Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Fly in the Ointment

I’m deep in a big project at work that has high visibility and lots of pressure. I got brought in a month ago to “help” with the workload of a coworker. This guy quickly displayed some troublesome traits. He’s late to meetings and misses meetings. He’s late to work. He misses deadlines. He talks a good game but doesn’t deliver the goods. He is very interested in his own status and when he wants someone to take his side or help him out, he says he’s interested in their career, too. He gossips. He’s free with his negative criticism of other people’s work. His personal life is full of drama and excuses and lacking in boundaries. When something is “going on” in his world, he has to step out to take phone calls, expects everyone to work around his schedule, and “understand” that he has all these pressing problems. He’s also very talkative and charismatic, and flatters and manipulates people to get what he wants.

Before we were working together on this project, this guy had been nice to me and helped me get oriented in the new job, and I hadn’t seen any of this crap, so I had no reason to suspect he would be a problem, but a short time after I was brought in, I started to realize that I was doing the bulk of the work, and this guy was doing a song and dance, despite the assignments we’d been given. I got annoyed and talked casually to my boss about how I should resolve the work imbalance. My boss said I should just talk to him; that the guy was a good guy and we should be able to fix it. The guy made a big show of acting contrite and gave me a long speech about how his personal life had caused him problems, and he went on about how much he appreciated what I’d done and how much he liked working with me and so on. I thought “okay, we’ve got that straightened out, we should be good now.”

Turns out, he was just blowing smoke up my skirt.

Last week, we had three critical meetings. I had my stuff ready for the first two, but we still hadn’t seen anything from him for the third one. He’d missed two deadlines, but had promised he’d have his work done that week. We needed his stuff for the third meeting that was scheduled for Thursday morning and another piece that was supposed to follow. On Tuesday last week he and I started having heated discussions, because I was concerned that he didn’t have his stuff done and he was trying – again – to take up a lot of my time, and I had a full schedule. He left town – for our company – and promised he’d email his work later that afternoon. At least by this time the project manager was also concerned and was getting worried about the emails and voicemails – but no work – that was coming in from him and that the time was running out.

Thursday morning at 8, we got an email with his work for the meeting scheduled at 11. It was total crap. The project manager and I had to work until the meeting started to have something for the meeting (that couldn’t be rescheduled due to the tight project plan). We had to jam like crazy and it was not up to my usual standard. I was severely pissed off about that, plus having to work the rest of Thursday and all day Friday on his stuff, because now, he’d taken pre-arranged time off and was out of communication, and wasn’t slated to be back until today (Tuesday).

On Friday the project manager took me out to lunch and then we both talked to our boss together, letting him know what was going on and how we were dealing with it. All of our work was for a week-long huge project meeting that started yesterday. (I was still working on “his” work yesterday and this morning before the meetings started.)

The problem child came back today and was in our boss’s office at noon. We have a meeting scheduled for 9 am tomorrow with our boss – me, him, and the project manager.

I have a feeling that he did some more magic tricks and smoke and mirrors, and weaseled his way out of a large portion of the blame and responsibility. I suspect that tomorrow we are going to briefly witness him doing an impassioned mea culpa, and then I’m supposed to pretend that everything is fine and go on as if nothing happened.

I severely dislike being in a group of people where I’m responsible and hard working and other people aren’t. I don’t care if they want to be that way on their own, but don’t get it mixed up with my stuff. I don’t have any patience for it. I don’t have time for it. I have enough on my plate, thankyouverymuch, and I manage my time carefully so that I can get everything done. I take care of it myself if I don’t. I don’t pawn off my shortcomings on to other people and I sure as hell don’t want them doing it to me. This stupid guy at work has annoyed me no end, and I hate that I’m dealing with his inadequacy on top of everything else I’m trying to accomplish at the new job. I’m in a rotten mood.


  1. Grrrr!!!! What an absolute jerk-off. I'm so sorry you have to deal with him. I really hope the manager sees through his BS and gives him a good dressing-down tomorrow morning.


  2. What Bev said. Including the hugs.

  3. Thanks, both of you. I hope so too, but we'll see. It's a lousy time on many levels to be having issues at work. He should be grateful he HAS a job, especially considering how bad his finances are (oh, yeah, he's whined about THAT, too) and it kills me to know there are probably several good replacements "out there" who would love his job.

  4. What a pain. Now you know why he needed help with his workload--because he's too busy with his own little self to get any of it done. Hope the meeting goes well for you and things get turned around soon.

  5. Again, you make me happy that I work with animals. You know, real ones... not just figuretive asses.

    I hope the metting goes well and he's revealed as the slacker he is (and you are awarded his salary).

    and I'm throwing in a grope with the hug, coz I'm a giver.

  6. People suck. They just do. I cannot believe that there are so many f@#$wads out there who still have jobs considering the job climate.

    Keep up the good work!