“In Your Line Of Work, What Red Flags Identify A Colleague As Being Useless Or Out Of Their Depth?” (86 Answers)

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When you work closely with other people, aka your colleagues, you inevitably see what they’re up to on a daily basis. You develop this procrastination radar, which basically combines the experiences from your own moments of slacking to that of your coworkers. With a single glimpse or an eavesdrop, you can determine whether the day for your teammate is a productive one or not.

So when someone asked on Reddit “In your line of work, what red flags identify a colleague as being useless/out of their depth?” people had a bunch of stories to share. Sometimes it’s the new coworker lacking skill so badly you wonder how the hell they made it here, other times it’s a person who can’t take criticism or no for an answer. Sometimes it’s a colleague that’s always so silent that you wonder if they’re secretly binge watching The Office at their desk instead of doing their assignments.

Oh boy, the stories are endless. Below we collected some of the most interesting ones!

#1I am a lab tech. When I get someone fresh out of school to train, their intelligence isn’t a factor in my overall judgement. It’s their work ethic. Are they willing to work past the frustration and tedium of a complicated situation? I’ll take persistence over genius any day of the week.

Image credits: level 1 inchwormwrath

#2At one company, we had a guy who, when stuck, sat on it quietly, didn’t ask for help, didn’t make it known he was stuck, just waited until someone came along {some time later} to ask how it was going.

This. Don’t ever do this.

Image credits: mendokusai_yo

#3Worked in a psych hospital. People who think that it is hierarchy, with patients being the lowest, are the biggest red flag. It is a collective effort to help people who are experiencing the worst time in their life.

You don’t get to taunt and bully patients by threatening to take away the few privileges they are allowed, just because it makes you feel powerful. There is nearly always a conflict free way to handle a situation.

In 7 years, I never had to restrain a patient. And many other coworkers didn’t either, because we respected and worked with the patients and their disorders. Those coworkers who didn’t and “had” to restrain all the time, did so because they had an us vs. them mentality, and felt the patients were less than them. And the patients knew it, and acted out accordingly to the hostility they perceived.

Image credits: tmmkitten

#4Illustrator here. People who get offended at specific technical criticism (wrong perspective, bad anatomy, etc) and/or justify it with “That’s my style”.

Image credits: nellfallcard

#5When you’re training somebody and come across something new to them. If you explain the law/procedure and they say, “yeah I know that”. Then why the hell did you do it that way if you knew? It’s ok if you didn’t know because I hadn’t taught you that yet. Because now I can’t trust them to be honest about their capabilities. So I have to check everything that person does because I can’t be sure if they actually understand it.

Image credits: UpYourAli

#6Someone who does math on a calculator and keys the answer into an Excel spreadsheet!

Image credits: newsfan

#7Line cook here. Its pretty obvious the second someone picks up a knife. Or anyone who brags about going to culinary school alot is generally a bad cook.

:edit if you cut yourself just bandage it up and put a glove on and get to it. Unless you’re missing a finger, that’s different, lol.

Image credits: allharveybman

#8I’m always suspicious of other filmmakers who don’t watch movies. Hope that doesn’t sound pretentious, I understand people are busy and don’t always have free time to go to the movie theater for 2 hours and pay 10.99 for a ticket, but being educated about current trends in the industry seems like an obvious part of the job.

Image credits: mrtemporallobe

#9Constantly calling out and never picking up extra jobs, half assing their job, refusing to communicate properly to avoid fault (it doesn’t work that way), complaining about clients as soon as they leave or while they’re STILL RIGHT THERE.

Image credits: Haiku_lass

#10Asking the same question again and again. I understand the first 2-3 times, but beyond that, I expect you to consult your notes. If they don’t make meaningful notes, I take that as a red flag right off the bat. We had one guy who would just write down random words from what I told him. He also didn’t save his chat history after I told him to do that. Surprisingly, he’s still there, but he was moved to a less complex position

Image credits: octavian_c

#11Not acknowledging incidents/mistakes. If we find out about it in any way other than by your mouth and your incident report, it’s grounds for firing. Bonus points if we find out you damaged a client or our property and didn’t report it.

