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Slacker Coworker

I've got a coworker (sysadmin, in my department) who is absolutely useless. ADD, multi-hour personal phone calls, wretched hygene, hour-long conversations with anyone close enough to hear.  Not to mention marginal technical competence and a complete inability to finish anything, ever.

Even though our boss says he's dealing with it, he isn't, so
I've begin to gently call the slacker out (usually just a hint through IM)

Yesterday there was something he needed to do and it peripherally touched on my responsibilites.  Our manager is away, so I gently attempted to follow-up with the slacker and make sure things got handled.

Of course, they didn't, he dropped the ball, and when I mentioned it to him I was met with the usual defensive comments:

"Chill out dude"
"You're not my boss"

Is it wrong for me to view this person's employment as an affront to everything I've worked for?  Is it wrong for me to view my manager as a pathetically weak yes-man to him not "correcting" the situation?  Is it wrong to think that there must be some tragic, hidden flaw in a  company who would continue to employ such an absolute idiot?

Sassy
Friday, June 04, 2004

Can you get your co-worker to give us his side of the story too please?

.
Friday, June 04, 2004

As your working life progresses, you will realise more and more that all companies are in some way messed up, have managers that make inexplicable decisions, and are basically like life imitating Dilbert cartoons.

You have to chill out and accept this as a fact of life. Even if you were to start your own company, your good intentions to do things differently would be likely, sooner or later, to fall victim to reality.

You need to ignore the failings of your coworker and concentrate on doing your job right. Take pride in what you do, and try to make sure that your good efforts are noticed.

Don't try to call your coworker to account, and definitely don't whinge or gripe to others behind his back, especially to your boss. If you are not his manager you are not responsible for his job performance.

Sooner or later, if your coworker is as bad as you say he is, he will get found out without your help.

Ian
Friday, June 04, 2004

Ask yourself -- how would I handle this in the most professional manner?

Because it seems to me you're just building resentments.

Alyosha`
Friday, June 04, 2004

Unless your co-worker is directly preventing you from getting your job done, I'd agree that he isn't really your problem and you'd do best to ignore the situation.

If he is actually stopping your progress on something, then talk to your boss, explain the situation, and wait for him/her to fix it.

Ahhh the beauty...Dilbert imitates life, imitates Dilbert, imitates life, so on and so forth...it's a perfect self-renewing cycle :)

Joe
Friday, June 04, 2004

I've got this coworker that is always on my ass.  For some reason they think they are my boss and they spend an inordinate amount of time watching me, "spying" on me, IM'ing people about me, chatting about me, and I wouldn't doubt .. writing about me on message boards!  Jeez, they think I'm a slacker, but meanwhile, they spend time prying into my responsibilities!!!

Anyhow, the other day I was multi-tasking between many different tasks, one being theirs.  As everyone here knows, when faced with many different tasks, you have to assign priorities.  Unfortunately, their task wasn't at the top of the queue.  Which led to this scenario:

I'm in the middle of busting my ass for someone and they walk right up to me and start hassling me about why they didn't get their "all important" task done.  Jimminy crickets, I was in the middle of some really crazy important stuff, and they think they can walk right up and have me drop everything because they are inconvenienced.  I think they thought that they tried to approach me gently, but you can sense the distain in their voice.  You could telll that because the "boss was away", they were going to try and "handle things" the way they thought things should be happen.  Which, of course, was: "Me first before anyone else".  You know, when a boss is clueless about what you do, they think you should always be at their beck and call.

So,  I snap back:

"Chill out dude"  "You're not my boss".

I really wish this person would get off my ass.  Because really, when you don't know everything about my day, schedule, or responsibilites ... you look foolish otherwise.

What can I do?

Tired of someone all up my jock
Friday, June 04, 2004

I only want to hear about solutions involving flash powder, salamanders, and/or kiwi fruit.

Everything else we've covered already.

