Characteristics of Employees from Hell

Put more than one boss in a room for long and you'll hear stories about Employees from Hell -- the ones who make all bosses want to rip their own heads off in sheer frustration.

Here are some of the characteristics these worst employees share:


* They don't ask questions. Somewhere along the way, the worst employees in the world decide that it's not good for their image to admit that they don't know everything. From that moment on, they learn absolutely nothing.

* They resist change. You don't have to ask them how they feel about any changes in the company's environment, priorities, expectations, procedures, schedules, methods or technology. They hate them.


* They're disorganized. They never can find anything when they -- or you -- need it. Instead they spend at least 20 percent of their time (and yours) rummaging through their desks, pocketbooks, pockets and wastebaskets, looking for lost items and sounding like deranged gerbils.

* They wait to be told what to do. Always. If you don't think of it, it doesn't get done.

* They don't listen. They look as if they're listening, but they're far too busy thinking about what they're going to say next to pay much attention to what you have to say.

* They're chronic complainers -- eternally harassed, resentful, picked-on and martyred. They roll their eyes and sigh a lot. So do their bosses.

* They're easily distracted. Office gossip, traffic noises, other people's conversations, buzzing flies, ringing telephones -- any small diversion is a large one to an Employee From Hell.

* They have the attention span of a flea on a griddle. Even when not distracted by outside influences, they seldom can concentrate on any one project or task long enough to complete it -- let alone complete it in an orderly, organized, professional manner.

* They bring their personal problems to the office. Every problem, every day.

* They fall apart under pressure. You don't have to ask yourself if these employees will come through when the chips are down. The answer is: No. Never.


* They're unreliable. Actually, they're very promising people: They'll promise you just about anything. It's delivering on their promises that seems beyond them.

* They behave in an unprofessional way toward members of the opposite sex. Since they're unprofessional in so many other ways, it's not surprising that these employees let their hearts (and hormones) get in their way at work.

* They view all authority figures with fear and loathing. The mere fact that you're their boss is reason enough for them to undermine and sabotage you in ways both blatant and subtle.

* Finally, they're incapable of taking even constructive criticism as anything but a threat and an attack. You will, therefore, positively, absolutely, most definitely not be able to show your Employees from Hell this column.