Image credits: KP_Wrath

#12Social worker – I can tell who’s going to burn out within weeks of their starting at the agency. Huge red flag if they start taking paperwork home on the weekends to “catch up”. You never catch up. If I gave you a week full of 50 hour days you wouldn’t catch up. You do the best you can, prioritize correctly and leave work at work when the week is done. The second you start taking work home for the weekend you’re going to burn out, and it happens quickly.

Image credits: xyentist

#13I once watched a graphic designer measuring her screen with a ruler.

She did not even have the zoom set to 100%.

Edit: she was not using Photoshop, it was Illustrator. She just did not know that there is a window that tells an object’s size when selected, and she was measuring a single object.

She yelled at me when I showed her.

Image credits: Rhebala

#14I’m a retired Immigration Services Officer. My job was to adjudicate visa petitions, and I also did fraud work. My job was similar to that of a judge. I needed to be impartial, look at evidence, request more evidence if needed, and approve or deny a visa (the fraud stuff was a bit more complex). If an officer has an obvious bias, they are worthless. Sure, we’re all human and have our own personal views, but those need to be dropped at the door. It doesn’t matter what our politics are, where our family is from, what our personal experiences might be, if we have an agenda, we can’t do our jobs effectively.

Image credits: Birch2011

#15People that brag about how long they work and/or stay in the office.

That’s cool buddy. You worked 12 hours and were about as productive as me and I worked my usual 7.

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#16Inability to use shared documents in Google or Microsoft. Or just being so out of touch with technology in general.

Image credits: BBoySlim

#17Security: people who brag about how they’re all tough, best at [insert martial art here], will tackle the first person who looks at them the wrong way, and generally put out an air of aggressiveness. Nobody wants that. In security, you want level-headed people who don’t go off like a rocket at the drop of a pin. Worst of all, in my experience, the rawr-I’m-so-tough-people are usually the ones who cause the most problems and/or the first to be absolutely useless when an emergency happens.#18Unwillingness to be wrong. If you get called out for being wrong and don’t agree, have the civil discussion and defend your position, if you can’t defend it without getting upset, you, in fact, are wrong. You just learned something new – be grateful.#19if they suck up excessively to people, it means they are bad but are trying to use their social skills to keep their job

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#20I barista at a cafe that serves food. We recently had a new hire and I knew she wasn’t going to last long when she struck up a conversation with one of the customers at the counter with a line of about 5 people behind them. You can definitely be friendly, but there is too much stuff to do to make time for a full on chat about life and stuff. She ended up being fired the following week.

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#21I’m a massage therapist.

Whenever I meet a loud or pushy therapist I always wonder. I’ve done couples massages with therapists like this and 9/10 times they talk to their client through the whole massage, which is a big no no.

Usually people want to relax during a massage.#22We get a lot of updates that affect how we perform our jobs. We can get a new update each week. I can’t stand it when as soon as the email hits the inbox, a lazy coworker asks what the email is about–asking for details on the new policy instead of just reading it! I honestly thought that one of my coworkers had reading issues bc this happened a lot. Then, there are a few other coworkers who will ask you questions about a policy and admit that they didn’t read the update. Pisses me off.#23can’t bring themselves to shower/change a grown woman

can’t clean up shit
I’m a health care aide at a group home for disabled women. If someone can’t deal with a woman’s tantrums, or has trouble using the hoyer, that’s something that can take time, patience and practice. But if you can’t get past those two things above, you’re just not going to be able to do it. Really, it’s mostly a matter of being able to do things out of your initial comfort zone. Too many people get grossed out by the disabled and all the different ways that sometimes they need to be assisted, and if you can’t get past that then you’re just going to be bad at the job and bad for the resident. They deserve better.#24I’m in external relations so for me it’s people who suggest flashy, great sounding strategies that are wildly out of sync with the amount of money, time or resources available. Similarly, people who massively overestimate or oversell the impact of what they are planning to do.

