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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello:

I'm having a terrible time trying to determine what to do. Maybe some of you have some experience with the same problem?

I am a technology contractor that is taking over a new customer from their former contractor. It seems the owner of the company is friendly with the former contractor, only replacing him because of what they view as his being too busy with his business that focuses on one industry piece of software, not the various general technology contractor duties that include servers, firewalls, PCs, multiple locations, etc.

I've been asked by the new customer to work on projects over the past year that sometimes include working with the former contractor, who seems to like to appear out of nowhere to define some piece he "must" do instead of giving me control. The owner must be believing him, as they are on other really crazy ideas like not needing a VPN for a company that is sharing servers between 14 different facilities. The last project came to a point where I needed access to the Corporate firewall and the previous contractor submitted a password that was supposed to get me in. It wouldn't. We went back and forth for more than a day, where I was billable to the customer, and I eventually came to believe after ruling every other possibility out that he was lying about the password. Eventually he ended up lying to the customer about the solution and they stopped the project even though they've been provided multiple instances that the problem still exists.

Recently, I was given another project that required access to the Corporate firewall. He again provided the incorrect password. I began working on learning more about the firewall and found out when the company purchased it, they gave him the money to buy it for them, including expensive support from the manufacturer, and he put it all in his own name instead of theirs. This makes it impossible for them, or me, to get support without him. Technically, he's the owner of the equipment they believe is theirs! I nicely pointed out that he should put it in their name and suddenly he called the owner, chatted him up, and now he's in charge of all the firewall work.

During the firewall changes, I quickly learned the former contractor doesn't know what he's doing. And not just a little, but like - totally clueless about the VPN solution he told the customer he knows how to setup. I ended up having to practically walk him through what I needed from him to get my part done on time.

In the end, I asked for a modification to the configuration that would take five minutes to complete. He stated he would, notified me he did, but just like the lies about the password to the router, the changes aren't correct because the VPN client still doesn't work the way I want it to. It works enough to give the customer what they want, but it is in such a nonstandard way and will cause other problems in the future.

I'm EXTREMELY frustrated but really torn. This guy was with the customer for years before and seems to have built a relationship with many of the employees, including the owner. He acts really friendly, and I believe he genuinely is, but he's CLEARLY hiding something about the equipment. I WANT to send the customer a long list of everything he's done and point out how he's added 200% more cost to the project than if they had just let me do it myself. Everything with him was through emails so I have trails that show I had to walk him through what I needed him to do which took hours more than if I had just done it myself. I'm worried this guy's bad habits and inability to finish anything is making me look bad, which may be his angle.

What do I do? Keep my mouth shut and let him blame me for anything that may be out of order, or go to his friends and try to show them in a technical way how he's not the technology mesiah they seem to think in their non technical world? I certainly don't want to appear to be a jerk trying to squeeze him out, which I really don't care to do since there is plenty of work to do for everyone. I just don't want his problems coming back on me when it is too late to make a difference.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
LOL - I wish it were that easy. I'd def throw down with this cat in front of the customers for a lunch break parking lot brawl to settle the score, just for his lying alone.
 

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What's the rating of the Corporate firewall? One hour? Two hour? Gyp and wood, or metal studs?

Seriously though, when there is trouble involving the VPM, you should kick somebodies ass.

Don't worry, soon someone will sincerely give you some good options:thumbsup:
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Rating may as well be watered down, recycled paper the way this guy's been treating the thing since he set it up. If you know anything about firewalls, it is that you don't open ports on them that point directly to server software that has known, easily exploited flaws in it. But, that's just what he's done, telling the customer it is ok because hackers will never find them. He must be breathing in too much dust-off lately if he really believes that advanced port tools aren't freely available and built in to other hacking software that could find his open ports without any human effort at all.

But, here I am going off on the differences of opinion we have in other parts of the customer we share. Those are fine, I just don't like to see blatant lying like is happening in the scenario I provided.

I just hate seeing customers suffer, especially because they are not knowledgeable enough to see he shouldn't have the trust they are putting in to him.
 

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What's the rating of the Corporate firewall? One hour? Two hour? Gyp and wood, or metal studs?

Seriously though, when there is trouble involving the VPM, you should kick somebodies ass.

Don't worry, soon someone will sincerely give you some good options:thumbsup:


I think OP should post this in a Technology Forum (IT related) .. where they mean "firewall" as a special server/software/tool for controlling Internet/Intranet accesses to corporate computers/servers and internal networks, VPNs, etc.. (I know what OP is talking about too) .. :whistling

But here, in this CT forums when we mean "fire-rated wall", we mean normal/building/construction walls that made of fire-retardant materials, special contruction techniques, etc.


Again, this CT forum is related to Construction/Remodeling only, and everything SHOULD BE all about construction business. (for easy understanding & discussion purposes) :thumbsup:
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Oh, sorry - I missed that this was a specialized forum.

Contracting is contracting tho and the general question that would fit everywhere, void of technical details, would be: do you tell your mutual customer when you see concerning actions by another contractor they trust more than you?
 

