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What’s the worst you’ve ever been chewed out? Just got an earful from partner over draft deliverable and feeling kinda down. Share some stories to cheer each other up? Senior folks esp welcome!

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Got a few good ones... they’re all people with issues with themselves and they take it out on you. Every time it’s happened to me I’ve learned to see some of it coming and try to steer around it. 🤷🏻‍♀️

First project with a client who was very nice to me, we were hallway talking about getting his new hires trained and I was walking him though what I would train them. All of a sudden blew up, backed me into the corner of a cubicle and proceeded to tell me that “ya know, we don’t have the training budget like your big company has” it came outta left field and I was absolutely shocked 😂 told the partner and she backed him into his office and said if you speak like that to my people again we are all gone from this project and not coming back. We were about 80% of his staffing.

Had a MEAN SM who could not get this project going. Data we were asking for was PII and basically we were never going to get it. We started the project and spent 3 mos making DAILY adjustments to our project plan which continued to never resolve. The SM was so pissed the entire time they would talk down about another SM who was our technical cloud lead and scream at people constantly for “touching their face” or hair/fidgeting/etc. SM had this absurd short/trendy haircut that theyd flip around CONSTANTLY all day but we *were not* allowed to do the same.

Another client at a huge Fortune 500 who *did not* like consultants and had the best time dangling my responsiveness/deliverables/etc as if it’s not fast enough or good enough I do have the partners number. Ended up telling him go for it on calling the partner, I’d find another client quickly bc I’m good at my job. He loved the balls I had and stopped aggressively coming at me. Spent 18 mos with that client and he gave me a hug when I left 😂

Worked with this old guy from a third party consultant who was brought in to engineer data into AWS - he had no idea about AWS and told me he was a partner at Deloitte 🧐. He spent weeks reading about AWS and telling me what to do/not understanding the process we had In place and interrupting before I could finish any explaination. He also wouldn’t actually do any work and he’d say “you can help me PLEASE” but I wasnt working for him. One meeting he interrupted and I said look I don’t have time to continue to explain this, please let me finish my thoughts before you interrupt. He absolutely BLEW UP, laughed in my face and said “wives always tell you to stop interrupting” he was rolled off the client and not welcome back.

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When I was at Deloitte I was on a project where the client wanted things done a certain way and was very specific with short bullet points. So I did the report out exactly that way - like 200 pages. My manager, a self-acclaimed writer, thought otherwise and they needed more detail. He told my senior manager that I had no idea what I was doing, constantly questioned my ability in the role (“do you even know about the basics of X?”) so that made me feel really good 🤨. The manager rewrote the entire thing. We presented to the client, hated it and wanted it the way they asked. The team decided I wasted their time, kicked me off and brought in a favorite lower level who finished the job. It was almost exactly what I did with a few wording changes. The client loved it. Praise and glory to the lower level, and the manager. The dream team. I had never felt so low or so pissed at the same time. My senior manager told me that maybe consulting isn’t for me as it’s not for everybody. To be more like (insert names of favorites) can be really tough, but they “get it” and I don’t.

Flash forward a few years to seeing this client at an event, and told I was their favorite person to work with and they were sorry and so disappointed I “had to leave the engagement for certain reasons”.

The things is - sure maybe consulting at a Big4 wasn’t for me. But having good relationships with people is. And I find that underestimated in the consulting world when I thought it was supposed to be about having good relationships.

You’ll find your silver lining - just because you don’t work in a way that these particular people want you to doesn’t mean you’re not a talented consultant. It means you’ve got some poor management who isn’t guiding you in the right way.

likeupliftingsmarthelpful

This is much appreciated 🙌 I’ve felt some low points similar to this.. questioned why I’m even devoting my passion and energy to be overlooked. Appreciate the silver lining

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Highlights:
-Is this a joke?
-This makes no sense.
-Why do you make everything so f'ing complicated?
-Struggle at coloring?
-Go use that big brain of yours to think about it.