Also similar is people who come up with bizarre strategies that don’t address any of the aims or reach any of the target audiences they were supposed to. An example would be someone trying to reach climate scientists or conservationists through a spot on Fox News. They often get very defensive and irritated when you question them too.

Another one is people who suggest standard practice as if it’s a groundbreaking new idea. Like if there’s a crisis of some sort and someone suggests developing proactive messaging for all the possible outcomes, as if they were the first person to think of that. This happened last week with a new guy and he mentioned it three times on a call, elaborating more each time because he thought the reason we weren’t all blown away by his idea was because we didn’t understand.

Finally it’s people who suggest making lots of vanity stuff, like videos, slideshows or blog posts for the website, without any plan for how to drive people there to see them. It’s such a waste of money to develop lots of lovely assets that nobody will ever see.

Also, anyone who uses the phrase “viral video”.#25So I work in a lab. Most issues are when people are completely lacking in common sense, or simply negligent when it comes to safety and taking care of equipment.

For instance, maybe you’ve never done NMR before, but experience with plastic bottles should tell you that putting a plastic bag filled with plastic caps in an oven is a bad idea. That’s a pretty mild case, because no one’s work or safety was jeopardized.

But in a lab we used to be very close with, someone pumped in a heat gun into a glovebox (which is basically a closed apparatus that’s supposed to keep water and air out). The heat gun itself is fine, but the person who brought it in 1) forgot to take it out and 2) left it plugged in, on full power. They then left it in there for a prolonged period of time, during which solvents began evaporating. Gases are less dense than liquids, so the huge solvent bottles started evaporating. A lot of the compounds in the box were also very sensitive–not just to air and water, but also heat and light much of the time–so the incident also killed everyone’s compounds. They ended up having to remove everything from the glovebox.#26In any line of work, I feel like any individual who isn’t willing to cooperate with others is a huge red flag to any goal orientated job or company.#27RN here. I know I might offend some other nurses on here, but if you come into work and your hair is not put up, that’s just telling me that you don’t intend on doing any dirty work. I have pretty, long black hair and I pull it all the way up so it won’t fall on my patient when I’m dressing their wound or get in my face when I’m doing chest compressions. You float on my unit with your hair down, I’m already judging you#28When they’re absolutely shocked by everything.

Parents can’t read: shock

Kids missing 60+ days of school this year: shock

Electricity or phones being turned off: shock

Kids are overweight but malnurished: shock

Single mother working full time but still can’t make enough to make ends meet and so gets evicted with all three kids: shock

Yeah, dude, it’s shocking at first. But you need to get over yourself and get to work. That’s why we’re here. If you need to process, and it’s traumatic, that’s a different story, but if you just want to be appalled and talk about how shocking it is, bite me. Besides, I know you won’t last long.#29As a developer, an entry level person started working for the company. I’m a mid dev, but sit near her so I was helping her get going. First job outside school, I understand that a large codebase is overwhelming.

I place her in the file and even method and we step through the front end to back end code. I give her an idea of where I see the issue is. I ask if she has any questions. Of course no was the answer. A day goes by, and she is still in the same exact function with the same look on her face. Do you have any questions? No.

TL DR: If you’re lost, please ask questions. People can’t guess what doesn’t make sense to you.

Image credits: Tha_High_Life

#30Talking down to the techs.

Don’t do this if you are an engineer. Please don’t.

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#31The receptionist/mailroom woman NEVER fails to let every last person in the office know how busy she is, claims to have a list of 25+ duties she has on a daily basis, and has the uncanny and enviable ability to turn down any and every new responsibility that comes her way. She’s got her supervisor snowed completely. She’s such a pain in the ass that no one asks her to do ANYTHING, even her job (MAIL. ANSWERING PHONES).

HOWEVER, at any given time she’s actually at her desk and not on a smoke break, she’s got solitaire maximized on her giant monitor, or she’s asking your opinion on whether or not she should buy the latest funny t-shirt she found online.#32People that present ideas that don’t hold up to a moment of scrutiny. Especially if they get defensive when your team starts poking holes to test the strength of their idea.#33True story, but is hard to believe:

Guy applies with 2 masters, accounting and IT. Has trouble with MS Word, so i go help him. I assume he is having trouble with some advanced functions like hyperlinking large documents or styles.

