

Bored Bystander
Tuesday, November 25, 2003

You could be confusing confidence and salesmanship with snobbery.  It is this attitude that gets them positions.  What is the point of hiring people as good as yours?  This is especially true in places where IBM, EDS, CSC, Cap-Gemini, etc. take over the IT department.  Once hired, leaders need to feel comfortable they did the right thing.

Assuming they were hired to accomplish a task, then they would have skills your team did not posses.  While many think it is saving money, most times it is not.  Budgets stabilize, but are rarely cheaper.  However, execs know they have on tap, some of the best in the industry. 

Rather than fight it, try to figure out why they are there.  If you can do what they are, then you have a couple of options.  One is to replace them, by showing you have the same skills, or get a position with them.

Having worked with three of the top four IT vendors, in most cases a shop is taken over and we find a lot of big fish in a small pond, who when shown the ocean cannot compete.  However, we also freed a lot of small fish to grow beyond anything they could have staying.

One last caution.  Don't pee in the pool.  Many companies will bring in an outsourcer as staff supplementation, before the cut-over.  If you make the job harder, you have little value when the transition happens and are unlikely to be offered much of anything.  Remember, they may have skills, but you have system knowledge.  Leverage it.

YesImOneOfThem
Tuesday, November 25, 2003

Me, big monkey. You, small monkey. Boom, boom.

We haven't evolved that much :-p

Frederic Faure
Tuesday, November 25, 2003

Someone called me snob a few years ago. I think that was envy. :-)

Evgeny Gesin /Javadesk/
Tuesday, November 25, 2003

Good points on envy. Years ago when I worked in a "SW cesspool", I was aware that most of the other employees who were programmers envied me for my knowledge, and I was constantly dealing with dillholes who felt that they had to compete with me and one-up me constantly. There was never an equilibrium, I was always put on the defensive.

So, we don't know what the personality and background of the OP is. I tend to give people the benefit of the doubt when they state an observation, but it *could* be his problem too.

Bored Bystander
Tuesday, November 25, 2003

Most *really good* programmers, researchers, consultants, etc. I have met were also down to earth. Thus, they were good enough to realise that even they could learn one or two things while working with other normal people. I'd say that corporate snobbery is just plain stupid, and it can be quite damaging, because it restricts the experience of corporations (they tend to close to other people's views).

uncronopio
Tuesday, November 25, 2003

Put yourself in their shoes for a minute.  Can you imagine how frustrating it can be to be forced to work with people much less able who don't recognize it?  They might be better at your job, but that doesn't mean they have some superhuman ability to manage their emotions and natural tendencies.

(And if you think your people are in their league, then why did your employer have to spend cash to go outside for help?)

mean
Monday, December 01, 2003

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