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The Dumbest Things I Heard In Consulting This Week

The Dumbest Things I Heard In Consulting This Week

For those of you that don’t know, consulting is the career “smart” kids go into when they have no idea what they want to do in life. They aim to solve everyone else’s problems while pushing their own – both personal and professional – deep into the forgotten crevices of their psyche, only to emerge sometime in mid-life while staring down an empty bottle of Devil’s Potion. In a profession where we’re all on the verge of being admitted to an asylum, here’s a list of the dumbest things I’ve heard this week.

“The first thing we need to do, like the VERY FIRST THING we need to do, is figure out what we’re trying to do here.”

No shit, Sherlock. I don’t care if you’re PwC, KPMG, IBM, EY or NSFW, ninety percent of this career is trying to figure out what the fuck your doing at any point in time. No one actually knows and because of that, no one actually cares. You just wasted approximately 30 seconds telling us this, which according to your rate card just cost the client the equivalent of his morning Big Gulp.

“Hey, can you bang out a 2-3 year roadmap for me in like, 30 min?”

Hey, yeah sure! Let’s just throw a Modge Podge of all out best past proposals together and hope that shit sticks. Oh! Let me add some icons on those slides to spruce it up a little bit. Everyone loves icons. GOD I’m so creative.

“What’s a SME? Can you teach me how to be one?”

For those of you unfamiliar, a SME is a Subject Matter Expert. And no, I can’t teach you how to be one, because the only area where I’m a SME is thinking I am one – when I very clearly am not. I also am a SME in convincing others I’m a SME, which is quite a difficult skill to develop if I do say so myself. But be advised, the key to being a good SME is avoiding the real SMEs at all costs. Ain’t nobody got time for public exposure.

“That’s not a lie it’s a creative interpretation.”

Ah yes, lying, otherwise known as the Golden Rule of Consulting. I mean, there’s an actual show made about the profession called House of Lies. Here’s how the interaction usually goes:

Me: “Oh sure, Client! We’ll have that mobile app ready for you in time for your September release! Who cares if there are no requirements or use cases and our offshore teams literally don’t speak English?!”

From there, after countless false promises of status reports and cheap resources, we’ll start delivering with an agile methodology for a waterfall project, which essentially blows up the entire release and we call go up in flames. Rinse and fucking repeat.

“I’ll schedule some time to think about that in an hour and a half.”

I really just can’t.

Image via Showtime / YouTube

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