Tuesday, June 15, 2010

You might be a terrible co-worker if…


Continuing Bougie WorkTales Week… a list that you do not want to be on.

Let's face it; work is better place to be if we all just get along. Human nature doesn't really work that way but there are some things that one can avoid in order not to be hated (or severely disliked). Without further ado, you might be a terrible co-worker if:
  • People can smell you coming before they see you coming. I have had the unfortunate experience of having to send someone home because of the cloud of funk surrounding them. Even more awkward was the case of the gentleman who only bathed once a week for religious reasons. I had to move him and two of his like-minded friends into a room of their own on a different floor. How much did I hate to go in there for anything? Funk is bad. Febreeze covered funk is just flower-flavored funk. Put it on a bumper sticker.

  • You are never on time for anything. Ever. Even if you are hosting the conference call (one of my pet peeves). You never make the eight o'clock meeting on time, you're always a day (or more) past a deadline. You're the person who promises to send an email in fifteen minutes and four hours later I'm still looking for it. A word of advice – do NOT travel with this person. It will make you crazy.

  • You can't keep a secret. Workplaces are just high schools with paychecks, a benefits plan, and a much sterner principal. Everybody is in everyone else's business and confidences get shared. Learn the difference between sharing an interesting tidbit, "I hear she applied for a transfer to Iceland" and straight snitching, "She makes $8,500 more than everyone else in the department." Mind your own, please.

  • Your lips stay attached to the bosses hindparts. You know who you are. The bossman never said a word you didn't agree with. You laugh at the terrible jokes, co-sign the offbeat commentary and think it's a GREAT idea to have that meeting at 4:30pm on a Friday afternoon. [serious side-eye to that one]

  • You are sleeping your way through the organization chart. Hmm, how to say this? Hump at home. Keep it zipped at work. If you must get buckwild with a co-worker, swear each other to secrecy and sign a blood oath. If it's some one you are in a direct reporting relationship with… you're asking (begging) for trouble. It never pans out and it always comes back to bite you in the ass. Pun intended. There are a ton of clich├ęd phrases for this: Don't dip your fingers in company ink, don't shiggity where you eat… you get the idea.

  • You pass the buck. Assignment lands on your desk and you always (ALWAYS) find a way to pass it on to someone else. As a matter of fact, you have perfected the art of doing very little and taking responsibility for not a darned thing. We don't like you. Watch your back.

  • You send out those cutesy joke emails all day. One joke, one cute anecdote during the day… fine. But don't be that person who sends fifty-eleven jokes about kittens and grandmas. And the Jesus prayer chains? Um, I appreciate the blessings but telling me that none of my prayers will come true if I don't forward it to twelve people in the next twelve minutes cannot be the kind of discipleship Jesus had in mind.

  • You never see the silver lining and always discuss the cloud. Aargh. We called this person Depression Dan or Zoloft Zelda. They are perennially unhappy and let everybody know. They are the person that opens the bonus check you weren't supposed to get in the first place and complains (loudly), "Is this all we're getting?" We may be thinking it Dan/Zelda, we don't say it. Your barrage of blues is bringing everybody down. Try walking on sunshine… just once. Please.

  • You tell us (repeatedly) that this is not how it was done at your last job… the one where you were a star. Granted, we haven't seen any evidence of that shiny brightness here but you are hell bent on reminding us how things used to be done wherever you came from. This prompts us to wonder why you left (or got the boot) and why you just don't go back to the place where the streets are paved with gold and champagne flows from the water fountains.

  • You flat-out suck at your job. Yes, you do. Someone (usually me) has to re-do everything you touch. You do not catch on quickly. Your learning curve is Mt. Everest. Several times a day, you approach people with the opening phrase, "Can I ask you something real quick?" Le Sigh. It takes less time for me to take it from you and do it than for me to explain it to you. But you know that already, don't you? No one understands how you got this job or how you are still employed. Yet here you are.
If you recognize yourself in 2 or more of these examples, you may want to think about opening up your own shop. Seriously… don't be this guy/girl. Can anyone think of a terrible co-worker trait I forgot? Do you know any of the folks I listed above? Comments, insights, thoughts? Do share…

49 comments:

sunt97 said...