Philo

Philo
Friday, June 04, 2004

Sounds like you've done your part - notifiying your boss about the situation. The real question is if you think your boss won't/can't take action, should _you_ stay? I'm currently leaving a similiar situation after 4 years. 

Either way it's destructive to waste time fretting over others shortcomings in the workplace. Find something better.

Jimmy
Friday, June 04, 2004

You brought it up. Now leave it. Just never ever
make up for any of his mistakes. Let him fall
flat on his face.

son of parnas
Friday, June 04, 2004

I'm a manager with a staff problem. One guy gets things done but doesn't care if he pisses other people off. If he's talking on the phone with someone, he will continue it even if a co-worker demands his immediate attention.

Then I've got this other guy who's a real stickler for the rule book. Likes everything signed off in triplicate. Thinks anyone who doesn't use [name favorite male toiletry] is slack with personal hygiene.

Lately the second guy has started hassling me about the first. It's not really the second guy's role. He's overstepping his responsibilities. What should I do?


Friday, June 04, 2004

As I pointed out to my wife a while back, either the boss doesn't care your co-worker is a slacker, in which case you're not going to make the boss care by complaining about it, or the boss does care, in which case your complaining is unnecessary.

The third choice, of course, is that the boss is so clueless as to not know that your co-worker is a slacker, in which case when you complain the boss will either not believe you, or will be embarrassed that you've pointed out his/her cluelessness.

"A strange game.  The only way to win..."

Kyralessa
Friday, June 04, 2004

Philo, it's not 'kiw fruit' any more: they're marketed as Zespri now.

bah humbug
Saturday, June 05, 2004

Guess what ... seems like we got the slackers here. I was gonna post the same thing. I've worked primarily in very small shops so I never had to gripe too much. Of course I left one job just for this very reason. Company grew and we hired more people one of whom was going to be my project manager. I told the owners this person was stupid and they should fire them. They gave me a raise instead. Bread is not enough, I quit.  Now am at a fortune 500 and just getting tired of cohorts doing whatever crap the analysts say. Honest to goodness but when *someone* decided to classify people differently they did not add a new column to the table ... they duped the table and called it new_X. I had to discover this in a very convoluted way. The analysts, honest to goodness, told me that I should talk to another developer who knew little to nothing about what I do and this person would tell me what I needed to know and there was no way for me to verify what I was doing ... nope ... when I thought I was done they would test and return if it didn't work as they thought it might.  No one knew how to test it. No change request. I blew a gasket and became persona non grata.  My cohorts just blindly eat this shit. The other day I got a request to add some files to my import tool ... but I was supposed to save them on one computer and import them into a db on another ... odd ... and then I was told to combine those 4 tables into one table so I had to take a closer look. It was incredible. None of this had to be done other than the transfer of files but my boss ordered it and another cohort just lolly dolly went along with it. I lodged a *stupid* complaint. Seems I'm lodging a lot more of them lately. Personally I think you ought to leave as working with people you don't respect is something you ought to do ... I try and go into dumb mode and it don't matter but then I get on here and rant.  It seems that people responding to this are just the morons who get in the way or worse who build towers of babel ... I read that it is very dangerous to hire someone at a distinctive level beneath your other knowledge workers as that person will drive out the good ... I had a bookstore and if you traded 2 for 1 you'd end up with lots of books but nothing worth reading.

slackerssuck
Saturday, June 05, 2004

Did you breathe whilst you typed all that?

Simon Lucy
Saturday, June 05, 2004

Hey slackersuck, I'm an analyst. Jump three feet.


Saturday, June 05, 2004

Why "Zespri"? Did someone think "kiwi" was an ethnic slur?

Philo

Philo
Saturday, June 05, 2004

To Philo,

Glad to hear you say "Kiwi fruit" and not simply "Kiwi" as they do in Europe.

To the rest of the universe,

A "kiwi" is one of two things:

1) A kiwi is a person, who like myself, was born in New Zealand.

2) A kiwi is a flightless bird native to New Zealand, typically brown and about 30cm high.

