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Incompetent Coworker From Hell on a Power Grab

Share Your Story: Readers Describe the Behavior and Actions of Their Coworker From Hell

By Work_Wiz

Describe the Behaviors of Your Coworker From Hell

My coworker (older, male, and in somewhat higher positition even though we report to the same person) never keeps deadlines or any promises, always combative when gets a push back, especially from females, and likes to order people around. He is on the resource grab, and if you do him a favor, he will ask for 20 more, most of which make no sense, will tell you how difficult you are to work with, will treat you like dirt, and give you no credit for any work you have done to "help him". Well, he, of course, thinks you owe him. He also thinks great things of himself, while being woefully incompetent.

Tell How You Dealt With Your Coworker From Hell

I am trying to establish boundaries to his invasion, but he could not care less. The conversation usually starts with an innocent question like "can we do this/get this data?" and ends with "let's do it (anyway)", and by "us" he does not mean him. Now somehow I owe him a huge amount of work, even though he is not my boss and I already explained to him in detail that what he is asking for makes no sense. If I push back in any way (too busy, not the right thing to do, you have your own team of three people who do the same thing I do, so how about relying on them, etc), I am difficult to work with, a bad teammate, and don't care about the business. If I help in any way, he will immediately ask for 10 times more work. "Oh, that's not getting the message across, can you do it this different [and totally inappropriate] way? I need this done, and I am tired of hearing why not."

Unfortunately, talking to our boss has not been helpful. He understands the problem, but usually just tells me to help this coworker out. As I have seen in numerous examples, "helping" him just makes things worse. I presume many people here know the feeling of being directed by a totally incompetent person, doing twice as much work as needed, and in the end, getting a mediocre result, while being treated like dirt. And, that's basically what I get in return for doing him any favor.

On top of being a total entitlement bully, he never keeps any promises to me on any projects where we depend on each other. He firmly believes that his inability to watch for deadlines or make decisions on time should result in me dropping everything I do and engage in a fire drill to accomplish his every whim, when he finally realizes what he needs (and two weeks behind). Explaining my lead times over and over again did not help. Sending reminders or having meetings where I ask for information necessary to do my job results in him slipping further down the incompetence slope. Now I am the annoying person pestering him for information, so he starts ignoring my requests more and more, and getting less and less prepared for the meetings.

Tips and Tricks

  • Here are the things that did not work:
  • talking to our boss
  • pushing back on requests that he has no authority to make
  • sending reminders and trying to keep him organized
  • doing him any favors
  • trying to enforce boundaries (if he needs something, he will pester like there is no tomorrow - I have never seen a more relentless person in my life)
  • Here is what helped: being evasive, not providing him with any information, not looking for ways to get things done or just telling him they are impossible to do, ignoring his emails (to a degree), leaving town right when he needs me
  • Please HELP!
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