Sucker Punch ("thanks for the free consulting, but no job for you!")

Wes Bucey

Quite Involved in Discussions
#1
Here's the situation:
The job market for everybody has been in the dumps for three years.
Quality folk are being eased out of jobs and those who remain or are hired get less pay, less authority, and more work and grief.

So the smart guys in quality go out looking for a new job where they will get paid commensurate with their value and be respected for their contribution to the success of the organization.

They find an ideal situation opening, good location, good pay, interesting industry. They do ALL the right things they've learned from Wes's posts on job hunting and find themselves either phone-to-phone or face-to-face with an interviewer.

They spiel on about how much value they can add to the organization and the interviewer is just so darn pleasant and nice and encouraging, the candidate wonders how he could be so lucky.

Finally, the interviewer says, "Wow! I'm really impressed. One of the things I'm interested in, though, is how you would handle this situation . . . ."

[he proceeds to list a situation so detailed, the candidate is pretty sure it's real.]

The candidate is so eager to sew up the job, he spends a week researching and creating a solution, which he writes up in excellent form, presenting it with a flourish via email. The interviewer writes back, "Thanks we'll be in touch; we have two more candidates to interview, but, so far, you're at the top of our list."

The candidate nearly wets himself with excitement. "Yes!" he thinks, "I've finally found an employer who 'gets it' - Hallelujah!"

Two weeks go by. Three weeks. The candidate waits; he doesn't want to alienate the employer by appearing too anxious and needy. Finally, he emails, asking how the selection process is going. No answer. In the fifth week, he phones, twice a day for three days. Finally,on the sixth call, the original interviewer picks up and says, "Oh man. I'm so sorry I couldn't get back to you. It's been a madhouse around here for the past month. There's been a big shakeup and it looks like the position we were considering you for is just being eliminated. I want you to know, though, we'll keep your resume on file in case things change for the better or something else turns up."

In shock, the candidate hangs up and pours himself a stiff drink of anything alcoholic.

Back at the putative "employer," the "interviewer" congratulates himself on the bonus he received for the "suggestion" he presented to HIS boss which needed only a change in cover pages to eliminate any mention of our original candidate.

The scenario I have laid out in the foregoing not only "could" happen; it DOES happen (with variations) somewhere every day. Sometimes, it's an interviewer; other times it's a boss or colleague. The end result is the same - the guy behind the idea gets nothing and somebody else benefits from his expertise and work.

THE QUESTIONS:

  1. Has something like this happened to you?
  2. How did you find out?
  3. Were you able to salvage anything from the experience?
  4. How do you protect yourself from being a victim again?
As a consultant, I have folks continually trying to pick my brains for free. When I recognize the ploy, I usually just laugh and say. "Wow! You're trying to pick my brain for free! Let's sign a contract and get a deposit and then continue."

Other times, though, I'm sad to say, I let my ego overrule my brain and I keep giving away the store, only to find I've solved the prospect's problem and he no longer needs to become a client. That's when I get a big stiff drink of something alcoholic and am kind of happy I'm not flexible enough to kick myself in the ass!
 
Elsmar Forum Sponsor
M

michaelrm

#2
I work as a full time consultant in the oil and gas/ steel industry, specialising in welding and material controls, I always get the want it free bit , I just take it as it comes give them a higher overview and leave it at that and walk away, I have found this the best method, I have had a few new clients come back after a while and get the contract. But young ones and some of us oldies do have a ego problem, and that can come back and burn you.




Confidence is the key - without being arrogant
 

Statistical Steven

Statistician
Staff member
Super Moderator
#3
THE QUESTIONS:

  1. Has something like this happened to you?
  2. How did you find out?
  3. Were you able to salvage anything from the experience?
  4. How do you protect yourself from being a victim again?
Read the Book the Go-Giver. Sometimes you have to give to get. More importantly, a hiring manager or potential client will need the "Expert" at a later time. Hard to fake it in many cases.
 
Last edited by a moderator:
I

iamtroll

#4
I agree with Steve, pro bono work is painful but necessary in some senarios in order to prove your worth prior to receiving a contract. On the other side of the coin I guess that I wouldn't want to work directly for the guy who stole my ideas and presented them as his own anyway. Let's face it if he or she did it to you at the interview level the trend is sure to continue if you were a direct report. Wouldn't that be fun?:(
 

Wes Bucey

Quite Involved in Discussions
#5
I agree with Steve, pro bono work is painful but necessary in some senarios in order to prove your worth prior to receiving a contract. On the other side of the coin I guess that I wouldn't want to work directly for the guy who stole my ideas and presented them as his own anyway. Let's face it if he or she did it to you at the interview level the trend is sure to continue if you were a direct report. Wouldn't that be fun?:(
I see a difference between "high level" overview (I call it "bread upon the waters") to whet a prospect's appetite for one's skills and "pro bono" work where one does 'give away the store' as a gift (sometimes to nonprofits, other times to regular customers or suppliers to keep a relationship alive.)
 

Statistical Steven

Statistician
Staff member
Super Moderator
#6
I see a difference between "high level" overview (I call it "bread upon the waters") to whet a prospect's appetite for one's skills and "pro bono" work where one does 'give away the store' as a gift (sometimes to nonprofits, other times to regular customers or suppliers to keep a relationship alive.)
In your scenario I put some blame on the candidate too. You cannot give away the store, but you can give away free samples. A high level overview should have been the response, but a lengthy report.

Give away abstracts, keep content.
 

Wes Bucey

Quite Involved in Discussions
#7
In your scenario I put some blame on the candidate too. You cannot give away the store, but you can give away free samples. A high level overview should have been the response, but a lengthy report.

