So, my company suffers from a very severe nepotism problem. And to an extent, I get it: You want to hire people that you know are reliable. But we had one C-level executive hire his son as a director of something or other, and then hired all his friends to fill out the finance department. And NOW, the CTO hired HIS son as director of engineering, and is steadily hiring "people we know" to fill out their department.

That's just the tip of the iceberg. My problem began when my manager put forward her previous contacts as potential vendors to develop our new website, a project that I was leading. Which I thought would be great at first: we hire someone she likes, so if the project goes awry, less blame on me. And it was going fine initially, because they were doing ok. I started noticing small things come up halfway through the project, but with massive projects like these, it's expected. What started happening is the vendors would miss milestones, and when asked about them during the weekly meetings, would tell me oh we didn't get XYZ done because waiting on ABC from you. Ok, then why wouldn't you email me instead of missing the deadline. (BTW, from the way they phrased it, it sounds like I messed up, but they never mentioned that they needed that ABC thing at the onset). So ok, whatever, I make a habit to ask if they need anything from me at the end of every meeting and it sort of solves the issue but still have some hold ups. I just want to get this project finished on time. And we do. Yay.

Until my boss gives them a massive one year contract to now do our digital marketing. And it starts all over again - except it's 5 times worse. Because now, I have to use them to deliver leads that my sales VP is expecting, and they are absolutely horrid. I give them everything they need, check 5 million times before leaving for the holidays, and they wait until I come back to turn on the campaigns. "We thought it would be better to wait till everyone is back". OK, but then tell me you're making these executive decisions. I've run one campaign with them and I'm at my wits end. They refuse to take tasks ad hoc, insist on only discussing tasks at weekly meetings, but my company flies by the seat of our pants and my boss knows that. I went and talked to her about my concerns with their how they are handling projects and how to fix it and she took me off the project. Gave it to my coworker instead.

I need to know how to manage this situation without making things worse for myself. My boss has adopted the attitude that I'm the incompetent one when I'm not emailing them 3 times a day begging them to do what they are paid to. They asked for a brief to put a tracking code on the website! IT's a simple piece of code!! I could do it myself, but I just thought it better to go through proper channels.

I've started sidestepping them wherever possible, and make no effort to hide thats exactly what I'm doing. Looked for developers inhouse to add the tracking code; started running social media campaigns so I can use a different vendor. I'm afraid I've also adopted a resentful attitude. Please let me know a better way to navigate this. I feel like I'm sabotaging myself.

  • 1
    Get the heck out of there. That's all you can do. The deck is stacked against you, and you're in a position where you're everyone's most convenient scapegoat. Don't walk away - run.
    – AndreiROM
    Jan 26, 2018 at 14:48
  • Or hang around until the place goes bust, because that's a highly probable outcome (which you don't want to be around for; it can be very ugly)
    – Mawg
    Jul 27, 2018 at 8:35

1 Answer 1


Your company seems very comfortable with putting their friends before business. Combined with the amount of money that is made in these constellations you have practically zero chance to effect any change.

  • You can try to get someone above these execs to intervene and risk being sacked for it. Nobody likes being circumvented.
  • You can try to continue and get things done however you can and risk being sacked as soon as something goes wrong. Because your vendors are playing a careful game of cover-your-ass. That together with their connections will only leave you to take the fall for any mess up severe enough to ruffle feathers.
  • Or you can get out while you still have some of your sanity and look for greener pastures on your own terms.
  • I'd only add that if the OP can reliable stay above what's around him and take the hits he should do so and wait until a management friend comes to replace him, because if he's fired he'll have the right to a compensation. Jan 26, 2018 at 10:11
  • @ricardosilva I suspect that the OP is in a country where employee rights are minimal Jan 26, 2018 at 12:15
  • Actually @Neuromancer I work out of the northern part of North America. So not like Greece or anywhere where nepotism is acceptable. I'm just pointing that out because it can happen anywhere, and stay alert. Thanks for everyone's help tho. Jan 28, 2018 at 3:46
  • Also, this question has been marked as a duplicate -- can someone point out where I can find that duplicate @gnat etc are referencing? New to the site :) Jan 28, 2018 at 3:48

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