Disaster Recovery

Who's the most irksome employee? Let's take a vote


Back in July I wrote a blog about how to know your office foes. A great many of you responded with descriptions of office types that I hadn't mentioned. I thought I'd pull out some of the best suggestions and we'd have a poll on which type is the most irksome to work with. I will list each type with description you guys provided and then open it up for a vote.

The Information Hoarder: The person who absorbs business information but never shares it, in the hopes of becoming indispensable to the organization. Or as TechRepublic member Big Old Jack put it, "The worst obstacle in disaster recovery planning is the human element where a single person creates a single point of failure if he/she becomes incapacitated." (I'm going to put that on a tee-shirt, by the way.) The Glory-Taker: Ever expressed an idea in a meeting, only to have it manifested weeks later to great success by someone who fails to give you credit? Yup, that's the Glory-Taker. The Moper: According to absolutely, the moper is one who "overstates the difficulty, not only of every project, but of every task assigned to him, in pursuit of accolades." The Performer: According to Victoria.Galante, this is the guy or gal who "views every meeting as an opportunity to attain Andy Warhol's elusive fifteen minutes of fame, and orally spams with superfluous, off-topic and/or impressive-if-irrelevant commentary." The Know-it-All: As 19th Hole says, this is "The really intelligent person who thinks they can act like an @#+%#hole, and does. Nothing is done to them because some in management think they can't get along without them."

So let's open it up for a vote! Which employee type irks you the most? I'll share the results next week.

About

Toni Bowers is Managing Editor of TechRepublic and is the award-winning blogger of the Career Management blog. She has edited newsletters, books, and web sites pertaining to software, IT career, and IT management issues.

16 comments
hitch9
hitch9

The untreated ADD afflicted coworker has to be the worst. The one who forgets most things, loses things, can't find anything, never finishes tasks, never put away the things they get out to use and ask your help on every one of the above. Have you seen this? What was it the boss wanted? Do you know where I put that thing? You know the one. They just drive you crazy.

Absolutely
Absolutely

The scapegoater is the worst member of any team. If you're looking for ways to place blame on others rather than how to take responsibility for your own actions, YOU are the most irksome member of your group.

Former Big Iron Guy
Former Big Iron Guy

Absolutely: you've just articulated in modern terminology what the Bard said, circa 1599 CE ------- found at http://en.wikiquote.org/wiki/William_Shakespeare --- o Julius Caesar Act I, sc. ii ** Cassius: Men at some time are masters of their fates: ** The fault, dear Brutus, is not in our stars, ** But in ourselves, that we are underlings.

Former Big Iron Guy
Former Big Iron Guy

Sheesh, they all can be bad at some time. My vote for worst would be rumormonger/backstabber.

BlueKnight
BlueKnight

No doubt that the slacker is at the top of the list. I think I'd have to put the Know It All right under that. Had one, a self-proclaimed JCL expert, who had to call me every night in the middle of dinner with a JCL problem. I started turning the bell off and that cured him. Another one, and I'm not sure what to call them other than Charletan, is a person who does not possess many technical skills, but reads enough articles to know a bunch of "buzz words," then uses those buzz words along with any of the knowledge he can leech off of you to make themself look like an expert to the big boss. We have a manager like that here and all he does is screw things up. The really sad thing is that the CIO has no applications background, so he falls for the act hook, line and sinker. I guess we could call this person "The Actor." All act, no substance... plus he takes all the credit for anything good.

mad tabby
mad tabby

Worst one I ever worked with(not in IT, used to take corporate files out of the file room and lock them up in his office. He also kept corporate information on his personal drive (spreadsheets we needed for billing etc.) He went on a month long vacation to Asia and I spent most of that month trying to convince IT to give us access to his online files, convince security that I really did need to take a crow-bar to his filing cabinet, and explaining to my supervisor that I couldn't do my job because I didn't have the information.

mjd420nova
mjd420nova

Missing category-- THE SLACKER They're the one who can't seem to get any job done by themselves. Every job becomes a mountain and they need someone behind them to push them along or a person in front to pull them along. Either way, the majority of the work they are assigned is done by others.

arjee63
arjee63

This is a lethal combo - someone who never actually does anything, but goes on and on about how complicated and difficult his job is. I had to supervise one of these once...

Henslowe
Henslowe

If you're unfortunate enough to be put on a project with them, you either have to work twice as hard (with no credit for your extra work) - or your name is on a failing project.

ashij
ashij

Can I have a checkbox instead of the radio button please.. haha!

DaPearls
DaPearls

I think you missed a category. This is the co-worker, especially in IT, that has zero technical knowledge and tries to overcompensate by using buzzwords and cliches in every sentence. They are the first people to pick up on new sayings and use them extensively. You have to be careful that management, who may not be technically savy but afraid to admit it, look to this person as an expert because of what they are spouting.

arjee63
arjee63

I worked with a brilliant but malevolent programmer who consistently injected useless jargon into meetings because he knew that there was a BuzzWorder in the room. It never failed - the hapless victim picked it up and spouted it far and wide. Hilarious, but not much fun when it's your boss...and you're stuck between the malevolent one and the egotistical one.

CharlieSpencer
CharlieSpencer

I saw an ad on the tube this weekend. A bunch of people are headed for a mandatory employee meeting, and one of them is handing out square cardboard cards. Another asks, "What are these?" The reply: "Buzzword Bingo".

JamesRL
JamesRL

I used to do this ten years ago. I was at a Fortune 100 company and one of our VPs would have a town hall every quarter where we would talk about results, issues and so on. He would always talk about industry trends and he was a great reader. So naturally it was a perfect event for buzzword bingo. Thing was - he knew it. We didn't have cards but we had lists in our head. One time he encouraged greater participation in the discussions by handing out playing cards to people who asked questions or made comments. Best poker hand at the end won. My team all participated and at the end, they all handed their cards to me. He decided to reward the creative approach and the whole team got dinner out together. James

DaPearls
DaPearls

Yes, we have all played Buzzword Bingo in meetings. Now you have to imagine that there are people whose whole existence is one long protracted cliche or buzzword. They managed to work in their new buzzword into every conversation. Sad..

gmcneal
gmcneal

Waiting for the information hoarder on the assignment & try to reason with the know-it -all. I get replies like "who are you gonna tell"

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