There is no fruit you can eat called "Kiwi". It is "Kiwi fruit"! Got it?

Herr Herr
Saturday, June 05, 2004

IF it's flightless how come it's a bird? And those damn penguins. When did they stop flying? Oh, and don't get me started on the chickens...

Mercedes SLK
Saturday, June 05, 2004

"Glad to hear you say "Kiwi fruit" and not simply "Kiwi" as they do in Europe."

Well of course. If I wanted to refer to New Zealanders I'd say "those irritating holier-than-thou assclowns that can never get over their perceived inadequacies as compared with Australia"

[grinning, ducking, running]

Philo

Philo
Saturday, June 05, 2004

Sassy, you should drop it.

As stated by others, all workplaces are grossly inefficient. If a slacker is the worst you have to deal with, then fuggedaboutit and do your work.

Accusing a peer of not contributing ranks along with theft and espionage against your employer as one of the most damaging things you can do to your own reputation with your employer. It never, ever, ever looks good or looks like you were proactive.

If it pisses you off, you better look for a new job.

This is completely beside the point that we don't know what the slacker does and we only heard your point of view.

Bored Bystander
Saturday, June 05, 2004

I think maybe the solution is for you to stop being such an uptight ass-wad.

a nut-fungus has greatly improved my hygiene
Saturday, June 05, 2004

Based on this last guys comments, he must be the *real* co-worker in question...

anon-y-mous cow-ard
Saturday, June 05, 2004

Philo, never a truer word was spoken.

A better way to rile a Kiwi would be to ask them who knocked them out of the Rugby World Cup. If they start spluttering, for some spice you could say something like, "Spencer flings it wide... MORTLOCK! He's away!".

And the flame war begins.

.
Saturday, June 05, 2004

Calling Kiwis, fruits, would I think involve being knocked over by said fruity fist.

Simon Lucy
Sunday, June 06, 2004

"IF it's flightless how come it's a bird? And those damn penguins. When did they stop flying? "

The kiwi has little wings too weak to fly with. Birds in NZ evolved to become flightless because there was nothing there to eat them. There used to be giant 12 foot high flightless birds that became extinct when humans reached New Zealand.

Bill Rayer
Sunday, June 06, 2004

Moa reference: http://www.enchantedlearning.com/subjects/birds/printouts/Moa.shtml

Bill Rayer
Sunday, June 06, 2004

Oh, unless your clueless boss decides to have a peer review session with you saying: "You and you are in the same team. Why didn't xyz and abc get done at qwe time? Now, let's look at team work. You and you can't get along? Gees, man why do you guys give me so much problems?"

And when that happens, you will feel like grabbing a bunch of your boss's hair and turn it into one of those new fangled pointy hair-dos.

Solution - leave it. S/he will screw up some time. You don't have to do anything for the mouse to show its tail.

anon
Sunday, June 06, 2004

As an aside...

In the late 1980s Aotearoa / New Zealand producers dubbed the Chinese gooseberry the kiwifruit and created a taste sensation using this cuddly name. It succeeded, but perhaps a little too well. Other countries got in on the act, merrily using the name and the Aotearoa / New Zealand output shrunk to a quarter of the world market. Now the New Zealand Kiwifruit Marketing Board has decided what worked for them once could do it for them a second time. So they got hold of a British consultancy, Interbrand, to come up with a new name for the kiwifruit which they can register as a trademark. A survey showed Interbrand that people associated Aotearoa / New Zealand with cleanliness, greenness and sunshine and it was felt that a fresh, zesty, spirited name was needed. And they came up with one – Zespri.

Jack of all
Monday, June 07, 2004


Taken from: http://www.newint.org/issue285/update.htm

Jack of all
Monday, June 07, 2004

1) Very cut-up of you slackerssuck. Trying to immitate Burroughs are we?

2) Couldn't a kiwi fruit be a homosexual from new zealand? Is it just my immature sense of humor that finds that hillarious?


Monday, June 07, 2004

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