Tag Archives: Job

Coworkers Suck: the Ignorant Know-it-All

Hopefully as soon as you read the title you conjured up a mental image of a coworker whom is the perfect candidate for the Ignorant Know-It-All. And hopefully as you read this you are nodding your head constantly in agreement as I whine about this certain type of person. We all know them and we all loathe them: the person at work who is constantly telling people how to do their job, and even though they are in the same job position as you are, they seem to act like they’re part of middle management and know everything. Making matters worse, they don’t actually seem to have any clue as to what needs to happen at work even though they act like they do. I recently started a new job and it took me a total of one week to run into TWO of these people. TWO! Lucky me! I’m sure there are a few more, but whatever, they must be really low-key about being jackasses. These workers Suck, and they Suck for some very simple reasons: no one likes to be ordered around and if you are ordered around, you’d hope you wouldn’t be ordered around to do some very stupid things. The Ignorant Know-It-All Sucks.

The part of this person being an ignorant know-it-all is very important. Similar worker archetypes that lack the ignorant aspect are the know it all and the asskisser/brownoser. These people are bad enough with their constant ass-kissing of management and telling everyone what to do. But truth be told, I’m sort of a know it all, and I can understand why people end up being that way at work. When you work around people who are mostly dipshits — your co-workers and the general public — you start to get frustrated with how people work begin to correct and overcorrect your fellow dipshit workers. Yeah you probably come across as an ass, but if you keep it low-key enough, maybe people won’t hate you as much? I figure you might be an insufferable piece of shit, but you still have good intentions of helping your coworkers find the best way to do a job. This is what the ignorant know-it-all starts with, but they take it to a whole new level of insufferability by not knowing what they hell they’re talking about.

The ignorant know-it-all is just like the standard run-of-the-mill know-it-all in that they have to correct everyone on every method that occurs in the workplace, but instead of them being a know-it-all and being correct in their recommendations, they fail miserably by suggesting and ordering really dumbass things that undermine the work process. Making matters worse, they think they’re a wizard, brainiac genius, future CEO, who are God’s gift to the workplace so they’re not even aware of how terrible their suggestions are. (For further reading, look up the dunning-kruger effect.) Everyone hates them and doesn’t want to work with them, but they don’t get it. And I don’t know how you’re supposed to tell them in a polite way to fuck off, so you just end up silently dealing with these overbearing assholes.

What bothers me most about these people is their seeming inability to put together any sort of complex process in their minds. When the ignorant know-it-all suggests something, it might sound good on the surface, but upon even slightly thinking about the issue, their suggestion will obviously undermine the work process one, two, or more steps away. What might solve the primary issue at hand will ruin the work process further down the line. For example, workers are limited in the workplace and moving workers from one line of work always will take workers away from another line of work. Job one might be dependent upon job two. I unload cargo aircraft containers that hold a bunch of packages and we load them into large cardboard boxes. People have to make the boxes (job one) for us to load the packages into (job two). In this example, the ignorant asshole will suggest, upon seeing that we’re not unloading the containers fast enough, might order (even though he isn’t a supervisor) some of the box making dudes to help unload containers. Well, it doesn’t take a genius to realize if you cripple the box making process, eventually we won’t have boxes to unload the packages into! If you’re smart you might realize that there might be enough boxes to finish the job — and you might be right — but the ignorant asshole doesn’t care about that and will move people even if it will cause all work to come to a screeching halt because of not being able to put actions and consequences together.

It never even has to be as complex as moving workers either. It might be telling coworkers to use a less efficient process even though they think it’s better, or by telling people how to do a job differently even if it doesn’t have any negative effect. Some people just have their own way of doing a job that works fine, but they will still insist that you do it their way. It might be them having a sense of urgency when there really isn’t any reason to hurry. It entails all sorts of unnecessary crap these people do just to seem smart, important, superior, or to appear to be a “good worker” to management. They might take care of less important matters first (like sweeping) while ignoring more important stuff (like helping a customer). These people Suck for very obvious reasons: they’re know-it-alls but they are ignorant about their ignorance. They go around and tell people what to do, how to do it, or when to do something when it’s one of the dumbest suggestions you could think of and have no idea about how stupid they are being. You can’t tell them to fuck off because then you’d lose your job. They probably won’t get fired because they’re such a “go-getter” sort of person: even if they’re dumb and annoying they’re a good worker and are reliable. Every workplace has these wonderful people, and this is probably a large part of why people hate going into work even if we don’t recognize it. We have to deal with the damn ignorant know-it-all and it Sucks.

Work Sucks: Being the “Go-to” Guy

Disclaimer: Even though I use the word “guy” the go-to person can be any gender. Don’t jump my shit about it.

