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 Business/Economy: Seven Types of Highly Ineffective Professionals

HumorBy Artie Leary

We’ve all heard of the habits of highly effective people. According to Wikipedia, the book lists seven principles that, if established as habits, are supposed to help a person achieve true interdependent “effectiveness”.

This is all well and good but I happen to work in the REAL world; a world where not everyone is effective. In fact, many people are ineffective. Throughout my career I have noticed the following seven categories that highly INEFFECTIVE people fall into.

1. Tall Tales. Breathe in through your nose, and speak out through your butt. I have worked for many managers who follow this first habit religiously. They tell people about their accolades and think people are impressed. Unfortunately everyone knows their so-called accomplishments are fabrications because just about everything out of their mouths is useless dribble.

2. The Complainer. Would you like some cheese with that whine? Yes, we've all seen this one. The person at your place of work that just can't seem to be happy. There always has to be some sort of drama or catastrophe that they must deal with, they always work more hours than anyone else and of course they just can't seem to find enough hours in the day to get their massive work load done so others inevitably end up helping out. ...

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3. The Genius. Another staple of today’s workplace. That employee that is so gifted we should bow down and thank God for having the opportunity just to work with such a prodigy. Of course this individual adds little to no value to the team but still walks around with an air of greatness.

4. The Victim. This person manages to get an extremely large volume of work done and does a great job. The drawback to working with the victim is that everyone has to listen to how hard they work, how much they miss their family due to the long hours they endure and how they need to look for a new job to increase the quality of life (but never will because they crave the attention the victim receives).

5. The Zombie. I actually envy the Zombie. This is the guy that is absolutely oblivious to the fact that everyone thinks he’s an idiot. He gets his job done satisfactorily but occasionally makes that massive blunder that causes the rest of the department to stay late and fix his messes. But he doesn’t care because he still doesn’t understand what he did wrong.

6. The Flirt. This can be a male or female. They too do an adequate job in terms of actual workload but they spend a great deal of time getting coffee, going on walks, floating around the office with the best looking person of the opposite gender and generally wasting time. Simply superficial is the best way to describe this employee.

7. The Cursed Life. Have you ever worked with a person who seems to lose more family members, endure more plagues and has more “appointments” than the President of the United States? This is the person that really doesn’t have enough to do in the first place but manages to keep busy by coming up with ways to elude the tiny bit of work they are responsible for completing. Usually an average employee, not someone you would want to see promoted, but usually is anyway.

There you have it - the seven most ineffective types of people in today’s professional environment. Have some fun with this week and print out this article at work. Try to assign the above labels to your own coworkers. It might even make your workweek less painful.


Artie Leary
Brotherhood of Railroad Signalmen


International Labor Communications Association
815 16th Street, NW, 4 North · Washington, DC 20006
202-637-5068 (main) · 202-637-5069 (fax) · [email protected]
Reprinted as permitted: http://www.ilcaonline.org

[05 April 2008]

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