"So one day they want it the building painted blue. So we paint it blue. The next day, they thank us for the excellent work but have a new concept and the building should be red. So we paint it red. Then they come in the next day, thank us for our excellent work, and announce the new color is orange. I don't understand the problem."
He paused a moment and explained:
"At some point you stop being a painter and become the brush."
This alienation is a common problem, not really confined just to IT or even to consulting business in general. This is not about your lack of understanding how the work you do contributes to the project success. This is not about allocation of responsibility vs. allocation of benefits. This must be something much deeper and I cannot yet even begin to understand it. The punchline is good though.