Sunday, 6 April 2014

Sorts of workmates

Following up on the last week’s post of job (or rather employer-related) lassitude, I compiled a list of personalities I have come across during my stint where I am who, not necessarily in large measure, have tended to throw me off balance. It does mean I wish to besmirch some types of behaviours or attitude towards work, nor claim I am free of all the shortcomings. Treat the wry depiction below with a pinch of salt. Despite some irritating traits, most of my workmates who served as prototypes for the list below are actually likeable :)

Piece-of-office-furniture. Office seems to be their first, not second, and preferable home. They spend more time there than they need to, most probably to show others how ardently they work or to avoid coming back home where bothersome spouse and vociferous offspring wait. Spending up to 12 hours a day in the office does not translate into higher efficiency, as they work long, but not smart. The only drawback for fellow workmates is that they expect other employees to keep late hours as they do and do not realise other people can have different priorities than spending evening at work.

Conceited. Always knows best, is wiser than others and thinks others are more stupid than they are. With time their intuition is often proven wrong, yet they always find excuses for why they missed by a long shot. Despite huge expertise hard to be persuade and standing their ground as a matter of principle.

Martyr. Tends to send e-mails in the middle of the night or during weekend just to show their workmates how committed they are and how much of their private time they sacrifice for the welfare of the company. Whenever you remind them what they were supposed to do, they barrage you with a litany of what they have on their plate and how busy they are. At the end of the day, their efficiency is not higher than average.

Irreplaceable. Frequently underlines how crucial for the company they are and how all the stuff would fall apart if they quitted. Unfortunately lacks courage to hand in a notice and provide empirical evidence for their assertions.

Scatterbrained. Might be good in setting up new relationships with clients, but fails to look after them, once they are established. Forgetful. Expects other people to take care of their affairs. As an employee might be precious for the company, but needs to be surrounded by more responsible persons…

Deadline-challenger. Whenever reminded of a tight deadline, they always respond there is a plenty of time and they will make it before deadline. Then when the eleventh hour comes up, they race against time and often lose the race. Not my style…

Nouveau-riche. Usually in their early thirties, after two or three promotions, with at least one earned in pre-crisis era, when bargaining power in negotiating salaries was much higher than today. Grew in provincial Poland in a poor family (I have nothing against such people as long as they behave normally) and shows off their first big money. Their ostentatious wealth is often debt-financed and most income is spent on lavish consumption intended to impress other people. Nothing condemnable, but not my style.

Dirty-linen-washer. Particularly intolerable in open plans where everyone hears everyone. Often tells stories from their private life that should not reach wider audience. Marital problems, break-up with partner or sexual habits are not what everyone around needs to listen about.

Trumpeter. Does little but talks a lot (and says little). Spends more time talking how much they do (blowing their own trumpet) and hence has little time to put in sheer hard work. Because of superb publicity they can make, they are often highly evaluated by supervisors, yet many managers have become immune to people who create less value than they claim to.

Office-politics fan. Knows everyone well, if familiar with what other people are like and generally in what is going on in the company. Knows who to flatter, who to avoid and how to conform to a specific situation. The only drawback is that they spend too much time devising office politics strategies than on sheer hard work.

Silent and dubious. Seldom opens their mouth. Is taciturn, rarely participates in conversations in which many people are engaged, but often listens in. Maybe this has appearance of a whistleblower obsession, but I am not fond of such types.

Lacking self-preservation instinct. Totally does not realise their position is unsustainable, unless a change is brought about, i.e. if no there is no work, their fruits of their work do not cover the costs of their position. Doing little and earning much even in a self-focused corporation is a short-term survival strategy, but in the long run, is dead-end.

Sponger. Akin to the aforementioned type, but lives off the backs of workmates. Knows a team needs to generate some value, but does everything to have possibly smallest share in that pie.

Beauty. Young, attractive female, aware of her charm and knowing how to use it. Does not have to make a step too far to achieve what she wants by only simpering with pliable males. I developed a strategy of playing a game with such women. I join it, pretend to fall for her and when she thinks the deal is nailed down, I back down ruthlessly.

Delegating. Their key activity is assorting tasks among other employees who are not their subordinates. I recall an e-mail from such person, written in a very professional language, stating we are in the point, where something has been achieved, further actions required are these and those, persons responsible for execution are these and those, deadlines are as set. In effect, tasks have been delegated and they will oversee. Quite annoying, but beware; this was the only person out of the prototype who has been fired, for their attitude towards work.

Not-give-but-take. Typical Polish entitlement advocate. They deserve a pay rise, appreciation from managers, an hour-long lunch break and to pop out for two hours to town when they need to handle something, but refuse to take up additional tasks or stay overtime. Ignores a simple rule that you cannot have a cake and eat it. Either you are a mediocre employee and you salary and position are also mediocre, or you stand out and then hold out for more.

And for the very end, my drawbacks at work:
- I tend to get hot-tempered,
- the tone of my voice is sometimes so unpleasant that my interlocutor can think I am ordering them about,
- what is worse, the tone of my voice is even condescending or patronising,
- I happen to claim I am right without double-checking facts backing my assertions,
- I am generally quite strict when I take steps to receive what I need to receive.

No comments: