The HR Professor

The HR Professor

Teaching You How to Navigate the Workplace

How to Be the Worst Employee Ever

Most managers have that one employee who is just a nightmare! Yes. This is true. They may dread seeing them in the hallway or may not look forward to one-on-one meetings with them. If the manager hired them, they constantly question how they missed the warning signs during the interview process. If they inherited them from another team, they wonder how in the world they are still employed.

I thought it was only fair to cover both sides and follow up on my previous article: How to Be the Worst Manager Ever

If you strive to be the worst employee ever, follow these guidelines:

  1. Be extremely high maintenance. “I need an office by the window. I need a better laptop. I need to meet with you daily. I need constant reassurance that I am awesome. Why would we be served pizza at lunch instead of a gourmet 7-course meal?”
  2. Be negative. “There is no possible way we can do that.” “This company sucks.” “Why would leadership make that decision?”
  3. Complain about everything. Whether it’s about the new project you were assigned to or how you work too many hours, or how your co-workers don’t pull their weight, gripe all day long.
  4. Constantly ask for promotions, raises, etc. even if you haven’t exceeded your goals or if it’s your first week on the job. Keep reminding your manager how deserving you are.
  5. Don’t be available. Arrive to work late on a regular basis, miss critical meetings due to “personal reasons.” Go missing for hours during the day.
  6. Gossip. Talk about all your co-workers and your manager, or even better, make stories up and spread them around the office.
  7. Insist you know it all. You are smarter than everyone else and you make sure to tell them that as often as possible.
  8. Have long-winded discussions with anyone who will listen. It doesn’t matter if they look to be in the middle of a pressing project or are already meeting with someone else. Barge in and go on and on about your topic…for several minutes.
  9. Blame everyone else for your mistakes. “I made that error because my team member was distracting me. My project is late because so and so never gave me his piece. I missed that because my manager wasn’t detailed enough with his or her direction.”
  10. Bring problems instead of solutions. Tell everyone how processes need to be improved, but don’t ever come up with any intelligent solutions.
  11. Keep all your feedback and frustrations bottled up. Don’t share with your manager that you are unsatisfied with your job. Simply resign out of nowhere.
  12. Don’t be a team player. Treat new employees or members of your team like outsiders. Hoard your knowledge. You had to learn it all yourself after all. Why should you just hand them the information?
  13. Lack accountability. Just don’t care about anything work-related. Didn’t meet the deadline? So what. Blew off that meeting? Oh well. Didn’t read or respond to that e-mail? Who cares.

If you are displaying any of these behaviors, I hope that your manager is coaching you on how to improve.

What other guidelines can we add to the list on the path to becoming the worst employee ever?

Author image
About Brenda Maday
Portland, OR