You forgot the super happy co-worker that is never bothered by anything. They are always smiling and chatty when you really just want to tell them to f off. Nobody wants to hear every moment how great your wife is or how cute your kids are. There has a be happy medium between super happy and super down.

Peace, Love and Chocolate
Tiffany

BrendaKay51 said...

Which religion advocates bathing once a week? I need to know, so I can add that particular faith to my "no dating" list.

JNicole said...

that was gonna be my comment, haha. it especially grates when it's early morning & chipper charlie wants to spring into my cubicle before i've had my morning coffee. really? why are you bouncing like tigger @ 8am. call down & back off please.

rickyfontain said...

I have to flip a couple you mentioned that are pet peeves of mine:

1. Don't be the asshole who calls meetings at 8:00 AM. Seriously, you're the only one here at 8:00 AM because you want to live 40 miles outside of the city where there are no black folks. The rest of us live in the part of town you are scared of and can sleep till 8:00 and still make it to work by 8:45. Don't punish us because you have a three hour commute.

P.S. Would have loved to comment on some I missed but since the change this website does not work at all on my old version of IE. Just remembered I have mozilla so I'm back.

2. Don't be Mr. or Mrs. "Jesus Gonna Work It Out." You know this person. They think everyone else is depressed or unchristian cause they see an effed up situation and call it exactly what it is. Mr. or Mrs. "Jesus Gonna Work it Out" thinks everyone is negative. Sure profits are down 30% and we just let go of 20 employees. We not gonna change our strategy or fix our products; Jesus gonna work it out. Stop bein so negative.

3. Mrs. Judgemental Fake Christian. She's the most judgemental. The most christian. Keeps a Bible in her cube and cross on her neck. Every employee she supervises lacks work ethic. She never gossips unless there is another Mrs. Judgemental that goes to church 5 times a week. And then they can righteously gossip together about how superior they are to the rest of the office.

Brown Babe said...

How about:

The loud co-worker...the one who you can hear every word of his/her (mostly personal) conversation from across the floor and behind a closed office door - no bueno!

And the AA with attitude...if you are an assistant with no desire to assist, you should definitely find a new line of work. Folks should not have to tip toe around your mood swings and find other ways to assist themselves because every time they approach your desk you have the "I know she is not asking me to do WORK" look on your face.

BTW, I subscribe via a reader and almost forgot the site underwent beautification...love it!

baileyqc said...

This list is so on point! Please add the oversharing person. Rolls up on you and tells you just a little too much about their weekend/divorce/dog's illness. Hate that! Please take a few steps back and keep it to yourself.

ASmith said...

Oh Lord... I had about 4 mins of hell as I read through that list.

There's also the "please let me tell you about my life even though you didn't ask" aka TMI Tammy/Timmy.

Anyway, I'm currently attempting to train someone who would qualify for the last trait. He can't pick up on the BASIC ish (but is already trying to run meetings without me. Just busted him this morning -- scheduled a meeting on a a MAJOR issue without me, didn't put it on my calendar, didn't list me as being in the meeting. I only busted him cause he had to call in sick today...) but wants to be a big shot. You can't do the basic work but you're ready for the advanced intuitive stuff? ::deep breath::

In line with the cutsey emails is the Reply-All'er... DO NOT DO THAT. Yes, our office is cool, but really -- the inside jokes are inside jokes for a reason and not meant to be shared with all of us in response to a serious email from the boss. GTFOMI(my inbox)WT.

In my office, the pass the buck'er just got promoted. To be fair, no one else wanted the job (I'm leaving) but DAMN! That's not gonna work with him as a supervisor. I know that.

"I learned everything I needed to know about people in high school..." <--- that's my quote. I lives by it. Everything's just a reincarnation of high school no matter how much I wish it was different.

SN: Chele, how in the world do you tactfully send someone home for smelling horribly? I mean... that's up there on the list of awkward convos I don't ever wanna have.

ASmith said...

I don't get people who can't voice regulate. LOWER YOUR VOICE!

daisy said...

This is usually also the "up in my business" person. They overshared with you and want you to do the same with them... no thank you, nunya and not gonna happen.

Jasmine said...

