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Top Ten Things That Annoy Me: #2 – pretenders in the workplace

January 21, 2010

number two on my list of annoyances are people who pretend to know shit when they infact know nothing.  not so much in everyday life but mainly in the workplace.  i can let it go when i come across people like that at a mall, or at a party or any type of social gathering but at work, when it could possibily affect me or my team, homey don’t play dat.

again, i’m not saying i’m brilliant.  i am not saying i’m the smartest person at work.  i’m saying that if you don’t know the answer, just say you don’t know the answer.  there’s nothing wrong with that – i don’t expect people to know the answer to everything.  you do not look stupid if you say you don’t know to a couple of questions.  however, if you say you don’t know the answer to every question, well then maybe you shouldn’t be employed.  in fact, you should pack up your desk right now and let the door hit you on the ass on your way out. there were many times that, during meetings, people have asked me questions to which i either did not know the answer or i wasn’t 100% certain of my answer.  my response is usually “i think [insert answer here] but i’m not 100% sure so let me ask [insert name here] – this is her/his area of expertise and i’ll get back to you tomorrow”.  proper workplace etiquette involves follow-ups.  if you’re a good worker, then you follow up regardless if you have the answer or not.  a simple email detailing the answer or the fact that you were unable to validate the answer assures the recipeient in waiting that they are still on your radar.  if you don’t bother to do this, then you’re an asshole and people talk shit about you.  i am not joking.

let me ask you a few questions that can hopefully help you determine if you’re working with an idiot:

clue #1 – do they dress way too formal for their position?

when i mean way too formal, i’m not talking business casual.  i’m talking full on 3-piece suit or for ladies, a very expensive pant suit with a scarf, broaches or any other flashy accessory.  it’s one thing to wear a nice skirt or pants and crisp top, it’s another to be busting out the hugo boss or donna karan.  unless you’re working on wall street, an executive officer, a lawyer or sales person, you do not need to wear flashy clothes to work.  you see my friends, people who wear such things like to play the smoke and mirrors game.  they will dazzle you with their looks and clothes.  i mean, it works right?  if they dress the part, maybe people will think they know the part.  it’s pretty simple.  it’s actually been proven that people respond to those who look good, are well groomed and take care of themselves.  if they’re good-looking most people don’t even bother paying attention to what they’re saying because they can’t see through the smoke and mirrors… that’s how they fly under the radars, my young jedis.

clue #2: do they have an eloquent vocabulary?

those who use fancy words on a regular basis (especially in meetings) usually don’t know much about what they’re talking about.  or what anyone else is talking about.  i think this one bothers me the most because it’s so transparent.  usually these pretenders have a good grasp of the english dictionary but do not have a good grasp on what they’re talking about and what’s most annoying is that they talk.  and talk.  and talk.  and talk.  how about a little less talky and a little more shut the hell up.  they use fancy words in hopes to dazzle and confuse; kind of like how evangelists rope poor unsuspecting folk with promises of redemption and the afterlife except these pretenders use words that don’t make sense and instead of wanting join and believe in them, you want to bitch slap them.  so a meeting that would normally take 15-20mins, drags on for like 2 fucking hours because the word-vomiting choad needs to reciete the english dictionary in front of the entire room to justify why he’s part of the meeting.  it’s these types of meetings people come out even more confused than when the meeting began.

clue #3: once the meeting is over, are you able to find them?

i’m sure everyone at some point or another has stalked a co-worker or project member looking for answers that were promised X days/weeks ago.  this is highly annoying; in fact if you are a person who does this, you’re right up there with dead-beat dads, whom everyone hates.  being incognito directly affects others, their projects and their deadlines.  not to mention it cuts into their budget and planning goes out the window.  no one likes to fall back to their contingency plan and if you’re the asshole who did that, you should congratulate yourself by punching yourself in the face.  it is evident that this person knows nothing because you can’t get a hold of them via email, voicemail, cell phone, office line, their assistant if they have one, visiting their desk, camping out at their desk, calling their home or even watching the parking lot.  all of which i’ve done, by the way.  it’s like this person just disappeared into thin air.  so please, don’t be a houdini motherfucker and disappear like that.  it’s moves like that that make people talk shit about you and not want to work with you.  which i guess is the point for these folk.

clue #4: do they suck up to executives?  like, hardcore?

kissing up is ‘normal’ in the work place.  i use the word normal loosely because almost everyone does it in some form or another but the difference is the severity of the ass-kissing.  if you go to great lengths to titillate your boss’s cornhole, then you are either insecure about your job because you don’t know shit or you’re dying to get promoted.  either way, it’s sad.  and your boss knows you’re doing it.  diehard ass kissers lick up the chain of command as well so not only are they fingering their boss’s asshole, all of the executives are being fingered too.  suck-ups spend a lot of time stalking their boss/executives so if you’re looking for this particular asshole, seek out his boss or the executives and chances are, you’ll find your target dancing around the circle of trust trying to breach the outer walls.

clue #5:  do they have all those long, fucking abbreviations printed on their business cards after their name?

you know these kinds of jerk-offs – the ones like “jim smith –  bsc, phd, llsp, msrp, abcd” or whatever the fuck those are.  really, who cares?  how does me knowing you have a degree in social studies help me build this system?  can your thesis in the art of davinci help me build requirements?  if not, then please don’t bother to put that shit on your business card.  i guarantee you, no one looks at it.  all you need is your name, your position and your phone number.  actually, even your position isn’t really necessary.  if you do not fit into categories such as medical professional (doctor, nurse, radiology etc), lawyer or rocket scientist then i assure you that you do not need that shit on your business card.  if you are crucial to a project, people will remember and write it down themselves.  i once got a buisness card that had 7 of those things – SEVEN.  must you be so insecure or arrogant to actually have the nerve to put all that shit on your card?  i immediatly filed that card under ‘pretentious bastard’ in my trash receptacle.

if you’ve answered yes to most of these questions, than there’s a good chance that the person you’re working with doesn’t know what he/she’s talking about and your project will be in ruin unless you intervene do something about it.

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