The Art of People Business – The Misguided Worker Mentality (Part Two)

Last week, I started off our discussion, regarding “The Misguided Worker Mentality”, with a bang and introduced you to “The Entitled Worker”. And, then I proceeding to get into the description of “The Credit-Stealing Worker”. For today’s post, I’ll repeat the start of the description (provided last week) and then extend it to give you the full picture of this type of worker. Next, I’ll bring in two more of our misguided workers to examine. And by the end of this series, we will have covered 5 different misguided worker mentalities. If you haven’t had a chance to read part one of this series, please go back to last Thursday’s blog post, The Art of People Business – The Misguided Worker Mentality (Part One), and review it before continuing on with today’s post. Reading the first part of this series will provide you with some clarity of the subject matter at hand.

So, let’s get into it.

Work Ethics Lacking

The Credit-Stealing Worker

Are you kidding me? Do we actually have people that go around taking credit for other peoples’ work? Sure, we do. Unfortunately, it happens all too frequently. And, how do these offenders think that they can constantly get away with high-jacking someone else’s efforts? Well, nobody stops them, so they keep doing it. That’s my guess, anyway.

It seems like the human race has encountered this worker throughout the ages and the residue left behind can take on several forms. Most commonly, this worker’s activities (or lack thereof) look a lot like cheating, stealing, and lying in a myriad of forms such as:

  • plagiarism
  • copyright infringement
  • patent infringement
  • college entrance exam cheating
  • test cheating of any kind
  • use of steroids to bulk up for sports
  • outright stating that you completed the work that someone else actually completed
  • a parent accepting praise for how well a child turned out, when, in fact, that parent was never actively involved in the rearing of that child
  • identity theft (literally stealing someone’s credit)
  • receiving recognition for a group achievement that you never contributed to in any form or fashion (sounds like the next worker we’ll be discussing)

I know. I know. I got pretty specific with some of the examples above, but I wanted to paint a clear picture of how credit-stealing can rear its ugly head, in any type of work-related setting (from the personal side of the spectrum, all the way to the professional side of the spectrum, and everywhere in between).

The Won’t-Pull-Your-Own-Weight Worker

This worker has a working mentality signaling to him or her that “surely someone else will be willing to pick up the slack that I leave behind.” Right? Wrong! Okay, so this type of worker exhausts me physically, because the thought that immediately comes to mind is how incredibly draining it is to work with these folks. You’re basically taking on your work and all or some of theirs when they refuse to pull their own weight in work-related matters.

Furthermore, this worker also exhausts me mentally. Here’s why. It’s difficult for me to understand how some people can so easily dump things off on others without so much as a thought of how inconsiderate and selfish such an action truly is. How is it that everyone else is required to GET THINGS DONE, but the Won’t-Pull-Your-Own-Weight-Worker thinks that he or she doesn’t have to eat a piece of the work pie?

Let’s look at it from this vantage point. Would you want to be on the Tug-of-War team (or any team for that matter) with this type of individual? This question is a no-brainer. The answer is No, no, and NO! In this section, I’m describing the type of worker that will leave you high and dry and apparently has very little consideration of how his or her lack of action affects those in his or her working relations. You can’t count on these individuals to come through on their end of the bargain and they’re certainly not to be considered reliable, dependable, or loyal to the cause, the common good, or the overall goal to be achieved.

The Naive Worker

This type of worker is not an outright problematic worker in the sense that he or she intends to throw others under the bus in order to avoid or minimize the amount of work he or she must do. Instead, this person is a more innocent offender and the offence usually indirectly affects others in its direct line of fire. In fact, the Naive Worker tends to simply underestimate the actual work itself in amount and/or complexity. This worker says . . .

  • “I’m in way over my head.”
  • “I never signed up for this.” (In fact, yes, you did sign up for this.)
  • “This is harder than I thought it would be.”
  • “I want out!”
  • “The experts made it look a lot easier than this.”
  • “If I knew it was going to be like this, I never would have applied in the first place.”
  • “I don’t think I’m going to make it through the probationary period.”

Yikes! All I can say is that I’ve been there and done that. And honestly, I have my moments when I totally scream out (in my mind) “WHAT HAVE I GOTTEN MYSELF IN TO!” I would say such a reaction is normal for someone going from an employee setting, to a homeschooling setting, and then to a creative entrepreneurial setting. Don’t you think?

There are many days that I learn to do something new; and in the midst of temporarily celebrating my accomplishment, I come to realize that there are three new things that I need to wrap my head around. Work ethic, kick into gear! But, as naive as I was in coming into the boss lady ranks and as naive as I still am about some things, I’ve never entertained throwing in the towel. What I’m doing now is my livelihood and I have a made-up mind to make this work. I guess what I’m trying to say is that, out of all of the misguided workers thus far, the Naive Worker might possibly be the easiest one to rehabilitate. But, I’ll save the remedies for this type of worker and the others in the next “The Art of People Business” installment.

NOTE ⇒ Next Thursday, I’ll finish up with the last type of misguided worker. I’ll also address some issues that can arise when you’re in working relationships with these folks as well as possible solutions for dealing with problematic situations.

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