Me: [quickly copy and pastes a sample text to use as an example]

Him: wait, what did you just do?

Me: copy and paste, ctrl-c and crtl-v.

Him: what!? (Takes out a pencil and pad, writes “control c, control v”) show me again what you did!

Me: crtl-c…

Him: that key doesnt say “control!” howd you change the colors of the words?

Long story short: obviously lied on his resume#34When I worked as a midwife it was a very clear indication that a midwife didn’t know what she was doing if she would encourage a woman to take pain relief simply because the woman would be more pliable / easier to handle, rather than helping her manage the pain and support her. It’s way easier to manage a birth when the woman is 100% bedridden, all you have to do is monitor the various numbers coming from the machines around her and get help if the numbers are wrong. It’s much harder to support a woman through hours of labour where there is little or no pain relief on board.

I do want to make clear though that in no way do I mean this in situations where pain relief is needed and requested by the woman. I’m referring to times when midwives would encourage pain relief when it wasn’t actually requested by the labouring woman.#35Not my profession but when a prof is doing some stuff that makes fellow professors raise their eyebrows, they are not doing well.#36I work in child care for mostly school aged children. The biggest red flag is immediately coming in acting defensive and trying to assert authority over the kids.

Someone who actually knows what they’re doing will come in and make it their first priority to have a pleasant interaction and learn the names of as many kids as possible. Makes it so much easier when you actually have to give them a warning, because A) you can just say their name and give a warning look and B) they actually like you and don’t want to be a dick for no reason

This method has worked for me so well as someone who travels to many different sites. Works really well in difficult schools too, the kids aren’t used to someone coming in and actually being kind to them.#37When the person in question simply cannot comprehend alternative viewpoints or solutions. They just cannot visualize how some people might think differently to them. As you might have guessed… the line of work is academia.

There are a lot of prospectives out there who simply aren’t cut out for this field primarily because they are too narrow minded or too short of imagination.#38Not coming out from behind the nurses station to help staff answer call lights. If I see a fellow nurse spend more time in the nurses station than on the hall, I know 1) you’re lazy, 2) you don’t care about the patients, and 3) you have sloppy nursing technique.

Nursing is a team sport. If you’re not actively busy delivering nurse only patient care, roll up your sleeves and help out your fellow staff or go home and be lazy there.#39therapists claiming they’ve “never needed therapy” almost always need it, really badly#40Refusal to wear proper PPE in an industry where all the rules are written in blood.

One of the employees in a closely related department to mine will not wear gloves or a hard hat, and usually has a sweater over his hi-vis. Lately he’s started showing up with keys on a lanyard around his neck – a real good way to get killed when your work involves walking next to and pulling rock dump levers on a moving train.#41When I worked at Raytheon, being in a management position. Any of them.

If you weren’t useless, you were out of your depth because the other managers would push their work on you so they could continue being useless.#42Engineer: Answer with “Do what is typical”…. also known as, I have no fucking idea what I am doing#43When other teachers only scream at their classes while only giving their students worksheets.#44Working in the medical field, colleagues who insist on maintaining a strict, regimented approach to the job. This is taught at universities so it’s understandable – but you have those who ask the same questions in the same way, same order and do things in very much a ”you do A first, followed by B, followed by C” etc etc. Whilst this may sound desirable, the problem comes with patients who have a poor understanding of English for example, or the equipment you rely on to measure HR, blood pressure etc fails. These people just lock up, they cannot progress onto C because they haven’t completed B. In the meantime you have someone in respiratory distress who needs oxygen and bronchodilators but is not getting those things because the SPO2 probe (the thing that they slip onto your finger that tells you how well oxygenated your blood is) is not working and people who the patients expect to help them are too busy checking connections.#45When you need to attach something to an email so you print it out and then scan it back in#46I’m a paramedic. Patients start dying. As a bit earlier indication of being useless or out of their depth, not taking equipment checks or protocol proficiency seriously. Anyone who has made it through some tough situations know how important it is for both of those things to be second nature.#47Retail. Can’t count money, even when the register tells you how much change to give back. Refuses to help customers. Regularly late or no show. Uses their phone on the sales floor.#48Girl I worked with at a restaurant would sometimes not understand what the person on the phone wanted to order and wouldn’t ask customers simple questions to make sure she got it right. Happened all the time. “Here’s a new take away order, I’m not sure if they wanted chicken or beef and also I don’t know what name”….well fucking ask them then, omg..pain.#49When people jump to anger, they are typically incompetent and are hiding behind their anger.#50UPS package handler. If you can’t lift your boxes and keep your PPH, you’re not gonna last long. If you need the supervisor every hour to dig you out of your feeder because you can’t keep up with the flow, you’re not gonna last long. If you complain about the job all the time, huge red flag#51IT security – These people stand out pretty starkly. Got an email from the Chief Technical Officer at one of our hospitals that said “Hey y’dawg, I need you to unblock this website for me. FTP://…” I had to explain to the CTO the difference between FTP traffic and web traffic and that to access that resource, he needed an FTP client and not a browser.