My favorite was that I needed to be more aware of how others perceived me (everyone talked poorly about me behind my back).

likefunnysmartupliftinghelpful

I think we may have reported to the same person... oh wait they all sound like that

likehelpful

We printed our draft deck double sided for a internal review with the partner . He walked in , sat down , was handed out a copy post the SM set context . He flipped through it , realized it was printed on both sides , threw it on the floor, got up and said “ask the analyst to f’ing print a deck one slide per page “. 🤦🏼🤦🏼 I made a promise to myself to not behave like this EVER.

likefunnysmarthelpful

Google1, those sound like great accomplishments. I hope I️ didn’t hurt your argument bc i’m a flat earth believer. Also kpmg1, people are literally dying, we don’t need a grammar natzi

I was half-assing this assignment that I reallly didn’t want to do and the partner called me out for it (he was totally right).

He was like yelling and cursing at me, but he kept repeating himself. After the third-round of repeating the same rage I couldn’t stop myself from smiling and almost started laughing out loud. I finally said, “when you’re done can we talk about how to fix it?”. He chilled out, gave me some actually constructive feedback, and I knocked it out of the park.

We ended up working well together after that and we even played squash at his local gym. He kicked my ass so I guess he got his revenge in the end, haha.

likehelpfulsmartupliftingfunny

Playing squash w a partner!?! That’s absurd.

likehelpful

Had a shoe thrown at me by my boss, and back before email had my paper deliverables ripped by the same boss in an open room of 25 people. I’m actually on friendly terms with him to this day - he’s 75 and old-school British. Us older folks have thicker skin

likefunnyhelpfulupliftingsmart

That’s crazy! We older folk fight back! He would’ve received the shoe flying back at his head. Abuse is not accepted!

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One of my personal favorites was “are you colorblind? Because after looking at this slide I wish I was”

likefunnysmart

This is actually funny...give me this as opposed to being screamed at.

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I have another good one (well, several...turns out I was a really bad consultant until I became a good one. Then I left consulting for industry, haha):

So I’m an Associate and I’m on the cusp of making manager (or so I thought). We had several workstreams on the project and one of the more junior associates gets assigned a pretty discrete task.

Being the ambitious go-getter that I am, I write an email to the partner where I propose that I’ll act as manager for this one small piece of the project so I can get some real manager experience (we had a “prove you can be successful at the next level before we’ll promote you” policy at the time, so this was my motivation).

I draft up what I believe is a perfectly appropriate email showing my desire to advance and succeed, and I even write it and send it over the weekend. Shortly after hitting send I get a response that makes my stomach drop out of my ass.

The partner says something to the effect of, “never in my 24 years of consulting have I seen something so inappropriate. This is completely unacceptable and outrageous. We painstakingly develop our budget and assign roles and you think you can just come in here and tell a partner that you’re going to be manager?”

I wish I could remember more of the email but I nearly cried. I ended up asking the other partner on project what I should do and he shared a similarly embarrassing story from his past. He’s still one of my favorite partners, and I actually was able to salvage the relationship with the angry partner too. We ended up laughing about it later and it helped me stand out (ultimately in a good way, since the project went well and I did a good job).

Moral of the story? I have no idea, partners are powder kegs! 💥

likefunnyupliftingsmart

“Partners are powder kegs” rip

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I walked into a meeting with the Client COO and, trying to be cordial, asked “How’s it going today?”.

Flabbergasted he replied “Good, as long as you don’t ask me any more stupid questions.”

It really set the tone for the rest of that workshop...

likefunny

Sounds like somebody's got a case of The Mondays! 😂

smart

My highlights:

1) Slide is very pretty, very cool, but completely pointless in the deck, take it off
2) My 8 year old son could have done a better slide
3) Were you high while doing this analysis?

likefunny

I couldn't help but laugh during all these. First year was tough.

likesmart

When I was 12, I scored 96/100 in a geometry test (highest in class). My dad's response was "what happened to the other 4 points?", he gave me a speech about pursuing perfection and then made me sit down and solve two more chapters of questions till late night.

He's a great guy, I love him to death, but yeah... that happened

likefunnysmart

Exaggerated, but mine were like that. I remember getting a superior at state science fair and an extra project award. I designined and built the project test apparatus after teaching myself kinematics and physics from a book (hadn't taken physics yet). The project (not learning) took me two days to pull together.

