February 13, 2010
I have a co-worker in my office who is a slacker. She never seems to accomplish anything and every time I watch her, she isn’t doing anything. That is incredibly frustrating to the rest of us who are hard-working, engaged, diligent in our duties, and care a great deal about our jobs and our company.
What is your advice on how to handle a slacker?
Tired and Frustrated in The Woodlands
Dear Woodlands Critter,
There are 2 basic types of slackers: Direct and Indirect.
The Direct slacker is part of your team, in your department or has an immediate impact on your work’s outcome. You are, for example, a direct slacker. I can tell this because you are a whiny time-waster that would like to THINK you are “hard-working, diligent, loyal, blah, blah, blah…” But your letter was sent to me using your company’s letterhead, probably written on company time, while you were goofing off…which directly impacts YOUR work’s outcome. By the way, who writes letters anymore? Why didn’t you just send an e-mail? Even my postal person was making fun of you! (which leads me to believe he’s been reading my mail again). Other clues you have given me:
- “Every time I watch her”: Dude, that’s creepy. More than likely, HR is building a case against you as we speak. I’d take as many office supplies home today as you possibly can.
- “Hard-working, diligent in our duties, care….”: Again, you could have saved yourself some ink by writing just one of these descriptors, but NO….you’ve got to go for the verbose points by pretending to be eloquent, fluent, articulate, expressive, facile, silver-tongued, smooth-spoken, loquacious, glib, magniloquent, rhetorical, voluble and/or well-expressed! (take THAT!!)
- Esteemed? Seriously? You are a suck-up of biblical proportions. Your boss hates you.
The Indirect Slacker doesn't impact your work at all. In fact, they don’t slow anyone down, you’re just jealous because they get to be a slacker and you don’t. Truth is, their manager is probably very happy with their results. They’re probably getting their work done AND making time to enjoy Facebook, play a few rounds of solitaire, read my columns (so you’re already busted for being a cry-baby), or take a long coffee break. They don’t have a problem…YOU do. They are skilled at something called “Time Management”. You should try it sometime. Remember: by walking into the boss’s office and whining about a co-worker who is actually getting results compared to your 40% productivity, you are bringing attention to your desired to help them reduce payroll. Your payroll. Mind your own business and leave the Indirect Slacker alone.
Advice to Senior Management
Truly evaluate who you have working for you. Keeping lazy employees around makes the good hard working employees quit and you end up losing the people that really care about their job. If you have someone with a wealth of experience hire them to do more than the basics and keep challenging them. You should try to keep your indirect slackers busy too…or they’ll make a video like this one and blast it all over YouTube:
Contact James Hamilton: firstname.lastname@example.org or find me at: Twitter Houston’s Economic Policy Examiner LinkedIN MySpace
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