This kind of thing happens pretty much daily, usually with a person that has “IT Professional” somewhere in their business card.#52″That’s important but I think we need to take a step back to the strategy”

People who don’t understand any of the detail and hide behind fluffy motherhood style documents, reverting to wordsmithing rather than making decisions.

Leadership in an office :(#53Pretty obvious one I guess but I worked hard labor for many years and if I saw a fat/weak looking guy I’d be like, yeah, he ain’t gonna last. But there was one job I went to as a temp where we were lifting heavy chassis parts onto this conveyor-type thing going by and you had to line up holes onto fairly small (but strong) metal hooks – you couldn’t just toss them quickly and the pace was pretty fast. I was lost man, and this skinny guy (at least high 30’s) was a regular at this (that helps) and he was doing it like nothing. I was like, wtf are you Kryptonian?#54Former Field technician here.

In college we had a Halloween themed labs where we went out and measured the distance from our transact (The line we walk) and any zombie poster we can see from that transect. One of my classmates was hugely biased, saying things like “I can’t really see that poster” or “That’s really far away, let’s skip it”

In a real job when you are collecting data, being lazy is the worst thing you can be. It creates biased data and can noticeably skew your results.#55Telling me they’re trained and refuse to get any help, and then calling me when I’m not there for help. Funny thing is I was there to train them for the things that they called to get help with, which also happened while I was writing this comment. I’m sure management will love to hear about this when I tell them#56The fact if they text you at 4 am saying they’re sorry they didn’t do their work because they fell asleep watching Netflix#57Sending someone to be trained when the production line is down so that we can’t actually show them anything happening.#58Engineering- when someone brags about their qualifications, or how hard a previous job was. Had two ex navy engineers with me on shift. One of them was incredibly bad and didn’t give a fuck and never tried to improve. He put up two pictures on a wall- he used a metal drill bit on a concrete wall, for each hole he drilled he had two to three attempts so we had about ten holes in the wall by the time it was done… And the pictures were in a vertical line….almost. one was pretty off the centre line. The other one was my glorious leader. Never ever saw him with a tool in his hand. He claimed to be mechanical so didn’t get too involved with electrics. When I went to do a job and he was with me I explained what I was doing and he went I know I did an electrical course bla bla. I thought hey so how come you’ve never fixed any of these goddamn lights.

One Saturday I was on shift with them seven am. I was on my own looking after a huge public building by myself for three hours. One of them was still drunk from the night before so he was around but he’d gone off to hide and sleep it off. The other one came in and said hey I’m sorry I was in bed with a woman and she wouldn’t let me leave. Fine. Then he did it again the next day! That was the shift leader.