Didn't get a good job, got a "You didn't deserve all that, there were other kids that worked a lot harder than you. They deserved it more" on the drive home.

It's also why the partner bait to work harder and more hours doesn't work on me. I've freed myself of seeking or needing approval from authority figures. 😂

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At an MBB I got a temporary internal transfer abroad for one of the high performers / ambassadors program. It was to a country whose language I did not speak fluently, I was rather a novice. An MD staffed me with a client that did not speak English, like at all, because he had nobody else available. I did my best. In the middle of the project, the same MD told me that I was a failure as a consultant and that I should consider a different career.

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Probs MD1 from that other rely XD

likefunny

Partner asked me to make copies. I calmly replied that I don't make copies. He came unglued and started screaming. When he calmed down down he said I needed an attitude adjustment. I said he may be right but he wasn't going to give it to me.

He actually smirked and handed me the copies. I took them and went to the copy room. Recycled them and went to the hotel. Received call next morning saying I'm no longer on the project so I went home.

HR called and I told them the whole story. They apologized. This was almost 9 years ago.

When I saw the partner again at an event, a year later, I reminded him I don't make copies. In front of everyone he said no shit, you recycle. Then he bought my drinks.

likefunnysmartuplifting

It's my story. Why wouldn't I be here? Oh, I get it. The "leader" isn't used to having his "leadership" challenged. Yet you keep coming back for more. You must like it.

funny

I’m saddened, but not entirely surprised by these stories. No employee deserves to be mocked or sworn at. Regardless of level. If you have received this treatment I’m truly sorry. Be better than the leaders who mocked you and set the stage for something better in the future.

Also for certain circumstances, consider leaving. I promise that there are good leaders out there somewhere who will care about your wellbeing.

likeupliftingsmart

Can you coach MD1 please?

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I went through this recently. I realized the partner had exceedingly unattainable expectations.

Yes sometimes it’s you but sometimes it’s them. I have decided to move on from EY so that’s that.

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I went to a client meeting, new to me, I was there as an expert/practice lead. So the most senior client in the room would not let me finish one sentence, he would interrupt me every time I opened my mouth. At one point there was a question that only I knew the answer to, and he interrupted me again, so I politely said “please let me finish”. That angered him so much that he stood up and yelled at me for 10 minutes no less. Mostly about me not listening to him and not asking questions and that no one needs to know what I need to finish. I thought that he was picking on me because I was the only woman in the room, but I was later told that he is an equal opportunity abuser.

likefunnyupliftingsmart

Good for you standing up for yourself. Too many leads just sit there and take it

likesmart

I’ve been told I have delusions of mediocrity

likefunny

Daily Director 2 story time:

I was so bad on my first consulting project that when I randomly ran into one of the managers a few months after the project ended at a hotel in DC his first words were, “you still work here?” 😂

Highlights from that project:
- getting so drunk I overslept past noon and they had to send someone from the hotel to bang on my door (still didn’t wake up)

- I was fresh from industry, so my wardrobe consisted only of solid, brightly colored shirts, and that same manager said in *that tone*, and after giving *that look*, “We wear Brooks Brothers here. The point is to blend in, not stick out.”

- and my favorite, was when we walked past some client workers and a guy said, “ugh, not these douchebags again”

It was a magical experience, haha. 😍

likefunny

Omg lol D2 where did/do you work?! The fact that he said “we wear Brook Brothers here” is so laughably ridiculous

funny

Screamed that the printed deck for a routine presentation wasn’t in the right font and made me drive all the way to the office at 6 am to re-print before going to the client site.

He wasn’t even in the country and not a single client picked up a hard-copy of the deck.

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I genuinely dislike those type of aholes

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Sorry to hear that. I’ve been chewed out by clients and management alike. Feel free to DM me if you’d like to talk about it

likeuplifting

dbag left a private vmail....you could hear the spit fliyng as he was yelling.....definitely a one off but also a sign that such a dbag could exist at the firm. too much time invested now and the money is good. I would tell my younger self to move on to a new company.

likehelpful

You can still. I am after 10+ years. My life and sanity is more important than this.

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