The extreme case where it is clear is you hire someone to install say the phones. He obviously does that and leaves.

But I have worked in companies where a contractor might stay for years and attends meetings, etc. there is no visible difference to someone who did not know the person was a contractor. They tend not to manage FT employees or even other contractors.

In the United States there is this "everyone is equal" thing and there is no difference between a FT and contractor -- again, this is sort of a function of time.

But we had a mid-level manager leave and while most people had a cubicle, managers would have offices. It was sort of a perk but one could also argue a manager might need to have confidential conversations -- but really much more of the former.

We had a contractor who knew something fairly critical and this allowed him to feel very secure. He played hardball on terms of his contract but he also decided to take the office that had become vacant.

Would most people consider this a big deal? Not even that the office itself is so great but by allowing him to do this, is it a case of giving an inch and the contractor will take a mile?

I know in some companies, where managers for example never fraternize with their reports unless it is like a group lunch, the taking of an office would have been shot down. But at this company, it was put up with and I think it was a mistake. Maybe it even led to the hardball negotiations, like taking the office was experimental.

  • What's your question? Are you accusing the contractor of blackmail or extortion? Can you be more specific? In any case, if a contractor has leverage, because the company can't afford to lose that person, then he can use that leverage to play hardball and ask for anything he wants. Some contractors get paid very little, but some contractors do get paid outrageous amounts. All of this variability depends on the leverage they have with their client. This is nothing new. And no, being a Full Time employee doesn't necessarily mean you outrank a contractor. Get that silly idea out of your head. Commented Dec 29, 2022 at 20:35
  • “In the United States there is this "everyone is equal" thing and there is no difference between a FT and contractor -- again, this is sort of a function of time.” - Perhaps on the surface. At the end of the day there is a FT employee managing the contractor, and in reality, there is a difference. Of course in a situation where that contractor is at the office everyday, the natural behavior, is treat them as an equal. However, the FT employees should have a clear, rules of engagement (I.e what can and cannot be asked of that contractor) if that’s not happening something is wrong.
    – Donald
    Commented Dec 29, 2022 at 20:45
  • (Continued)…I sense a something odd the way you describe the situation. Like you wanted the office, didn’t feel comfortable claiming it, and feel hurt in someway. If the contractor should or shouldn’t get an office would be entirely up to their on site supervisor. So go ask them about your concerns I also don’t see an answerable question
    – Donald
    Commented Dec 29, 2022 at 20:47
  • @Donald: No the office should have gone to someone under the manager who had left -- I was not in the group. My problem with the contractor was at a critical time threatening to leave unless, I heard, his hourly rate was doubled. Many people in companies if they time it right can screw over their employer. The office was just a visible symptom, imho, of a much larger problem.
    – releseabe
    Commented Dec 29, 2022 at 21:05
  • 3
    Why don't you expand your education and learn what the contractor knows... better than a rant here.
    – Solar Mike
    Commented Dec 29, 2022 at 22:00

1 Answer 1


If I've read the question correctly:

Contractor has specialist skills/knowledge that the Company requires.
Contractor has used that requirement to leverage long-term employment as a contractor.
Contractor sees vacant office and says 'Looks lovely, I'd like it' and then negotiates with the company to get said office.

And you are butt-hurt about this.

There really is no other way to describe your reaction or question here - what business is it of yours what the company chooses to do or not do with vacant office space?

If it's because you wanted the office, then you are free to make a business case to the company as to why you should have it...

And then the company will weigh your business case against the contractors and decide who gets it

If it turns out that the Contractor has got the stronger bargaining power due to being in possession of Skills/Experience that the company has a greater desire for - then here is what you do:

You get a Mug, you pour yourself a fresh cup of Concrete and you harden up.

Failing that, you invest time in yourself to acquire skills/experience that are of greater value to the company so that when you negotiate next, you are in the stronger bargaining position.

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