By Ryan Velez
Anyone employed for a period of time can tell you that when everyone gets along in the workplace, the harmony is truly something to behold. Tasks become easier, problems get solved with minimal hassle, and in general, it’s just that much easier for you to make that commute every day. However, even in these nicer settings, there can still sometimes be some red flags. Black Enterprise has recently put together a list of 5 co-worker profiles that you likely want to avoid getting too close to, even with a nice work environment.
First on the list is “The Gossiper.” While it’s tempting to get close to the office gossip to see what is going on and perhaps infuse a little excitement into your day, you may want to hold back. If this gossip is willing to talk about someone else, they may talk to someone else about you. The best way to avoid getting entangled in anything is simply to play dumb. A nice smile and a nod before going about your business is a good way to stay on good terms with your workplace gossiper without hearing anything you shouldn’t.
Next is “The Pessimist.” There’s nothing wrong with constructive criticism. In fact, it may be to the company benefits to make measured suggestions to improve your company’s process. However, there’s a big difference between complaining to improve and complaining to complain. Being in a pessimist’s orbit for too long not only rarely leads anywhere helpful, but it can be contagious. The last thing you want to do is let that type of attitude rub off on you.
Following this is “The Suck-up.” Being on your boss’s good side is always a good thing to do, but this type of co-worker pursues this relentlessly, to the point of being willing to throw someone under the bus if it helps them score points. If you spend too much time around them, this person may end up being you.
Next up is “The Idle.” In general, this person spends their time not doing their work. Sometimes, they mean well, but can end up being a distraction and a bad influence. Also, if you notice they’re not working a lot, chances are that the boss can see as well. Associating with them could hurt your reputation by proxy.
Last is “The Thief.” The thief, in this case, isn’t stealing office supplies, but ideas and credit. In this case, it’s pretty clear why you want to avoid someone like this. People like this are constantly looking to attach themselves to projects that they try to take credit for. The last thing you want to see is someone like this get recognition or even rewards for something that you put the work in for. In this case, keeping away from the office thief is truly addition by subtraction.
With any luck, you won’t have to deal with many people like this. But if you do, these tips will help make your workday a bit easier to deal with.