Can't forget about the loud and opinionated co-worker. I work with a woman who insists on commenting on other peoples conversations from across the room with bizarre opinions and misinformation ( she recently said that its impossible for black people to get lice!?! wtf) .

rickyfontain said...

A few more:

1. Mr. Poor judge of personal space. Always stands about three inches two close to you like he or she is about to kiss you.

2. Mr. Grab your arm. My thinking is that this person is used to people walking away when they speak so they have gotten into the habbit of grabbing peoples arms when they talk.

3. Mr. CC Everyone on meaningless stuff I don't care about to create the illusion you're working.

4. Mr. or Mrs. Can't Promote. This is your boss that always swears he or she is pushing for you to receive a promotion but always seems to have an excuse about why it can't be done right now. (Which is why you only do 60% of what you could be doing.)

rickyfontain said...

"I learned everything I needed to know about people in high school..." <--- that's my quote. I lives by it. Everything's just a reincarnation of high school no matter how much I wish it was different.
__________________________________________________

So true. What's worse is that, as a former high school "cool kid" myself , I find myself surrounded by people that still have a chip on their shoulder about not being a "cool kid" in high school.

winter137 said...

OMG thats me :)

winter137 said...

Mr. / Mrs. No one is as smart or competent as me.

* only likes 1 - 2 people in the office and can only maintain a friendship with one of the " like people" at a time due to various falling outs.

* Emotional to the point of being scary

* Phd in Bcc'ing and CC'ing on ridiculous and mundane items in an effort to catch a person slipping.

* Agent Saboteur/ back stabber/ gossiper / insincere

* No concept of Teamwork and craves the drama in dissention.

* More than likely unhappy in their personal lives

* Negative Attitude

rickyfontain said...

* Phd in Bcc'ing and CC'ing on ridiculous and mundane items in an effort to catch a person slipping.
* No concept of Teamwork and craves the drama in dissention.
_____________________________________
Yeah...when the CC person isn't CCing he is BCCing. I swear CC should stand for Cowardly Copying because it's always some passive aggressive coward trying to get you in trouble

Team....I laugh when I hear the word. As someone that played a lot of sports growing up I can tell you I almost never see a team in the work place. They need a new word cause it's not a team. A team has the same goal. To win the game. In the workplace everyone on the team has a different goal and some are there to sabotage the team.

rickyfontain said...

Don't forget the Zinger. Every conversation is littered with mildly funny sarcastic zingers. No matter how inappropriate or unfunny. The zingers don't stop. It's like working with a low budget Jerry Seinfield. This person is unders the mistaken impression that the zingers make them seem witty and charming.

Also Mr. or Mrs. Thinskin and his or her cousins Mr. and Mrs. Defensive. If you challenge anything they say in a staff meeting they will spend the next hour explaining their point further. Then they'll spend the next 6 months plotting to avenge the way you disrespected them when you said we should use pencils instead of pens.

Nadette@Eat, Read, Rant! said...

I have a Depression Dan or Crazy Asian Guy as I like to refer to him. He's the most miserable person i've met in my life. All of us at my job HATE the job and office bullshiggity we have to put up with. Yet Crazy Asian Guy takes it to a new level. He hates his life, and i gotta get out of this job ASAP so i don't start throwing raging temper trantrums about the loud mouthed secretaries like he does.

ASmith said...

I hate people who pointless CC... I mean -- there is NO better passive aggressive way to say you're tryna catch me slipping and/or you're tryna tell on me.

Reminds me: In our office we have various duties that rotate among people on my "team." Recently we added a person outside of our team to help with the rotation. He's #1 on one of the tasks. At that time, when he was out of the office, it fell to me. This task involved deleting files after they'd been printed. One day he was out, so it fell to me and I completed the job. When he returned he e-mailed MY boss (not his) and CC'd me asking MY BOSS (not me) if the task had been done because he could still see some old files in queue. ::blink,blink::

Obviously my boss emails me and asks if it was done and I reply to both (no cc's) and say that yes, but there was a possibility I had forgotten to delete some of the last the files after printing. Mr Awesome (not my boss) emails us both back and lectures me on being careful and the importance of deletion. Later my boss came to me and shook his head while he apologized for the incident.