I quit that job when I applied for a different shift leader job and they interviewed me for it and got me to do four sixteen hour shifts (as a stand in shift leader) over a long weekend. I did it and did a good job. Two weeks later my manager is avoiding me and I hear through office gossip that they’d given that job away before they interviewed me. That is… I dunno. They were crooks. This is after I’ve done a shit tonne of work remapping and testing emergency lighting systems for a building the size of a city block.#59Event planner here! The number of people who apply for jobs because they’ve planned their own wedding or watch a lot of TLC is ridiculous. Sometimes they slip through the cracks and get hired and they’re the worst#60As a performing musician and teacher, I observe that they sit on the sidelines making snide remarks and don’t inspire others to achieve.#61″Can they slow the belt down?”

“The packing belt?”

“No, the oven belt. It’s too fast.”

Bitch, we work in an industrial bakery. You slow the oven down you’ll burn product and there goes our weekend. Get gud or go home.#62I’ve worked lots of jobs with different responsibilities.. Warehouse, office, restaurant, assistant, manager ect. There are usually a few common traits for almost every industry that scream “I will not be good at this job”.
-No personal skills. It doesn’t matter how technically good you are if your boss and co-workers don’t like you.
-No initiative. Like hey you can see that this task is not getting done, and it needs to get done, and you can do it, but you don’t because nobody asked you to? You will never be promoted.
-Zero humility. Using the hierarchy to your advantage, treating people around you like your underlings because maybe you were given slightly more responsibility than your co-workers for this project, is a huge red flag for me.
-Pointing fingers. Never reflecting on themselves to think, “maybe I could have done something differently in that situation that went wrong.” These people usually are bad at handling stress and cannot just get past something until blame has been assigned to anyone but themselves. The ability to own your mistakes is huge.

Those are just a few off the top of my head. Really, it’s only about 10% of most jobs that boil down to technical ability. The other 90% is just being a good person and a hard worker. It will get you farther than the guy who is really good at excel formulas but is miserable to be around.#63Scared of birds. I’m a zoo/bird keeper. It’s happened#64Most project managers, especially if they have a bunch of agile “certifications”, are pretty damn useless.#65In sales – someone who will say something about the sales cycle/process that makes it clear this is their first sales job and they fibbed about their experience to get a shot.

Should note that good recruiters/managers will sniff this out – so if someone makes this apparent it’s almost always a management issue.#66Frequently showing up late to work.#67When someone in a technical field (think IT) says they are an “architect”. To be fair, there are a bunch of senior level folks who have put in their dues in the tech trenches, and that title was created to pull them away from the mundane shit and give them a raise. The problem is, it’s worse than the title engineer now.#68Not bothering to look at resources for solutions, and expecting someone to hold your hand for everything. So much of doing a job well is actively seeking out how to handle problems, and finding where to find those answers.

Case in point: I’m going to be one of the people deciding a few people’s future with the company. One employee is massively kissing up to me to get a promotion. But he interrupts me a dozen times a day to ask basic questions, I’ve gotten to the point that I just answer “have you googled it?” He always answers no, of course. I have no idea how he thinks he seems competent at his job.#69Being a teacher. I am the boiler man (HVAC, plumbing, basically everything that needs fixing) at a small school district. I can explain until I’m blue in the face why the thing is broken or cannot do what the teachers want it to do, they stare blankly at me and ask me to fix it or whatever again, or simply ignore what I’ve said and keep doing what I’ve asked them not to do. One teacher destroyed over $1000 worth of thermostats in his room in a year ($274 a piece) because he was “just trying to fix it”.#70In sales – someone who will say something about the sales cycle/process that makes it clear this is their first sales job and they fibbed about their experience to get a shot.

Should note that good recruiters/managers will sniff this out – so if someone makes this apparent it’s almost always a management issue.#71As a professor, I have learned that an early red flag with students/postdocs/technicians is when they are show-up late/leave early types. These are people who are late for lab meeting, tend to leave for the day before everyone else, often look for excuses not to come into lab (e.g. it’s snowing and they want to work at home, want an extra day off so they can have a three day weekend to go water skiing, car won’t start and they don’t want to take the bus, need lots of days off around tests), etc. Being late for lab meeting with any kind of frequency is the biggest of red flags because I never make it before 9:30 or 10 AM, and it’s every other week. If they can’t make it in on time for one meeting out of two weeks, it’s a bad sign.

