8 Ways To Be A Jerk At Work.

It’s amazing how we tend to focus on work from an egocentric point of view. We see what everyone else is doing wrong but fail to see our own missteps. I can get frustrated because I never know my boss’ schedule yet I never tell my team when I’m going to be out. I pounce on every error by my direct report yet rationalize why I missed a deadline. I focus on everyone else’s failings and gloss over mine. how to be a jerk at work

If all you do is find fault in everyone else and need a brace on your finger from all your finger pointing and blaming….you might be a “jerk”. If you have never been content one day at work…you might be a “jerk”. If folks can’t be authentic and honest with you for fear of retribution….you might be a “jerk”. There many good reasons to be a “jerk” at work. You never get put on any teams because you don’t ever do any heavy lifting. You only have superficial conversations and there’s no need to connect with folks. You have more free time because everyone avoids you.

If this sound like the gig for you….follow these steps:

1. Gossip. Everyone knows where to get the sensationalized information in a company…the Company Gossip. Find out as much information on other folks and regurgitate it in an exaggerated half-truth fictionalized manner to as many folks as possible. Make it sound like you are only telling your closest network but make sure the lies spread like wild fire across the entire organization. Be a gossip.

2. Sly. If you have the opportunity, make sure you trip your co-worker. Copy their boss on an email requesting information you know they haven’t been able to get yet. Move a deadline up on a project while the leader of the project is on vacation. Go Roadrunner on Wiley Coyote…make it seem the project is almost done and then have them fall off a cliff. Be sly.

3. Keeper. Hold all the information you can and guard it with your life. Skip important meetings where you would be expected to share the critical information. When the organization starts going down the wrong path, bite your tongue. If the boss is rolling the bus over the wrong poor soul, smile and nod. Be the keeper.

4. Backstabber. Keep your knives sharp. Find out your team’s Achilles heel (I.e. They are poor at details, they’re always late, they are insecure) and capitalize on it. Tell your victim you have their back and then find the opportune time to mention their weakness to the boss. They never saw it coming.

5. Ice. Be as cold as ice. CEO and Juicesoft founder, Kim Scott said “There’s a Russian anecdote about a man who loved his dog so much that when the vet told him he needed to cut the dog’s tail off he couldn’t do it all at once, so he did it an inch at a time.” Cruel empathy.

6. Quit but stay. One of my biggest pet peeves is when folks announce their retirement 2 to 3 years in advance. This in theory is supposed to help the organization prepare for their departure. In reality, the retiree is just quitting and staying. Everyone ends up counting the days until they leave so we can all be put out of our misery. Announce your retirement.

7. Pump sunshine. I can remember two different job offers I took because one of the folks from the company was so enthusiastic about the company. Both people turned out to be jerks. They were pumping sunshine. Disingenuous sunshine. The companies were great; but the sunshine pumpers were jerks.

8. Micro. Micromanage everything you touch. Of course, if you are following #3, you won’t be delegating anything anyway. Dictate very detail and double…triple check that every detail is being followed. Return every typo and double period for a redraft (this will keep folks in their place and you will look so superior). Be sure to micromanage.

I’m not advocating that we all be jerks. Just a reflection on some things you (and I) might be doing unconsciously that might be rubbing your co-workers the wrong way.

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