When I was new to the working world, I was often dumbfounded at some of the folks that I had to work with. Many simply did no work whatsoever, and got away with it. What I realized later is that they fit a number of personality types. Rather than go into long-winded clinical explanations about their condition, I thought I'd present some well known creatures in a primer-like fashion:
THE QUESTIONER After being hired, uses endless questions about their job in an effort not to do it. I was once assigned to give an orientation to an new office person, who proceeded to ask who did the filing , typing, and answering phones. Repeatedly demanded to know if these tasks really should be done by some one else, including myself. I bluntly replied that she was to do all of these and more, or we couldn't keep her on. She acted like I had slapped her. "I have to do other people's filing??!!" We let her go after became obvious that she had made up her references and had no office management skills.
THE NO-SHOW Accepts the job, and shows up for the first day. Quickly explains that they can't stay the entire day, that there must be some miscommunication about their start date. Leaves shortly thereafter, and proceeds to call out the next 2-3 days. Since new hire paperwork is already with HR, and the job needs to be staffed, managers hesitate to let this type go right away. Plus, it makes whomever hired them in the first place look bad.
After a few weeks, they have shown up only a handful of days. HR is demanding an explanation. The no-show is let go, usually by letter or phone. They act confounded by this. After all, they did try to come to work...
THE NEW HIRE LIAR This type usually never wanted to work in the first place, but was forced by family, spouse, and/or the government to find a job or else. Again, they claim to be eager to start and make it through the interview process, but something isn't quite right. WARNING SIGN: Has too many questions about vacation and sick time, rules about calling out, and so on.
After a short while, claims to have been placed inappropriately in the job, or says that family life or marriage is threatened by their work schedule. Will say the supervisor or fellow employees swore at them, etc. Fond of placing calls, emails, letters to HR or higher ups complaining of mistreatment. When you try to contact them for an explanation, spouse or family will say they're not available. After being let go will avoid you like the plague if you see them in public, but won't hesitate to crap all over you to others.
DAY LATE AND DOLLAR SHORT SH*THEAD Alternates between not showing up and complaining about a small paycheck. Really the worst of both worlds for both management and co-workers. Will call out at the last moment, then complain that the lack of hours will reduce the paycheck. Expect excuses about babysitter, marital problems, etc. Readily agrees to take on extra hours the following week, then doesn't show for them either. REMOVE IMMEDIATELY TO REDUCE IMPACT ON BUSINESS AND EMPLOYEE MORALE...
Bookwoman (02/13/2008) With all the people I have met over the years, I can't believe how difficult it is to think of another category, beyond what you have covered! Yesterday at work I did finally think of one.
The Non-Thinking type: I work with a woman who I actually like in many ways, and at times I really enjoy working with her. Yesterday she mentioned she had offered to help our manager, who seemed to be momentarily overloaded, but only with tasks that would not require thinking! I see others operating in this same manner, although not as a rule who are so obvious! Think about how many people we come in contact with at work who put more effort into passing on, delegating, or avoiding actual work because thinking and reasoning are required! Half that effort would have gotten the task done.
Catbox (02/13/2008) The Anal--the one that is so over-picky that they try to draw everyone into caring about things that are petty, meaningless,stupid. Their need for perfection makes everyone nuts! They micro-manage everyone and everything.
HaveADamnNiceDay (02/14/2008) The Jargonator:
The man/woman in the office who manages others and uses ridculous, meaningless words.... Like "global".
"I think that if we are globally integrated in our BS systems our distribulators will work better for the department."
Are you kidding me? (02/14/2008) The No-lunteer:
Offers to help with whatever project comes up. They then push off the work onto everyone else, while still trying to take credit and acts shocked when reprimanded.
the confessor (02/14/2008) There is one other type I've repeatedly run across: The Deer In the Headlights: look visibly scared when normal workplace situations arrive (e.g. a worker in a business that deals with the public that hesitates to answer phones or greet guests/customers). Their hesitation usually means that others end up doing their job-a situation they do little or nothing to change. This includes those that repeatedly insist that they "don't do" or "feel uncomfortable" in doing tasks that are part and parcel of their job. Will again claim inadequate training or hostile work environment when confronted with their unwillingness to work.
the confessor (02/14/2008) PS The Jargonator can be what Tim Field of Bullyonline.org describes as a Wannabee bully. Uses these phrases that they've heard in an effort to appear "more adult" or knowledgeable. SUGGESTION: make up a nonsense term in front of them and watch them use it. When a co-worker was constantly being a Jargonator, we discussed the "Veeblefetzer Quotient" in front of them, explaining it was the relationship between a businesses' profits and how much they would spend on advertising. Within a short period, they began knowingly referring to the "Veeblefetzer" or "Veeb Quo"(?!!) Of course "Veeblefetzer" is a term invented by MAD magazine in the 50's...