I'd mention this guy's our IT guy and despite what he thinks isn't actually important or of any stature with regards to hierarchy, but that'd be pointless, right? Oh. Whoops.

Unless it's an email where EVERYONE is Bcc'd (sometimes you need to send a mass email but you don't want people to see private email addresses or something), bcc's are for CHUMPS.

derek love said...

Overly competitive dude. He takes the company sports events a LITTLE too seriously. If you get an attaboy, he needs one too. He will cut you off in meetings to make sure his point is heard. Yeah, I hate that guy.

BB Waite said...

I hated Hair on Fire Executive. Everything was always an emergency. Nothing could wait, it had to be done now, now, now! Seriously sir? You didn't know you need budget forecast until the day before your meeting in a city far, far away? Boo.

Foxy Brown said...

oh wow, yall. this bougie youngin is taking notes. i will officially begin my career august 30th and yea i don't wanna be or meet any of these people.

Mocha dude speaks said...

This is also pumped up on testosterone hair-trigger temper guy. (Usually in sales) He goes off on people for no reason anyone else can see.

OneChele said...

I did not ask. They were of East Indian descent and said they bathed on Fridays.

OneChele said...

So I had to have them sign something before I even started the discussion saying that they understood I wasn't harassing or insulting them. Then I said, "I'm afraid there is a strong and unpleasant odor emanating from you. So strong in fact that it is disruptive to the rest of the workforce. I've been asked to have you go home, rectify the situation and come back to work tomorrow." Of course he was embarrassed and upset but I told him he could fake sick but he had to go. Immediately.

When he left, we swapped out his chair and hit up his workspace. The best funkbuster in the world is purple Faboloso. If ya'll don't know, find out.

Suzie S said...

Similar to Un-Informed Political View Sharer. I just winced my way through Obama's election.

Javalicious said...

Sleazy sales guy, thinks he's sexy and hits on all the ladies? Got one of those.

rickyfontain said...

You must work for my boss. Anytime she has a deliverable that requires input from the rest of us we find out two days before it's due.

AppleBerryMIA said...

Please tell me what to do about pass the buck girl. She has not finished a single assignment in six months and yet they end up on my desk.

rickyfontain said...

It starts at the beginning. Do you have clarity from your boss about who is responsible for what? You need that first. Then you can document your work and the other persons and have them held accountable.

Also, refuse to take the work. If it hasn't been assigned to you. But I would have to know more about your relationships. Sometimes it's easier to pass the buck when your working on a "team."

JaymeC said...

If you have a weekly meeting where you talk about what you're working on, starting with "I have this given to me from Pass the Buck girl" - that way it's repeated out loud where everyone can hear. And always the email to your supv saying, "Just confirming that this is something you wanted me to work on instead of this other stuff."

I don't miss corporate work. The dynamics in a medical setting are a little different but just as frustrating. I have partners in the practice and we don't always agree on what's important. We just brought in a fifth therapist to be the tiebreaker in votes.

JaymeC said...

Just fired the admin with more attitude than work ethic. She came in late because she had a hair appointment, she took extra time at lunch for her nails. Had her boyfriend bring her lunch in the middle of the afternoon and took another break to eat that. Actually got irritated when we expected her to work. No ma'am. You are excused.

Asada said...

LOL, a list of faiths you WONT date!?

Paul on Ice said...

One, who is RickyFontain - does he moderate the site?
Two - all of these listed are genius. I am staring at Zoloft Zelda right now and she needs to up her dosage.
Three - I think somebody might have mentioned this but... the Instigator. Always starting sh!t.

Molly said...

With much respect and kindness to you, Ms. Chele, this week of job tales is making me depressed. I think I'll take a breather until next week. Rarely do we see in ourselves the traits others find annoying. We all have them. I'm sure I've upset my former co-workers in one way or another over the years. Currently, I'd be happy to put up with all sorts of shenanigans if I had a job that paid enough to keep me safe. So I guess in the end it is all relative. Best of wishes.

Steve said...

Picture threw me for a second because two of them look like people I used to work with. I now work for Team Steve so it's all good.

rickyfontain said...

Ha. Not a moderator. Matter fact this is the first time I've responded to a post in about a week. But the post was about people in the office we don't like.........I've got years in the office and am easily annoyed.....so of course I couldn't help but contribute to the list.

