…is a common, and horribly unpleasant, reality for anyone working on a Contract basis.
When the shit hits the fan (which it will, promise), it is so much easier to blame the contractors than it is for employees to take the blame…even if the shit is obviously theirs. So, as a contractor, you get very attuned to the approach of The Bus.
You hear it’s rumble.
You smell it’s exhaust, long before the actual bus appears.
And you realize you have two approaches, two reactions:
- Take it personally
- Do not take it personally
I choose #2. Tire tracks scar me side-to-side and top-to-bottom. I do not take it personally, but I do not forget. Let’s not call it a Grudge; it’s a tactical approach to further business. You simply change tactics when dealing with the people or companies that either toss or drive (if you choose to deal with them in the future).
Most of the time, if it’s an individual that throws you under The Bus, people are well aware of what happened and take it into account (if you’re a good contractor and add value)–so it has little impact (other than “ouch”). In the future, you simply deal with that individual in a way that holds them accountable (CYA trails are valuable…they call it “auditing” or “version control”…or some such thing).
If it’s a company…then you generally decide for yourself. Is it worth the time, money and pain? Will it damage your overall reputation?
And, of course, if you cannot handle this reality, you probably should not be a contractor.