Perpetually working in slow motion, until a boss appears, this creature is happy to let everyone pick up his or her slack, and will ask anyone nearby to do X, Y or Z - especially if it involves physical activity. Lives on coffee, cell phone conversations and other people's food from the communal refridgerator, first one to complain that all the coffee creamer is used up and would never, ever think to buy any. Once a supervisor is on the horizon an amazing transformation occurs - the slug actually starts to work, or at least give the appearance of it, making it a successful camoflage animal, but extremely annoying.
HaveADamnNiceDay (02/15/2008) The Crybaby:
This type I actually work with. This person loves to play around with others and tries to look like they're more important than you for whatever reason they have swimming around in their empty head. Whenever they are called to account on ANYTHING they've done wrong (and knowingly done), they immediately turn on the waterworks, and start bawling like a friggin' two-year-old who dropped his ice cream cone.
They take everything personally and don't know how to be an adult. You can't be short with them without making them cry. You have to coddle them and baby them if you want them to leave you alone.
If they are married, they will have loud conversations on the phone with their spouse, and it usually isn't nice or respectful.
This causes them to wander around wondering aloud to whoever will listen why people are talking about them. They will cry at the drop of a hat if anyone acknowledges their suspicions.
Ronon Dex (02/21/2008) Mr. Broken Clock/Watch/Sundial: NEVER shows up for work on time, EVER. Was 15 minutes late HIS FIRST DAY. Fond of making comments such as "Ten minutes late isn't REALLY late." The one thing you'll never catch him doing is staying one nanosecond past 5PM.
the confessor (02/22/2008) So true! I had a boss that was so habitually late that I predicted that he would late to his own firing. Sure enough, he was!
Fedup-Timeout (07/09/2009) Sounds like the last 50 people hired by the last company where I was employed. Everything you noted applied to each person. They had ALL those traits, however, they were all related to someone higher up in the company so they didn't get fired, they just finally left, taking all kinds of company supplies with them, when they got tired of coming in one or two days a week doing nothing.
HaveADamnNiceDay (07/13/2009) They Hypercaffeinated Squirrel:
This person is the one who takes on everyone's workload if they think for even a second somebody might not be able to handle it. Unfortunately, they think this a lot when it's inappropriate and they end up overloading themselves with work when they don't have to. They suck down tons of coffee to keep motivated and they talk like they're stuck on fast-forward. They never sit still and sometimes develop facial ticks from all the caffeine, all the worrying and a lack of sleep. These people are unfortunate creatures who feel they must control everything, don't trust in the abilities of other competent people and slowly destroy themselves. Usually these folks run themselves into the ground and often times become profoundly ill as a result of their hypervigilant behavior. People usually pity them instead of despise them.
labtech (09/14/2009) The Rattlesnake/Unpaid Boss/Tattletale
Just in case someone might notice the Rattlesnake's poor work, general laziness and the constant desire to goof off (he's only looking for that nice sunny rock, folks), he makes SURE the boss knows you spilled the coffee in the breakroom, misfiled a report, or just plain did something wrong/questionable/against 'policy' IMMEDIATELY, COVERTLY (or so he thinks). He's doing the job of a Boss, he just isn't getting paid to do it; he's been a tattletale since, no doubt, kindergarten. Doesn't have friends (at least for long); a social misfit and a generally reprehensible weasel. When HE does something wrong, however, he believes it is the RIGHT thing to do. Sadly, bosses love people who do their jobs for them.
A worker that does only the barest minimum of work required, and diverts attention from this by actively making everyone else look bad, up to and including sabotaging other workers' paperwork, equipment and raw materials. Cannot even respond to the most common greetings (as in, Good Morning), unless of course the boss is present to observe this lack of civility. Passively-Agressively whines to management, tattling in the process. Temperament and manners of a distempered Tasmanian Devil with a hangover. Most definitely related to something bred in the Fiery Pit of Hades.
Everything you've ever done in your life, they've done it a hundred times more and a hundred times better. You took karate five years ago? They almost joined UFC, but didn't because their spouse didn't want them to ruin their pretty face. You like run for fitness? They've run the NY Marathon five times. What makes things worse is that they always somehow drag you into listening about how fantastic and attractive they are and how random people hit on them when the go about their daily business.
When you leave a room, they talk about you to others and crap on you in general. They will bully you if they think they can, but it's only because somehow you make them feel very insecure.
Sphincter Detector (12/03/2009) The Regurgitator: Likes to got to meetings and when asked for his comments or feedback, simply repeats and paraphrase what other informed and prepared people are saying, acting like he knows what the hell is going on, and eats all the donuts.