Sunday, January 24, 2010

5 people I don't want to work with

1)  Dorothy.  As in, the one that is always following the yellow brick road in search of Oz. Oz being whatever new trend is in at the time. The yellow brick road being paved with expensive books, training courses, information sessions, numerous meetings and of course project proposals.  Balanced scorecard, full cost recovery, project management,  mind mapping, workforce planning. And of course, Dorothy being one who enjoys the theory and the self-importance of bringing new catchphrases to a meeting (but not actually work) nothing ever gets completed to stage where there is any benefit to the organisation.  Oh, the potential benefits are identified.  A project plan is constructed.  A team is put in place.  But, inevitably, at some stage before implementation (and generally after several years, many sessions extolling the benefits of this new practise,  and huge expenditure on both internal staff and external consultants), the project will be cancelled as it will be found either not feasible in practise, or 'out of date' (which of course means that Dorothy has read a new book and has a new plan in mind).

2)  Princess.  Almost always female, this workmate either falls apart or starts whining the moment anything at work is not optimal for them.  Assignment on audits in 'boring' vs coastal country towns.  Desk assignment.  Manager assignment.  Expectation of actual work being produced.  Everything is all about them, and how difficult it is for them to work in such conditions.  Especially given their traumatic personal life (which of course needs to be discussed for at least 1/3 of each work day).  Identified by the crowd of minor princesses around them as they are led out of the office in tears, or by the 'wah wah wah waaaah' (the last sound being very high to indicate complaining) of their conversations.

3) The Slacker.  Sometimes also of the princess variety, the slacker has special skills that enable them to complete a full day of work without actually producing any work.  Instead, the day is filled with emailing friends, breaks to smoke, breaks to move their car (better to spend one hour of company time every day moving their car from one short term parking spot to another than actually fork out 4% of their pay for parking), reading the news on the internet (apparently surfing news sites shall be regarded as work, even where the focus is primarily sports), watching news videos on the internet, making personal phone calls, sending texts to friends, chatting to coworkers (if you spend  5 hours chatting to a fellow slacker, it still counts as work time because they are your co-worker.  Apparently).  One I worked with would spend substantial parts of his day with his feet up on his desk.  Even reading novels.  He was a long-time friend of the Director.  He didn't even have to pretend to work.

4) Self-important guy.  Frequently overlapped with Dorothy or Slacker, this workmate is found broadcasting the importance of their work, their great ideas, and generally talking in a self-important way that makes you want to kick them.  And of course, constructing charts (preferably on whiteboards) to try and look important.  As always, at work, it is generally the under-intelligent who are over-confident.  Or at least on the surface.  Another characteristic of self-important guy is that they avoid having their work subject to close scrutiny as they know deep down that if someone with any intelligence sees what they have been doing, they will be exposed as the idiot they are.  Such people are also great at inventing excuses: 'oh, I had to discontinue the project because it was too controversial', you had to discontinue the project following review because it was ill-conceived and with no chance of any constructive outcome.

5) Redneck.  While these people can be found in social situations as well, they are most annoying in the workplace as you cannot escape them.  Whether it be making comments at the news they are reading that are offensive to either race or religion, generalising about countries, telling jokes or anecdotes, or talking to themselves or other workmates, they are offensive and annoying to all non-rednecks.  Doubly of course I am sure for those who actually fall into one of their non-KKK approved categories.  As of course, for these people, having an Aboriginal, Indian or African sitting next to you is no reason to tone it down.

Whiteboard photo from


  1. Yay! Sometimes hate is good. Rednecks you can only shake your head at. Both the men pictured in the office photo are rednecks, particularly the one with his feet up. Both also Slackers. Both also Self-Important, again, particularly one with feet up.

  2. They are crazy you know. But then the world is a free place.