I am not particularly micromanaging, so most these types of behaviors tend not to bother me per se, I don’t count how many hours someone is in the lab. However, I definitely see now that this pattern is an immediate indicator that research is a low priority for these folks, and when that is the case they never really succeed regardless of how much intelligence or talent they have. Multiple times I have had people that came with stellar references, interviewed great, and were full of enthusiasm to start. But when the rubber met the road, they didn’t have the main ingredient for success.#72I knew a guy who’s title was Lead Web Developer who loaded the home page (which had been rendered into HTML by the PHP server) in his browser, right-clicked on it, clicked “Save as…”. Opened the saved files in his Dreamweaver instance, modified some images and captions on the index page, and then fired up his FTP client, uploaded the index.php file (which, again, was now just comprised of static html) to production. The fellow then came to me because all the images were broken. The “Save As…” operation had changed all the src attributes in the img tags to file://c:///…. paths. That was a red flag. Not sure if it’s useful for other people in other scenarios, but that was a moment where I looked at this guy who was supposed to be leading the team and thought to myself, “We are on our own.”

Edit: I think I mis-remembered the best part! Since the img tags referenced local files on HIS MACHINE, everything looked fine to him. It was somebody ELSE who came to me because the images were broken on the rest of the network.#73They become supervisors#74Doing the following when working with a disabled client:

Taking smoke breaks

Asking their client for massages

Defying parents’ expectations

Having anxiety attacks; normal anxiety is fine, but having anxiety attacks doesn’t make you the best fit

Going against agency policy/protesting against the rules

Not knowing about disabilities in general and treating your client like shit/not caring about their feelings

They talk about drama between other colleagues often

Those are what I can think of.

Don’t do this if you are a BHP. Just don’t. Unless you want to get fired.#75computer programmers who don’t know what they’re doing often answer questions with a vagueness increases in proportion to the directness of questions#76Not bothering to format their code until their done writing it or not formatting it at all.#77Experimental physics. Sitting in front of an oscilloscope and pressing autoset again and again hoping the imagined curve will magically appear.#78Summarizing the findings in a paper by slightly re-wording the abstract. Bonus points if the synonyms used no longer reflect the exact findings.#79I’m a press operator at a manufacturing plant. (Exciting I know.)

It’s somewhat physically demanding, detail oriented work. It certainly is not for everybody.

The press I run is a rather involved process with a lot of steps. Each section by itself is not complicated but it all hinges on being able to keep up with a conveyor belt that is constantly producing parts.

Yesterday we were short a couple of people and my boss asked me to work a press I don’t normally operate. While I did that he had someone else cover my normal press.

When I finished that assignment I walk around the corner to find this poor bastard who had been assigned to my press with a stack of parts piled up on the floor in front of the conveyor belt, everything in complete disarray, and him completely overwhelmed and freaking out.

We ended up having to stop the press from running so I could straighten it all back out, get the line caught back up and then go back through all the parts he finished to correct all the mistakes he made.

When I finally relieved him to go back to his normal job I have never seen a look of such gratitude and sheepishness in my life. He looked like I had just pulled him out of a well he had fallen into.

The first sign I had that told me he wasn’t going to be able to handle my press is when he first got over there he went to the last step first, grabbed the first tool he saw and stood there like he was just going to wait for the rest of the steps to do themselves automatically for him.

I have a feeling they will not be asking him to do my job again.#80Someone who forces one computer language into situations that make no sense. “I can use JS to write this intense CLI program” Ok but that is a really stupid idea. takes minutes to run “well that is just what it takes!”#81I was working in a computational biology lab, big computer cluster. A senior dude came in, Phd in cancer bio, MS in computer science from a solid school. Me, I’m a comp sci guy, so I got into bio pretty far but my roots are in programming.

We give him some cluster scripts to run on the computer cluster, these are maybe 10 lines of code, some batch data processing. He doesn’t get it working after a few days (this is a chill easygoing lab). So he gets a little pressure, tries running it, and crashes the entire freaking cluster. I have no idea how he managed to do that, it’s not even possible in theory, and with so few lines of code. Like not crash a job, that happens a lot, crash the cluster so the cluster is like “I am shutting down now, no more new jobs, closed for business, NO MORE FROM ANYONE”.