When you first start a job you’re an ignorant idiot and have no idea what the hell is going on. That is understandable because you’re new. No one is going to ask you to do anything remotely important or critical because you’re an ignorant idiot. You’ll probably be mopping or sweeping a floor just to do something because no one is going to trust you with anything else. As time goes on you’re expected to know more and more about the job that is assigned to you, to understand how your single work process fits in with the company-at-large’s goals in its business, and to guide others in how to do their jobs efficiently and correctly. All jobs start like this, but not all jobs end like this. Sometimes, if you stay at a job long enough, or are a reliable enough worker, you transform from the ignorant new-guy, to the dude-who-works-here, and finally into “the go-to guy.” You become the guy that your boss asks to do everything and comes to you nearly every time they need something. Need coverage when someone called in? Call Mr. (or Ms.) Go-To Guy/Gal even if it’s their day off! Need something done quickly and promptly and need it done correctly? Where’s Go-to person at? Anything odd, important, or time-sensitive will be delegated to you. It Sucks and here’s why (and how!).

Two (or more) types of people

I’m a nice guy. I don’t cuss people out or throw a fit when my boss asks me to do something at work. I mean it is called “work” for a reason and if you’re surprised you have to work at work I feel sorry for you; you’re a special kind of idiot. If I have to work slightly harder than someone else I don’t let it bother me unless it becomes a chronic thing where I’m busting my ass while they do nothing. I’m also a perfectionist that takes pride in their work. Even if I am given some tiny, stupid, mundane thing to do, I try to do it in an acceptable and even outstanding fashion while still being efficient. Even if it’s sweeping the floor, I try to do a decent job at it, and try to sweep in a way that takes the least amount of steps in keeping with my love of efficiency. I also realize that the pride you do a job with is visible to others: if you’re a lazy asshole that tries harder to get out of work than the work would actually require, everyone else will know it and will hate you for it. It’s simply not a problem to work while at work, and to work with some dignity towards yourself and the quality of job you’re doing. It makes everybody’s lives more enjoyable.

Speaking of the lazy asshole, guess who is the second type of person? Yeah, the lazy asshole. Take everything I said before, and invert it. When I said I don’t throw a fit when given a job to do, the lazy asshole does throw a fit. This person does their assigned job and no more. Anything extra given to them, even if everyone else also has extra work, will whine, complain, and bitch in the exact same way a 3-year-old does when they don’t get their way. They’re pieces of shit, lazy, and no one likes to work with them. This person has no regard for the quality of work they do or how they are perceived by their coworkers. They’re there to earn a paycheck and they will do it in the most minimally labor-intensive way possible. Usually they’re hated by their fellow coworkers, because if someone is being paid the same that you are you’d expect them to do about the same amount of work. That’s all cool and fine I guess, except there is one special person that also doesn’t want to work with this person: the boss.

If you are a supervisor (if you are, please take this to heart), and you need something done, who would you ask? Your options are the reliable guy or the asshole guy. One guy will get the job done seriously and without complaint while the other will half-ass the job and whine the whole time about it. It doesn’t take a fucking genius to know who’s going to get picked.

One time is fine, sure, but anytime a job needs to be done, the boss prefers to ask the good worker. This further cements their reliability and makes them even more attractive to give extra, important or odd jobs to. Eventually, by being a decent worker who isn’t an ass, you end up being the go-to worker who the boss, and other forms of management, go to if they need something done. It’s a positive feedback loop: by being a good worker you earn more of a reputation, which makes you even demanded by the boss, which gives you even more reputation, and so on. The lazy asshole gets no extra work because it’s too much of a hassle to deal with them in the first place.

The obvious shitty part of this is that it’s unfair. That’s what Sucks about turning into the go-to person. You’d expect the good worker to be rewarded with less work while the asshole gets slammed with the extra crap, and maybe even fired. It Sucks because reality doesn’t work that way. In the past 4 jobs I’ve worked, I inevitably always become one of the go-to guys, and while I’ve found ways to postpone it, it always seems to happen. Sadly, taking on more and more responsibilities as the go-to guy at work eventually leads me to a breaking point where I just quit the job. I yearned for the early days of a job where I could work, be good at what I was doing, but where I didn’t have that reputation for being such a good worker. They were simple times, back then.

If you’re smart and realize this trend is a thing, you want to break it. This is bad because you start to act like not a very good worker even though you are. At my current job I took a different shift where no one knew me, my work skills, and what I was trained in. I was a nobody and no one asked me to do anything. It was like hitting the reset button on being a go-to guy, and it’s been great so far. If you take a new job, you might lay low and not volunteer to learn anything new, because then your “good worker” secret might be known and you’ll end up as that guy. It’s pretty shitty and demoralizing to know that you need to play lazy at a job because the bosses will work you to death if you show them you’re a good worker. That’s how it is though. It Sucks. Don’t become the go-to person at work.