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How to Be a Horrible Coworker

Topics: Work Culture
Angry Square Face
Image Credit: unsplash.com / Andre Hunter

What is it that makes some coworkers fun and easy to work with? Why does a horrible coworker drive us up the wall?

You will most likely encounter many difficult or even toxic coworkers over the course of your career. These kinds of encounters might be common, but that doesn’t mean they’re easy. Thank goodness these challenging folks are only super difficult on occasion or in certain ways. Imagine what it would be like to have an absolutely horrible coworker who hit all the marks for awfulness. If you were to aspire to be such a person yourself, it might look a little something like this:

1. Take all the credit

Horrible coworkers have no desire to share the glory with others when things are going well. They simply try to leverage as much of the victory for their own personal gain as possible. So, tell the boss that all your efforts really paid off when your company experience some success. Take all the credit when the big change was actually your team member’s idea or when a lot of other people helped you to do the work.

2. Ignore boundaries

Everyone should respect boundaries at work. Coworkers shouldn’t be too intrusive or invade personal space. If you aspire to be a horrible coworker, be sure to talk super loudly when working in your cubicle or open office. Heat up a stinky lunch in the microwave. Ask prying questions in the break room, and reveal a ton of emotional and dramatic details about your personal life while you’re at it.

Do You Know What You're Worth?

If you aspire to be a horrible coworker, be sure to talk super loudly. Heat up a stinky lunch in the microwave. Ask prying questions in the break room, and reveal emotional details about your personal life while you’re at it.Click To Tweet

3. Never help out

The best coworkers are excellent team players. They are willing to lend a helping hand when asked, even if the tasks extend above and beyond the terms of their contract. Be sure to refuse to help others when asked, if you’re trying to make a name for yourself as a horrible coworker. Don’t pitch in when the people around you are feeling overwhelmed. And say no if someone asks you for a favor, even if they just helped you out not too long ago.

4. Be super negative

It’s so easy to be drug down by the negative coworker. This is a sure way to get everyone’s attention. Complain about the work itself as well as the workload. While you’re at it, complain about your boss, and even your other coworkers. When someone has a new idea that they’re excited about, shoot it down with a list of reasons why it could never work. Also,  be sure to maintain a really somber mood all the time. Whatever you do, don’t have fun at work. Don’t even smile.

5. Run long meetings

You know what people really hate? Long meetings. In fact, 17 percent of employees say that they’d literally rather watch paint dry than attend one. Be sure to stretch out meetings any way you can. It’s not like your coworkers have work to do or anything.

6. Stir the pot

The best employees make reliably positive contributions to the business and to the group dynamics around the office too. So, if you aim to be a horrible coworker, spend some time stirring up the pot. Spread rumors about how things are about to go down hill in the future. Talk about your coworkers and your boss with as much negativity as possible. And spread juicy gossip whenever you find the chance. That’s sure to rile up those around you.

7. Lack self awareness

Being a terrible coworker is about more than just knowing what gets under other people’s skin. It’s also about lacking any awareness regarding the impact you have on others. Horrible coworkers are oblivious to the effect they have on the people around them. So, no matter what, keep it up. If people send signals, like crossing their arms, walking away from you, or even straight up asking you to stop directly, totally ignore them. Go about your business of being a terrible coworker as if other people don’t matter. Maintain the impression, internally, that you can do no wrong. Certainly never pay any attention to feedback from others.

Tell Us What You Think

What other qualities make someone a horrible coworker? We want to hear from you! Leave a comment or join the discussion on Twitter.


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