First things first:

I worked with company in a project for client, where I was simply a developer that did the tasks defined by company.

client then decides that he wants to make his own team after company contract finishes, so client contacts me, and after several months, I am part of his team, separated from company. In the team, there's a randomGuy who would act as CTO.

randomGuy is terribly arrogant. Even though he knows nothing about programming and doesn't understand anything technical about the project, he has this prepotent attitude where he questions me about literally everything. But OK, fine; I leave my pride aside and I try to be professional about it.


An issue that I had reported several times to company and was never resolved because company didn't manage a task for it appears again, since we want to publish the app. randomGuy asks me about it; I answer what I just said; "company is well aware of it; if they told you that it's ready for publication, then that issue must have been resolved by them".

A day after, randomGuy writes to company:

(My name) made us aware of an issue. I was never told about this and (My name) says that we're still waiting on you to work with us to deal with this.

My problem:

My reaction was "is randomGuy (unnecessarily) putting me in a position of conflict with company, who was my client, who has contacted me for other work unrelated to this project?!"

I'm baffled by this. If I were company, I wouldn't ever work again with a freelancer that not only blames me, but also creates a conflict situation, when it isn't needed at all.

I feel like randomGuy has hurt my reputation with company and that I've potentially lost company as a client, and he has not behaved like a team player, much less like a leader. He could have contacted company without creating this conflict with me in the center of it. I feel like I need to call him out on this, to be clear that I don't want to work with someone that behaves like this, and that I expect this to be the last time he does something like this.

What are your thoughts? Was randomGuy attitude unprofessional? Is my reputation with company irreparably broken? How (and should I) talk about this with randomGuy?

  • How well does company know you, your work, and your work ethic? It's possible they brush it under the rug and ignore it, if they know you are an awesome worker. It's possible they ignore you too, in which case, I'd still talk to randomGuy sooner, rather than later, about the potential effects and possible legal ramifications (if what he said is not true, and affects your ability to make money)
    – Canadian Luke
    Commented Apr 10, 2017 at 17:11
  • 1
    @CanadianLuke company knows me rather well, in the periods when I wasn't in the project, it didn't have any progress, so modesty apart, I think I did a good job. So I'm not wrong in thinking that randomGuy wasn't professional? I'll have to work with him the next months but yes, it's in my plans to let him know today that what he did wasn't the best way to do it. Thanks for taking the time to comment!
    – RominaV
    Commented Apr 10, 2017 at 17:47
  • Is randomGuy working with company as you were working with company? Commented Apr 12, 2017 at 18:19

4 Answers 4


Needless to say that I was in a similar situation. A company owner created a contract with me and then assigned a lead person to handle all team members. The lead person apparently never liked me, because my knowledge was better that his. As a result, a month or so later, my contract was ended, due to some silly reasons, without their being able to find code proof for their claims.

What I did wrong:

  1. I was too much of a team player and did not CC every communication with the guy who hired me

  2. I communicated with the lead in a private session

  3. I trusted that the project aim was more important than petty envy

In your case, since you already think that your reputation has been jeopardized and that you will eventually lose this contract, I would contact the GUY WHO HIRED you, and professionally express your concern that your reputation may be downgraded. DO NOT blame anyone. Act as a professional, not like a baby. Explain what was the cause of the issue, how you made the company aware of this issue on several occasions and who you felt that you need to write this additional explanation.

The tone must be professional, do not involve anyone, do not blame anyone.

If the client really respects you and does not treat you as meat, he will understand that CTO may not be acting properly. BUT you must not suggest this or say it explicitly or CTO may take revenge on you. Whether you like it or not, he is above you in the hierarchy.

There is also a thing that I've seen other people do: kiss ass. I am not such a person nor do I know how to do it. But I've seen that ass kissers are usually liked by their leads.


Your work with current client is temporary, yes? As is your relationship with Randomguy? However your reputation is more permanent. I would do two things.

  1. Contact the Company directly and let them know you did not "throw them under the bus" but rather addressed Clients question about an item still on the punch list and you did not speak poorly of Company. I would tell them you enjoyed the work you had done for Company previously and it still remains that you are available for other projects should they need you. I would let Company know not to take to heart anything RandomGuy says and you will do your best to maintain their reputation with client. (Company will not go to RandomGuy and say "Freealncer said this" they will appreciate you looking out for them and understand the position you are in with Randomguy.)

  2. I would then address RandomGuy, this is more difficult as RandomGuy is riding on the short bus and does not seem to understand the consequences of his statements. All mouth no ears. I would let him know that you did not explain it to him in the way he presented it to Company and it reflects poorly upon yourself. It him served no purpose to bring up your name as he could have simply said "Hey Company,we want to launch but this part of the app is not yet complete. What is the status?" I would not tell RandomGuy you spoke to Company or he will screw something else up. Then limit your information to RandomGuy only about present work and not prior work at company. You were hired to do a job with client not intermediate between Company and Client.


I think is simple:

  1. RandomGuy is not professional, but in terms of intelligence. He/her didn't want to mess with you, just lack of intelligence.
  2. Be clear with random guy and tell him/her about what he did and why do you think it puts you in a bad position.
  3. Company doesn't care that much, if they do, they will find out that the problem was already reported.

Ignore it unless asked. If the client is in any way bothered or troubled by randomGuy's comment they'll surely ask you. If they never say anything... they don't really care.

If asked, merely state:

"I reported this issue on [date] via email to [name]. I don't know why randomGuy is stating he wasn't aware."

-- In my career, I choose to not "play" the office politics and posturing games many play (like randomGuy is doing). So, this may not be a fabulous answer if you, yourself, engage in these types of maneuvers. I don't allow the attempts of others to denigrate my work on a personal level to be a catalyst to a big reaction on my part. My work speaks for itself. Which is why I post "if asked". I won't jump into the fray and play the little mind games. But I also wont accept fault where there is none.

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