November 17, 2005

Do you know these people?

A list of seven well-known workplace troublemakers, with tips on how to deal with them. Excerpt:

1. The Misery Lady

Identifying Marks

Sweatshirts decorated with symbols of the nearest holiday.

Often Heard Saying

"Good morning! Oh, where's your hat? Do you like mine? Ha ha ha! It's Floppy Hat day! You didn't hear? Ha ha! Well, it was in my e-mail. Oh, no, that's okay! It's all for fun! You don't have to wear a floppy hat! Jean, do we have an extra floppy hat for him?"

What She Is

She knows your birthday. She always wears a smile. She can make your life a living hell. Like Annie Wilkes of Misery fame, she tells you she's your "Number One Fan" and she means it... as long as you do exactly what she wants.

She says it would be fun if everyone in the office dressed like Cupid for Valentine's Day. She suggests we all get together and put on a skit about the things that make us happy. The boss goes along with her in the name of boosting morale.

The reality, as anyone who has cringed their way through Misery Lady's events can tell you, is that she's "boosting morale" in the same way that dressing up her cat boosts the cat's morale

What You Should Do

Let her see things from your perspective.

At one company where I worked as a consultant, I had the men in the office organize Gladiator Days. On Gladiator Day, everyone was required to go shirtless and speak only in profanity. Everyone was forced to carry a club and all requests were ignored unless followed up with a threat (i.e., "Make these fucking copies for me or else I'll see that your daughter starts being an orphan and stops being a virgin on the very same night.")

By lunch, the message was sent loud and clear: what is fun for one and what is fun for another are two very different things.

Sadly, I recognized all seven. What's worse is that some of them are above me in the chain of command. Oh well. It's not like I actually work during the day.

Posted by Physics Geek at November 17, 2005 01:37 PM | TrackBack StumbleUpon Toolbar Stumble It!

I just fired the lady in your example a couple of days ago.

Posted by: Contagion at November 18, 2005 08:45 AM

Want to fire a few people for me where I work? Please?

Posted by: physics geek at November 18, 2005 08:55 AM