Hidi said...

Yes, I have encounter co-workers with those descriptions and some of them had more than one trait.

Let me see if I can add to the list: What about the "supervisor" who turns the office into his home. For example, he brings his dog and children and takes a sh&% everyday (stinking the entire office). Also, has the demeanor of a eight year old child and throws candy and objects at people for fun, tries to pick fellow employee up by her ankles and have temper tantrums and very moody. Just all around childish.

Kandia said...

Welp.....considering they removed the internet from all our computers.....I make a GREAT employee....lol

OneChele said...

What?! That's unAmerican.

maureen palmer said...

We went through a restructure and boy I have some folks on my team that fit the above descriptions. I bury my head in the sand just to get through the day, in OneChele's word Le sigh.

maureen palmer said...

Do you work for a bank? wow that is so cruel. I rarely surf the net at work but I need access to NYT and Washingtonpost.

maureen palmer said...

How about those folks who wait until 4 pm on Friday for things they need answer for right away and I'm thinking this is going to take another 2 hours. SMH

BrendaKay51 said...

Asada, this is off topic ~ but I'm getting back into the dating scene after 16 years of being married. So yes, I most certainly do have a list of faiths {it's not very long} that I won't date. :-)

I'm at that stage in my life, where I'm very comfortable in stating ~ I know myself, I know my habits, I know very well what I'm NOT willing to give up in my life just to be with someone else and most importantly, I'm very comfortable within my own spiritual, religious structure.

As I embark on this next chapter in my life, I'm much clearer on A LOT of things. :-)

Oyan said...

1. The co worker who thinks chewing food, and then showing you what it looks like in their mouth, ugh
2. The co worker who goes through your files when you are out to see if you have anything missing; then reports it to the boss, not you
3. The aggressive/lesbian boss who likes to intimidate the straight, workers
4. The co workers who wants to know: how old you are, what you weigh, if your'e married/dating, sexing; how much you make, what you did over the weekend etc.

5. The co worker who is an aging female, who despises the younger females workers, and insists on them being pregnant, pre menopausal, lonely, did your boyfriend-husband/divorce/ dump you had recent abortion, broke, etc. yikes. And makes up stories to support these perceptions, by asking nosey arsed questions, ie. "did'nt I see you by that abortion clinic the other day?" Wait, what!. Honest I'm not/was'nt
6. The co worker who thinks you think, you're 'better' than everyone, because you do'nt participate in the office gossip. Who do you think you are? You think you're better than us? um, sure.....

Rose said...

I actually agree with all of your coworker description, in particular the aggressive/lesbian boss who feels its necessary to be intimidating to the straight workers... I've had my share one too many with that, especially in the nonprofit world...

Peachcandy24 said...

You pass the buck. Assignment lands on your desk and you always (ALWAYS) find a way to pass it on to someone else. As a matter of fact, you have perfected the art of doing very little and taking responsibility for not a darned thing. We don't like you. Watch your back.


You flat-out suck at your job. Yes, you do. Someone (usually me) has to re-do everything you touch. You do not catch on quickly. Your learning curve is Mt. Everest. Several times a day, you approach people with the opening phrase, "Can I ask you something real quick?" Le Sigh. It takes less time for me to take it from you and do it than for me to explain it to you. But you know that already, don't you? No one understands how you got this job or how you are still employed. Yet here you are.


This completely discribes my co-worker/ assistant. The other examples describe a few others, yet these two examples describes the one that gets on my nerves. Your post covers my entire office. Maybe I'm the one that needs their own buisness. LOl

Jasmin said...

This is similar to the Zinger, but what about the Silence-phobic "I talk just to hear my own voice" coworker? I just started this internship 3 days ago and I can already tell this girl (who is the only team member on my level in our mini-team of 3) is going to work my nerves. She comments on everything. And then gives that expectant puppy dog look when I don't laugh or comment on her comment. I know myself: better for me to be silent then slip out a "Shut the hell up."

Anonymous said...

I think one of your advertisements caused my internet browser to resize, you might want to put that on your blacklist.

Anonymous said...

So true. Got one of these at work. Pathetic human being.

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