Give away abstracts, keep content.
That was part of the point of the post - to alert newbies and old hands alike to keep up their guard. I purposely included the fact that the exploiter can and probably will be charming and flattering to seduce the victim from watching the store. I know better and I still get seduced by flattery. I don't see "blame" so much as "misplaced trust."
 

Chennaiite

Never-say-die
Trusted Information Resource
#8
<snip>
The scenario I have laid out in the foregoing not only "could" happen; it DOES happen (with variations) somewhere every day. Sometimes, it's an interviewer; other times it's a boss or colleague. The end result is the same - the guy behind the idea gets nothing and somebody else benefits from his expertise and work.<snip>
Merry Christmas to Covers.

I thought, one experiences the 'sucker punch' more often from boss and fellow colleagues. How often we get to hear the appreciation for your colleague with whom you shared your ideas or product of your ideas. I had been at the receiving end for many a time in the initial phase of my career and later I adapted to 'you have it, flaunt it' type. Of course, it is important that we flaunt to the right person as well.

In case of interviewer, I think there has to be a compromise formula. If you don't believe in selling your ideas, you may have to play down your expectations.
 
Last edited:
L

LSS Master

#9
Hi Wes,

Its been a while since I have posted, but I couldn't resist this thread. I have been a consultant for nearly 30 years and, like you, have been "played" a few times.

I agree that a potential client should be given some information (or references) to assure them of a consultant's abilities, knowledge, experience. However, giving away free consulting services is poor practice, in my experience. It lowers the prospective client's opinion of your value and your prefessionalism. I learned this lesson the hard way early in my career. I was losing several engagements, despite the fact that I was the low bidder. I was shocked when a prospective client told me that I lost the engagement with his firm because my hourly rate was so low. I raised my rate and almost immediately began winning jobs!

Obviously, a consultant has to be able to deliver what is promised. Its also important to market your brand properly.

:agree::thanks:
 
Thread starter Similar threads Forum Replies Date
O Need Example PFMEA for Turret Punch Press Manufacturing and Related Processes 2
Marc EMP device to shape and punch holes through steel World News 2
J Value Stream Mapping (VSM) Information - Manufacture of fasteners in punch presses Lean in Manufacturing and Service Industries 24
J SPC for hole size taking into account punch wear Statistical Analysis Tools, Techniques and SPC 3
A Use of Terminology - Difference between NC, deficiency, punch lists, etc. Document Control Systems, Procedures, Forms and Templates 4
M Thanks for the help Coffee Break and Water Cooler Discussions 0
Marc Interesting Discussion We have food safety laws thanks to 19th century “poison squad” Food Safety - ISO 22000, HACCP (21 CFR 120) 1
bobdoering Thanks to those that tried to fill the void Covegratulations 2
T Special Thanks to Everyone in this Forum! AS9100, IAQG 9100, Nadcap and related Aerospace Standards and Requirements 6
S Thanks from a newbie Coffee Break and Water Cooler Discussions 4
A Thanks for your help in the Elsmar forum IEC 60601 - Medical Electrical Equipment Safety Standards Series 2
H ISO 9001 - Thanks for the help ISO 9000, ISO 9001, and ISO 9004 Quality Management Systems Standards 6
harrysons Thanks to Elsmar Cove - Successful TS16949:2009 Certification Covegratulations 10
T Nissan acronym: THANKS? Customer and Company Specific Requirements 3
G What is the proper Thanks Giving turkey sampling size? Coffee Break and Water Cooler Discussions 9
G VERY easy savory baked Thanks Giving party treat Coffee Break and Water Cooler Discussions 0
S ISO 9001: 2008 Certification Success - Thanks Covegratulations 9
J Back from Europe, no thanks to BA Travel - Hotels, Motels, Planes and Trains 12
A Recommended for AS9100B Certification! Thanks! AS9100, IAQG 9100, Nadcap and related Aerospace Standards and Requirements 4
Sidney Vianna Thanks Given to Others in Forum Posts Coffee Break and Water Cooler Discussions 9
M closed thanks Document Control Systems, Procedures, Forms and Templates 1
K Successful Audit: Thanks for your help! ISO 13485:2016 - Medical Device Quality Management Systems 10
M Changing the CNC program - Money Saving Idea - Thanks to all of you. Manufacturing and Related Processes 1
J Thanks Everyone Coffee Break and Water Cooler Discussions 4
D Urgently need VDA6.3 guideline ! Thanks. VDA Standards - Germany's Automotive Standards 12
SteelMaiden Give Thanks - Thanksgiving Day in the US - November 2006 Coffee Break and Water Cooler Discussions 14
Wes Bucey Thanks for giving me the opportunity to give a little bit back Philosophy, Gurus, Innovation and Evolution 20
J Thanks To All Our Veterans Coffee Break and Water Cooler Discussions 15
C Thanks for the help guys ISO 9000, ISO 9001, and ISO 9004 Quality Management Systems Standards 4
J How to use the six sigma in supply chain? thanks Six Sigma 3
J What is difference between the goal of PPAP with APQP, thanks APQP and PPAP 4
Q Registration Audit done! Thanks for all your help! Coffee Break and Water Cooler Discussions 4
N Big Thanks Coffee Break and Water Cooler Discussions 3
M Thanks for the help with the usefull tips and guidance Coffee Break and Water Cooler Discussions 2
S We Made it to TS 16949 Certification - THANKS! IATF 16949 - Automotive Quality Systems Standard 27
Marc My Continuing Thanks to the Moderators, financial Contributors and the 'Regulars'! Coffee Break and Water Cooler Discussions 5
B Giant thanks to Marc and all the Covers! ISO Upgrade with Zero NCs! ISO 9000, ISO 9001, and ISO 9004 Quality Management Systems Standards 10
A Thanks,Marc Coffee Break and Water Cooler Discussions 3
Similar threads






































Top Bottom