An unexpected surprise at work
I have been away from the office on a 2 week vacation, and am due to return today. I am a consultant on a long term support assignment at a bank in the City of London.

In Saturday's mail, I received a letter from my consultancy boss asking me to come in to the office on Monday morning, before going to the client. Uh oh! I say to myself. Maybe the client has pulled out of the deal. Whom have I upset?

For my own peace of mind, I call my boss over the weekend - he tells me that all contractors and outside service providers are having their rates cut - that this is what it is all about (but this will not affect my pay cheques). But, he still wants me to come in to the office first thing on Monday. I sleep easy for two nights, and travel in to the consultancy office.

I arrive at the office and meet with the boss to learn the news. Apparently Daniel, whom the consultancy put on site during my absence, is doing so well at the clients' that they want to retain him instead of me. I consider this, and I realise that Daniel has certain technical skills that I do not - but I have specialist knowledge.

During the two days before I went away, I was briefing him on some of this. It seems that I did a good job - the client seems very satisfied. My boss was quite apologetic, and also hopeful that we can expand the support operation to include both myself and Daniel. He also arranged for the three of us to meet at a bar at lunch time.

We met, and everything is cosy. Also I have some reported feedback from the boss at the clients, that I have done nothing wrong. I am left thinking that here is a snafu client who makes decisions without thinking them through. Time will tell whether they show interest or the situation gets worse.