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Are you Sitting next to the Office Psycho?
Written by RWorks
Thursday, 06 October 2011 10:33

Do you dislike the people you work with?

Do you find them lazy, selfish, devious or cruel?

Or do you just find them weird? (or smelly?)

If so, you are not alone.

In his book 'Inhuman Resources:A Guide To The Psychos, Misfits and Criminally Incompetent In Every Office', Stanford turns the spotlight on a variety of toxic types  you may find you have the displeasure of working with in your workplace, such as:

The "I hurry, therefore I am" person

The "I don't shower after a lunchtime jog" person

or The "How the hell did they get that job" person.

Michael Stanford believes his book may help reassure 'the nice people' in the office that 'the bullies, crazies and lazies are actually as bad as they seem'.In all, Stanford describes 39 different types of co-workers. Here are just a few:

1) The "I'm disappointed in you" person

"Those sorts of people like to patronise people who are younger, like to lecture them, and tell them you're doing it wrong" says Stanford.

"This type was inspired by a boss who took a paternal role with new starters, but seemed to enjoy putting them down at the same time.They actually do it for their own sake. I think it was like mental harassment, there was one point where I actually had to hide to avoid being mentored.He actually said 'Some day you might get to where I am', and I thought 'I don't actually want to be there!' "

2) The "I'm actually really nice" person

The author says that this is one of the most common office misfit, but also the most toxic. "That's the person who does something really nasty, like they'll send an email saying 'this person didn't do their job', and then they'll blind copy in all of senior management. Then in the next minute, they'll organise a gluten free cake for this person".

3) The "I know stuff before you do" person

According to Stanford, such people feed off misery, fear of job cuts, and love spreading bad news. "They kind of love the idea that things aren't working out, they love problems. They definitely thrive on a bad situation; they love the fact that they might know a little bit more than anyone else" he says.

4)The "Let's have a meeting before the meeting" person

This person thrives in big offices, where rather than actually working, they can spend their time going to meetings. "This sense of constantly reassuring themselves that it's good to get together.The language constantly annoys me with 'the next steps' and 'work-in-progress'. It actually reassures them things are happening, rather than letting people just go off and do the job. They would much rather spend time with a white board and progress sheets, rather than going off and doing the work."

5)The "I,I...I " person

Stanford says that such people step in at the last minute to swoop in, and claim all the credit for the work that's been done. These people are very quick to claim success, and distance themselves from any failure.

Look to your left, look to your right...what 'types' do you work with? And don't forget, that although you may not need a hard hat in your workplace, you often need a thick skin.

This article was written by Valerie Redmond, co-founder of RWorks, a cloud computing solution to manage dispersed PC-based teams.

Valerie can be contacted via, on via twitter @rworker


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