Do you know any one like this?

I’m going to condescend everyone for a minute, so please endulge me for a moment. This is for the slow people out there…

When you have a job, your job is … well … your job. And more importantly, other people’s jobs are (obviously) theirs. And when people have managers, thier manager’s job is to make sure that those people are being productive and meeting their objectives. And finally, (pay very close attention to this) as it is their manager’s job, it is not yours!

It has become far too common place in today’s work environment that people are assessing the productivity and contributions of others outside of their direct work group. Which is absolutely ludicrous. First of all, in many cases the people doing this evaluation have no concept of the objectives of the evaluees. Secondly, the evaluators are not aware of the work habits of the group under their watchful eyes so if they’re productive during the unmonitored times it’s going unnoticed. This again is just silly.

So this begs the question, what are these folks doing that leaves them so much time to worry about the work habits of others? Maybe they should be more focused on achieving their own goals than whether or not someone else is meeting thier goals. You cannot control everyone in the company. That’s not your job. If it were, you’d be the owner and would most likely be far more motivated in life than you currently are.

Motivated, hard-working people do not have the time to worry about what other people do with their time unless there is a direct affect on their own ability to be productive. Usually the motivated person will simply move on without the deadweight. So if you find yourself keeping tabs on someone you think is a slacker at work, ask yourself whether or not thier behavior is hindering you or not. If so, innovate a solution that works around your obstacles and leave the clipboard at home. If not, then why waste your time?

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3 thoughts on “Do you know any one like this?

  1. Dave says:

    You have a good point. However, just because someone is not in your immediate group doesn’t mean it doesn’t affect you. The woman who sits next to me at work surfs the web at least half the day, and when she’s not surfing, she’s IMing her friends or chatting on the phone. She is far from being the only one who does this. Besides being a drain on resources (have to pay her salary, give her a nice computer and other people have to do her work for her, all of which affects me even though she’s not on my team) it seriously affects morale, office politics and promotions (which in my situation are too too often not merit based. I should mention I work at a major university.) You can say, well, just keep your head down and do your work and everything will be fine, but when you see these people who are slackers and frankly over their heads in their jobs being promoted over you for “diversity” reasons or because they’re in the “inner circle” when you know in your heart if you were the boss they’d be out the door (not that you could ever really fire them because of fear of a law suite), well, it’s a frustrating place to be in. I know, this makes me passive aggressive.

  2. Dave – I’ll grant you that University work environments are entirely different beasts than standard corporate life, but I think if you take a close look at how this woman’s behavior is affecting you, you’ll probably see that it is entirely on a phychological level. She’s not hindering you from doing your job or even from getting a promotion, she’s just making you miserable which is keeping you from doing your best work, or keeping you from standing out as a positive and productive employee.

    Now granted diversity hiring, firing, and promoting is a horrible business practice that I could wax on about for days, but even in most scenarios if given the choice between a standout obvious leader and a ridiculously weak diversity hire, I’d put my money on the standout. Why? Because they can manufacture a promotion for diversity’s sake if they have to.

    Unfortunately, I think you may have to look very closely at your actions and your work production. If you are letting the problem affect you, you are doing yourself a major disservice. Miserable people stand out as such and managers don’t want to deal with them. If you give 110% (work ethic and morale effort) and you still can’t get ahead, then you should be working to strengthen your resume and you should start looking. If you’re unhappy at work then you do what you can to make it better or leave. Sounds over simplified, but true.

    Do this: Try to stay away from the office politics for 2 weeks (or a reasonable project time-frame for your job). This means no gossiping, no bitching and moaning, and no checking in on those unproductive people. Clearly define some goals for that time period with your manager, and communicate at least twice per week with your boss. When this test is over, you should feel that you’ve stepped up a rung on the respect ladder with your boss. Keep it up and you’ll be looking back at the good-for-nothings in your wake in no time.

  3. Chris says:

    Dave — It’s time to make a move. One thing that a former boss told me is that he would rather me be happy somewhere else then miserable in my current position. You really need to think about your happiness. Happy workers produce better results then miserable workers. For your sake either learn to ignore your coworkers or move on to a new job.

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