Be “that person”

Leadership

Do you want to create a personal brand that will have all your coworkers talking about you? Would you like to have the glory that goes along with being that person? Do you desire to avoid responsibility and accountability, while taking credit for accomplishments? Whether you’re already accomplished at this or you’re a newbie, this handy guide can help you be a master-level Insufferable Coworker.

Make sure your workstation is a biohazard. A little bit of clutter won’t cut it. Deck your work area out in reams of papers, dirty, used coffee cups, and cover everything with a fine coating of sticky, gummy unknown substance. Sprinkle all surfaces liberally with crumbs. For good measure, have an unopened container of cleaning wipes displayed prominently among this filth.

Be a food hoarder. Delight in the presence of “free” food. Take extra sandwiches from catered lunches. Someone brings in bagels for the team? Be sure you get at least two. Each morning, do a drive-by to check out what you might be able to score. Hover and wait.

Whine and complain. This is a great way to ensure that no one talks to you unless they have to. Complain about your boss, your coworkers, company policies, the weather, the other people on the road, your neighbor—it really doesn’t matter what you complain about. Just make complaining a constant.

Always be the voice of negativity. Related to, but different from complaining and whining, the voice of negativity always sees the worst possible outcome and effects in every situation. Everything is bad, nothing will work, your coworkers just don’t get it.

Be the smartest guy/gal in the room. Some people think that the smartest people in the room are those who spend time listening to others. Nonsense. Run your mouth, talk over your peers, beat them down with your words until they give in, and you are victorious. You love the sound of your own voice, so why not share that with everyone?

Never show up on time for anything. Always run late for meetings and appointments. Then act like nothing is wrong. No one will ever want to share a cab with you this way.

Don’t follow through. Make commitments but don’t keep to them. Your coworkers love that. Don’t answer emails, either. Ghost your coworkers.

Pass the buck. Nothing can ever be your fault. It’s always someone else’s fault even when you are clearly the one to blame. Admit nothing. Forge ahead.

Suck up. Your coworkers will totally love it when you regularly throw them under the bus and then suck up to more important people. Sycophancy will repel your coworkers. Highly effective!

Hoard credit. Never give credit to anyone who helped you achieve a success, and certainly take credit for others’ successes whenever possible. This is universally endearing.

Make unreasonable demands. This is a good one for management. Allow priority projects to age appropriately until the last possible minute, then make completing those projects on time the problem of your team. Also, don’t offer any possible solutions. Tell them to just get it done.

Closeup portrait of a male hands holding US dollarsNickel and dime. “Okay, I had the ginger ale and the grilled cheese, so I owe $11.” No one wants to associate with someone who is stingy. But be sure to be stingy about an array of unimportant things, too, like why someone booked a plane ticket that was $13 more than yours, or question why a team member needs to order office supplies.

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