Fighting for Your Life
I was almost voted off the island recently.
Because of some scheduling issues involving me rolling off a project, another one starting, and the slated person still a week away of rolling of his project, I was in the unfortunate position of going to a client's site for just 1 week, at the start of a new project. The first day, I arrived late because of travel details, and we spent the day going over the technical details of what it was we were going to be doing. All fine and good. In fact, one of the overviewers was kind enough to identify something he thought I could do in just a week, something orthogonal to the rest of the work.
The next day I get to work and the client supervisor asked me into his office. "Neal, we just don't think the one week thing is going to do us any good, we like you and all, but you should just go ahead and leave." He was trying to kick me off the island! The last thing he said was "Unless you can think of a good reason we should keep you..." That was my chance. I said "Well, of course, it is your decision, but I have found something I can get done in a week", and went on to tell him about the one-off sub-project we had identified the day before in technical detail. He listened to my case, then called the technical lead into his office and had me repeat it. The tech lead said "Well, we do need that piece, and I think he can get it done in a week". The supervisor turned to me and said "Alright, get back in your office and get to work!". Saved!
And it turns out that I was able to get the work done in a week, and the client requested that I stay on instead of the guy originally slated for the gig. How is that for defending your life?