I’m An Idiot; Please Don’t Advise

, , , , , | Working | February 22, 2021

I’ve held a bit of a mantra for getting on in life: work hard and don’t make your boss’s life hard.

That is, don’t be the one that he has to chase; get the stuff he thinks is important done as a priority. That way, when job losses and promotions come up, your name will be associated with the right impression.

I’m working with a guy that is a bit younger than me. He is good at what he does and wants to climb the ladder as soon as possible. The problem is that he does it all the wrong way.

He is constantly one or two minutes late. While it’s not a big deal, his name is on the list of “worst offenders” that all the management sees. He constantly parks like an idiot, taking up two spaces or even blocking people in, so he’s seen as not a “team player” by many. And he is always scruffy; it’s fine for his job, but it is hard to picture him in a senior position looking like that. 

I try to talk to him and perhaps give him some advice.

Coworker: “You don’t know what you’re talking about. [Boss] likes me and I’m good at my job.”

Me: “Yes, you are, but remember in these situations that it is often other people pulling the strings and making those decisions.”

Coworker: *Defensively* “What do you know?”

Me: “Look. It’s just friendly advice; you don’t have to take it. But remember, I used to do [Boss]’s job in another company, so I know how they think.”

Coworker: “Yeah, and look at you now. Clearly knew what you were doing, to be demoted!”

I took my current job as the last one made me redundant, I took this role as it was a shorter commute and we just had our second child. However, [Coworker] didn’t deserve the explanation, so I just stopped trying to help him and walked away.

Months later, our boss took a long break to deal with personal issues and I was asked to step in temporarily. What my coworker didn’t know was that they knew our boss wasn’t coming back and this was like a probation period for me. Six months later, I had the job in full, and [Coworker] was now working for me. I gave him plenty of opportunities to develop and tried to help him many more times, but he fought me all the way.

He transferred out of the department and was let go shortly after for gross misconduct, backed up with poor attendance and a poor attitude. You can’t help them all.

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