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I should forward this to Ol'#2 but I don't want her messing around on another one of my refuge sites.

She's a Senior Consultant with Avaya.
 

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I think OP should post this in a Technology Forum (IT related) .. where they mean "firewall" as a special server/software/tool for controlling Internet/Intranet accesses to corporate computers/servers and internal networks, VPNs, etc.. (I know what OP is talking about too) .. :whistling

But here, in this CT forums when we mean "fire-rated wall", we mean normal/building/construction walls that made of fire-retardant materials, special contruction techniques, etc.


Again, this CT forum is related to Construction/Remodeling only, and everything SHOULD BE all about construction business. (for easy understanding & discussion purposes) :thumbsup:

Come on!!! I was laughing so hard at the guy that asked him if it was a 1 or 2 hour firewall:laughing::laughing::laughing::clap:
 

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Oh, sorry - I missed that this was a specialized forum.

Contracting is contracting tho and the general question that would fit everywhere, void of technical details, would be: do you tell your mutual customer when you see concerning actions by another contractor they trust more than you?

In terms on General Contracting rules/laws/procedures, yes it is the same principles. But in software/IT/computer matter, it is more discreet because of ITS SECURITY & CONFIDENTIALITY agreements signed between you and the customer. In summary, is is all in the contract that you signed with him that will give you the authority to disclose or not!?? So look in it and find out what you can do, say, or ask..?? Good luck!! :whistling
 

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Your in a bad situation.

I know the feeling because I've been involved with such "turd polishing" projects where the guy making the calls doesn't know a subnet from his a$$hole. So what ends up happening is he continues to dick you around and since your doing the legwork you end up looking like an incompetent fool.

Call him out hard or just get the heck out of there.
 

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NAWA,

If the customer knew that he is the one causing the increase in cost he would be gone. The good ol boys network isn’t that strong. He may be telling them that it’s you. What do you have to lose, likely the contract, your livelihood? You need to offer this information to the customer in a professional manor without bashing their friend. In your billings you should be offering line items referring to consulting with the other contractor. They will be soon asking you for your emails to back it up. Let the owner decide once he or she has all of the facts.
Try not to kick his @$$ in the meantime.:eek:
 

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Rating may as well be watered down, recycled paper the way this guy's been treating the thing since he set it up. If you know anything about firewalls, it is that you don't open ports on them that point directly to server software that has known, easily exploited flaws in it. But, that's just what he's done, telling the customer it is ok because hackers will never find them. He must be breathing in too much dust-off lately if he really believes that advanced port tools aren't freely available and built in to other hacking software that could find his open ports without any human effort at all.
OMG my head is spinning. I was making a joke. I do know a thing or two about fire-rated wall structures, and I am using the internet, so I have heard of firewall in the technology realm:thumbsup:. As someone else stated, contracting is contracting. We all do not need to understand what a VPM is to know that you feel that your customer may be getting the shaft, and that you may get the blame. This is common in all types of contracting scenerios, from dirt-work to IT. Hang in there, and you'll get some good opinions
 

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RE: Calling him out

Do you mean in front of the customer, in private..?

Definately in private.
You don't want to make him look bad in front of his peers!
He's probably just a hard headed old frt like me that is not going to let a newbie show him up.
If he old school,he may need some updating,but afraid to admit it.
Walk him through it,and accept the glory of doing the right thing.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
oldfrt - I actually had the impression of him having outdated knowledge so agree with you. For as much as I'm bashing him in a nameless way to vent frustration, I've mentioned to him that I think we're both similar in that we can both figure anything out. The part I didn't mention to him is that he's focused on a piece of software for one industry and made that his business. I'm sure he would kick my ass on some details about an industry specific piece of software delivery. That said, he's not been focusing on networking and web applications and other tools of today. It shows in his customer's technology adoption. The employees are starting to see the light, and the owner is still holding on to the friend.

I'm trying to give him a graceful exit strategy, thus why I privately emailed him and nicely mentioned he should make the customer the owner of the equipment they purchased so they can get support when they need it. That's when he went crazy calling upper mgmt to get me banned from touching the device. Still, I'm all about his graceful exit out of the situation, as long as he starts showing a desire to exit gracefully which isn't what I've seen so far. Just as I've been messaging with all of you, he finally shows up 1.5 weeks late to tell me he didn't realize I emailed him with a report on what wasn't working, which I clearly have record of doing. He jumped in and performed the task I needed. Finally. Still, there's all the lying up to this point and all the other problems of his now knowing what to do with any regard for efficiency... just because he finishes a project two weeks late doesn't mean I still shouldn't have a private "I know what you've been up to" discussion.
 

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What's the rating of the Corporate firewall? One hour? Two hour? Gyp and wood, or metal studs?

Seriously though, when there is trouble involving the VPM, you should kick somebodies ass.

Don't worry, soon someone will sincerely give you some good options:thumbsup:
:laughing::laughing::laughing::laughing::laughing::laughing::laughing::laughing::laughing:
 
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