Most often encountered in the IT department, but found elsewhere, too, this one comes into the office telling everyone else how to do their job. Invariably, they have no clue what the other staffers actually do, but that rarely deters them from offering uninvited and unwelcome advice. Some of these people invented the phrase, “Oh no, that’s not how you do it. This is how we did it in (fill in the city or company that is now rejoicing that these knuckleheads left).” The best way to handle them is to ask why they left their last gig. Queue deer-in-headlights gaze.
These people had some connection, perhaps nebulous, perhaps rooted in blackmail, that got them a position at your company. Sometimes that works out and the new hire is a powerhouse of enthusiasm and fresh ideas, beloved by all, even the ogres in HR and the crazy office manager. But the bad ones make it clear they are above mundane tasks such as showing up on time, pitching in to stay late to help on special projects or even taking a turn picking up coffee and bagels for Bagel Friday. The fact that their dad went to college with your boss or their mom’s cousin is Stella in accounting is, in their mind, the reason they don’t feel the need to work as hard as peons “without connections.”
This one took the job only because their “dream job” hasn’t quite materialized yet. Constantly looking for their next gig, all the charm they exuded to get this one dries up on the first day. They will offer no assistance with any project, refuse to interact pleasantly with anyone who cannot offer a glowing reference, will be the last to show up and the first to evaporate at the stroke of 4:59 p.m. Any task assigned to them will be done — slowly — to the tune of sighs accompanied by rolled eyes. Their cubicles or offices will have zero personal touches and any efforts by coworkers to make them feel welcome will be met by a confused look and the sudden inability to speak English (or Spanish in most offices in Miami). Your defense? “Hey, check out the job postings on LinkedIn. I heard Xpedia (or insert another big company name) is looking for someone with your skillset to join their team!”
These people will be the first to laugh at the boss’ jokes and to enthusiastically and loudly agree with them on any ideas, no matter how trivial. Soon after they show up, they will begin to morph into the boss, copying mannerisms, sayings, style of dressing, choice of car. Photos of the boss will be on prominent display in their cubicle or office as well as on their Facebook and Instagram pages. At company outings, they and their spouse will be glued to the boss and his/her significant other, snarling at any who dare come close. Make their head explode by starting a casual conversational with: “Hey, I meant to tell you that last weekend while I was out on the boat with the boss…”
If this person were a bird, their call would be “Here’s what you need to do.” Within minutes of their hiring, they will make it clear they are the only one in the building whose ideas matter. They most often have absolutely no idea as to what their associates actually do, but that won’t discourage them from stepping in and loudly pointing out how it should be done, in a way engineered to make it abundantly clear everyone else is a moron. Meeting invitations will soon begin appearing in the inboxes of all associates for sit-downs that do not actually involve these folks, Suffice it to say, avoiding this person will soon replace softball as the new office sport.