Sunday, February 12, 2012

Worst co-workers ever

By Suzanne Lucas 

 Worst co-workers ever
1.       The Exhibitionist - Gillimmott: One of my co-workers showed me her bare chest (after a full 5 days on the job!). It wasn't even sexual: I'm female, too, and she kept bragging about how she was accustomed to sleeping with male co-workers and customers. Not surprisingly, she turned out to be severely unhinged, manipulative, bullying and an outright liar. I left that job because of her. To this day I don't know why she never got fired -- maybe she showed her chest to our boss, too?

2.       The Stinker - Juni: The data entry staffer who I supervised was very good at his job but smelled like cigarette smoke more than anything I have ever experienced before, worse than a '60s airport lounge, worse than the worst old-man bar you've ever walked into. His eau-de-nicotine was so strong that I had to ask him to move his workspace to an unused office. When I did, he shrugged and trudged off to his new workspace without a peep because he knew. He knew!

He was laid off about three months into the job because we restructured our department. His being laid off had nothing to do with his job performance -- which was frankly very good. Though I could barely get through a 10-minute supervision with him without gagging. His work was good, he rarely made mistakes, and he had a pleasant attitude. But when he left, we had to fumigate the workspace and actually had to throw out all of the equipment (chair, desk) because no one could get the smell out. It even permeated his computer. We had the IT guy take it apart to try and clean it, it couldn't be cleaned, so we tried parting it out as spare parts, but everything smelled so bad that we had to drill them and recycle.

3.       The Convenient Illness Sufferer - Jay: The absolute worst co-worker was the receptionist we had for a couple of years. If she was assigned a special task by one of the execs, she would make a big deal about she was "on it!" and then she would mysteriously have an allergic reaction to something. Her "cleaning lady" notified her that her daughter's hamster died, so she had to rush out and pick her daughter up from school to tell her and explain the Circle of Life. She would claim that her blood sugar dropped, and then we'd find her sleeping on the floor of one of our conference rooms. (She was hung over). The excuses got more and more ridiculous. She conveniently had food poisoning over lunch after being reprimanded earlier that morning for yet another late arrival or for not completing regular duties by the deadline set. She would stop employees and guests when they walked by her desk and tell them in great detail about her therapy
sessions, weekend parties, her daughter's escapades and cute quotes. We all eventually learned how to avoid the front desk completely until she was finally let go. She was perfectly healthy as long as she didn't have to do anything other than answer the phones and show up 30 minutes late and take extended lunches. She was also notorious for blaming her lack of quality work on others and was often found sobbing in a manager's office about how terribly she was being treated by the other employees and that's why she couldn't work.

4.       The Thief - Lisa: The worst co-worker I ever had was when I was 18 and working at a fast-food restaurant. The co-worker, also 18, had gotten fired from her other part-time job for stealing. She then needed more money and decided that I should lose my job so she could have my hours. She took money from my cash drawer so it would look like I had stolen, told manager’s lies about me, and defaced a work-safety sign and blamed it on me. Given that I'd gotten 2 performance raises in 6 months and had never shown up drunk like she had, management did not believe her, and she was fired.

5.       The Software Pirate - Leslie: At my first job out of college, a coworker insisted to management that he needed all kinds of pricey, high-end software to do his job, especially video- and photo-processing tools, even though his job did not entail either creating videos or manipulating photos. (But it was a new position and he came highly recommended, and the management didn't really know what he would need, so they approved everything.) When IT came to install the software on his work computer, he always told them that he was in the middle of something important and that he would do it himself later. They would leave the installation disk and key, and he would take it home and install it on his personal computer. I found out when he offered to let me take one of them home for my own computer. When he was finally fired, management discovered that he had, of course, done none of the work he was hired to do.

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