Imagine it’s a Friday afternoon and you don’t feel like working. You’re comfortable in your khaki pants and golf shirt or you’re wearing jeans and a sweater. This isn’t Google people…I don’t know what you’re wearing but I imagine it’s something pretty innocuous like the aforementioned wardrobe items. That being said, you’re in that comfort zone. It’s 4 pm and you’re just a few hours away from the freakin’ weekend. Steps away from that after work cocktail. Maybe hours away from that late night hookup. Listen I don’t care what you do in your private life…I’m just sayin’.
So you lean back in your chair, maybe you shut your eyes. Take a few slow deep breaths. Perhaps you wander down to a friend’s cube for some office gossip. Or you go the bathroom to relax (ok no one does this – I can’t imagine anything less relaxing). Maybe you sneak out for a smoke (you need to quit. This will help. Click here to quit smoking!). Relax and basically do nothing for the next hour and a half until your long work week has ended. This all seems acceptable if you’re a mature professional who has taken the rest of the week to accomplish their tasks at work and completed everything that was expected of them. Right…normal!
But here’s the rub. What if this is you all.the.time? That’s right. If you’re the lazy office slacker you spend the majority of your day attempting not to work. You are a master avoid-er, an expert slough-er (can someone please comment and weigh on in whether this is a word and if so how to spell it? Please comment below) or a pro-procrastinator. This is not your Friday at 4pm. This is your every day.
Some examples of a lazy co-worker:
You have a job to do and your coworker is responsible for the artwork on the project. You attempt multiple times to stop by their desk to drop off the documents that you need worked on. You see that they spot you and they stand up and walk the other way pretending they never saw you. You yell their name and they still pretend not to hear you. Your work needs an explanation so you can’t just drop the papers at their desk but they’ve been avoiding you for days. Finally you’re forced to corner them in the office parking lot. Really? It’s come to this???
How about this scenario. Your department has a set meeting scheduled once a week. It’s supposedly mandatory. You show up and listen as required. Sure it’s boring. Sure, you already know all about the TPS reports. You don’t want to hear “Linda” complain about her boyfriend before the meeting officially starts. You’re definitely sick of hearing about “Joe’s” drunken antics from the prior weekend. But you go. You suck it up and go every week. Somehow your co worker finds an excuse every single week. She’s sick, she’s got another meeting. She’s at a client’s for lunch. But you know the truth. You saw that lazy slacker asleep in her car. WTF? How does she keep getting away with this? If you slept you would get busted. Ok maybe you did get busted for sleeping once and now you’re terrified to do it again.
So this begs the question. How are you supposed to deal with this. Ok let’s tackle the person who perpetually escapes from their cubicle whenever you come by. Here’s what you’re going to do. Be prepared this is going to take some time and patience but you can do eeeet! First of all come in early. Grab your chair and your laptop, some reading materials and make sure you empty your bladder. Wheel your chair on over to your coworker’s cube and park it there. You’re going to sit there and wait for them to come into the office and get to their desk. Now the possibility exists that they will see you and run the other way but this is where your patience is going to pay off. At some point during the day they WILL need to get back to their desk. Maybe they need to make a phone call or they left some lunch food around and there’s nothing good in the office refrigerator to steal. Possibly they left their hand sanitizer or butt wipes at the desk. So you are going to stay put until they come back. When they do, you present them with the work you need to get done. Of course there’s no guarantee that they will actually do the work once you’ve given it to them but hey it’s off your plate now. When your manager asks you simply say you did your part and it’s now on their desk. Voila!
On to the skipping of the department meeting. This meeting is the same damn time and day every week. Your boss was even kind enough to set it up for later in the morning so you’re able to drag your lazy ass into the office late as usual and still make it to the meeting. So your coworker has no excuse not to make it to this meeting. Here’s how you can handle this situation. It’s very similar to the situation above but instead of waiting at their desk you’re going to make it a point to find them whether they’re at their desk, relaxing in the break room, in their car or wherever they might be hiding. Then you’re going to go with them to the meeting. Yes you’re essentially an adult babysitter so I would only recommend this drastic measure if you’ve reached you’re breaking point and simply cannot deal with them missing even one more meeting. Because eventually they’ll find a place to sneak away too where you will not be able to find them. But if you can guilt them into going just a few times it will make it more difficult for them to weasel their way out of subsequent meetings. See how they’re setting a precedent of being there so it becomes the expectation? See how you just did that. Nice job!
Alright readers as always tell me your thoughts and comment below. I want to hear your stories too!