Eventually it got to really bug me and I really hate cutthroat business politics, so I pulled him off to the side and was like “dude how are you doing”. He is like “oh, this python stuff, I’m okay, I can handle 100 lines code, but Java, I can do up to 1,000 lines! I am very good!” Suffices to say this made me even more concerned. Grab a burrito with a colleague, we have an ethical discussion, he makes the point that our boss has a right to know about this stuff, we would be denying her that but saying nothing, so we agree to confront her and discuss it. And from then on whenever me and him saw our boss we would joke that we were going to cut the throat of some colleague.

I end up writing a report for HR of all the weird stuff I saw him do. I don’t know what my boss said to him after that, not my business and I don’t pry, but he came in every day a little more disheveled, starting to grow a beard. I really felt for the guy, I was rooting for him and hoping he would get his act together. He never really did. I had a sweet badass unix setup on my system which I had been using for like 10 years, so he spent like 1-2 weeks trying to clone my setup, like same terminal, same apps, but no effort to understand what I was actually doing under the hood. A colleague said one day he left a big team meeting to go into an office they shared. He literally left the meeting to just snooze away. Colleague caught him sleeping on the job because he didn’t like the meeting I guess.

My boss was a sweetheart, when I interviewed she was just like “so you want to help kids with cancer” and I was like “HELL YEA” and that was it, fortunately I had tons of experience and got really into it and did well, I figure this guy said the same. So from then on me and my colleague would take it upon ourselves to grill any candidates coming in to avoid such a situation from occurring again. I really really despise technical interviews or quizzing candidates, so I would briefly explain the above story to them and that I was just trying to get a general sense, that I don’t enjoy doing this, that I would ask questions going from easy to so hard I don’t expect them to get them right, and that it’s not a pass/fail type situation. The guy who eventually took over for me who is an awesome dude admitted he felt super anxious which is understandable even though that’s the opposite of what I want.#82I once worked for a company where we worked on *NIX machines day in and day out. Had an employee who didn’t know how to use terminal….#83I was a customer relations manager for a luxury car dealership and I could usually spot the ‘luxury cars sell themselves’ folks. Basically they’d come in and tell everyone how they sell, how they make so much doing so, why our sales process sucked, and how the top performing sales guy (which changed monthly for us) could kiss that spot goodbye! Then when it came time to sale they flopped like a dead fish, and would blame everything but themselves.

Or when the first time salesmen would say the sales team should have a rotating weekend schedule. Nah homie. You WANT to work Saturdays. That’s usually you’re best day.

Another on is ladies that wore heels higher than 3 inches and short skirts/dresses. It doesn’t help. You still need product knowledge, and good luck trying to get a male salesperson to get your car that’s on the back lot.#84I was a shooting instructor for a long time. People that consider themselves to be shooters but don’t actually shoot much, people that say they already know everything about guns and don’t need any training, or people that ask questions like “How fast (of a shooter) do you have to be to teach here?” or people that are already an instructor who brag about how good they are.

Shooting instruction isn’t about how fast you can shoot. It’s about whether or not you can teach people how to properly handle a firearm, and the state requirements if you’re teaching a gun permit class. Strictly speaking, it doesn’t really have much to do with how well you can actually shoot. Certainly I’m not saying ability is irrelevant but one of our best instructors was a below average shooter.

Additionally, the people that ask how fast you have to be always tout some ridiculously impossible stats for how good of a shooter they claim to be and can never back it up.#85Had an employee blow $40,000 of a clients money on AdWords because they didn’t know the difference between broad and phrase match. The company sold tools, they were pulling clicks on clothing. Literally 0% conversion rate. We should have known because he always had an excuse as to why we couldn’t see his reports. Luckily this only happened one month because we audit reports every month. No way he could have avoided that.#86They have a fuckton of ideas and suggestions during meetings. Dude, shut the fuck up: That’s just more work!

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  • February 26, 2022
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