5 Reasons to Like Your Lazy, Annoying Colleagues

The past few weeks have been the most frustrating weeks I have had since I started working a little over a year ago. I have been on this new project for about three months now and during the past few weeks I have had to work closely with this guy, who must be the laziest and the most annoying person in our office. No make that the whole entire world! He is quite senior and experienced, but instead of using his knowledge and skills to get the work done quickly and efficiently, he spends most of his time trying to come up with excuses to dump the work onto someone else’s lap. He loves arguing for the sake of arguing and does not care for other peoples’ personal space or time. We have all had to put in some long hours chasing bugs, since he never seems to test his code before checking it in for integration! And he spares no effort in trying to show everyone else down given half the chance. It is so, so, so, frustrating.

I am worried that if I let him keep getting to me, I will pull all my hair out in frustration a little bit at a time, until I go bald! And in the interest of keeping my hair, I decided to make this list of why it is actually good to have him around. It’s still a work in progress and you are welcome to suggest additions :)

He makes me look good
I almost always manage to complete and test my code before him. And it has come up during a few status meetings that I am well ahead of him. Also, he never seems to test his code, and more often than not, when something fails, it gets tracked it to a bug in his code. Overall, having him around makes me look good :)

He provides me some job security
Considering that he is senior than me, I would assume that he gets paid more than me. And the managers seem to know that everyone else in the group is getting a lot more done than he is. So, if push comes to shove and they have to let go of someone, I think it will be easier for the manager to justify letting him go instead of the rest of us, providing the rest of us a relative degree of job security.

He keeps me on my toes
There have been so many times that we have been able to expose bugs in his code that he is waiting for a chance to get back to us. We know he will latch on to any small mistake he can find in what we have done. So I make doubly sure that my code is thoroughly tested before I check it in. Also, I would never want my other colleagues to think of me with the level of disgust we all have for him. That prevents the lazy part of me from taking over the motivated one :)

I am learning a lot of people management skills
I don’t want to crib and whine and raise a stink about working with him when I speak with my manager or other colleagues. At the same time, I don’t want him to go take credit for all my hard work, which I know he will, if I let him. I don’t want to be the person who blows up and makes a scene. At the same time, I don’t want to be a push over and keep on taking his nonsense. It is a delicate balance, quite hard to maintain and I am learning a lot about people management skills!

Finally, he has helped me gain a whole new appreciation for my other co-workers
Under normal circumstances, I would probably take some of the other people I work with for granted. After all they are doing their job and I am doing mine, right? Now I have a new found appreciation for anyone who does their job well. In a large company like the one I work for, it is possible for anyone to survive, possibly for years, without getting anything done. And there seem to be quite a few people around who seem to do exactly that. So now, when I see someone that gets their work done without trying to offload it on me, I really appreciate it!

Phew, it was quite therapeutic writing up that list! There is a silver lining to this dark cloud after all! Those of you who have worked for longer - any suggestions from your past experiences on how to cope?

*Image credit: www.tailored.com.au

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Matthew Paulson said...

Nice devil's advocate post. I can handle some of the annoying and lazy coworkers, it's just the one's who are real jerks about everything that make me not want to go to work in the morning.

Writer's Coin said...

Way to turn something awful into a positive. I find myself doing this at work all the time. Low pay? I'm learning to live on a tight budget. Bad bosses? I'm learning how I would NOT run my own business. Etc.

Stephanie said...

I've got to give it to you for being able to write all those positive things about a daily stressor in your life.

At my first job, I was a legal assistant dealing with an awful attorney who repeatedly told me I was not smart, couldn't handle trivial tasks, etc. I heard from other attorneys however, that she really liked me, but the daily stress of her nagging and complaining eventually made me quit. Maybe I should've written a list like you did...

A.J. said...

I loved the positive spin... and those are all important points :)

Mark McClure said...

I think you're handling this situation in a very responsive manner (as opposed to reactive).

Did one of your managers originally hire him? Sometimes, against better business judgment, that is sufficient to keep him on payroll. Although in an economic downturn that hesitancy to act can rapidly disappear.

mark mcclure