In our world there is a lot a nice, good-natured people who would no doubt help an old lady across the road, put $2 in the Salvation Army Tin, treat co-workers well and even not even beep their horn at you if you stall taking off when the traffic light turns green.

These are the type of people that really make contributions and are often a pleasure to have around.

Then, you get the “Other” type of people.  You know who I mean, I mean the people that can be selfish, manipulative and who are out purely to protect number one.  These people can be experts at “Pretending” to be Good Natured or nice.  That is, some of these people know when and how to turn on the charm to get what they want (often with little regard for others).

I remember that I once worked with this person.  They were very “Friendly” and “Nice” on the surface, but I heard from other people in the office “Watch Out” for this person.  I didn’t have a problem with this person directly and in fact I seemed to have a reasonable rapport with them.

However, this person would often complain about other people, say how bad things were for them and really appeared to “Enjoy” back-stabbing others.  In fact, beneath the “Nice” exterior, really appeared to exist a twisted individual, who would get a thrill from controlling, manipulating and hurting others.  There were dozens of examples from this person as to this type of behaviour.

They would always “Smile” and also be so “Charming” about it.

Then, when there were problems in the business – the dirty politics came out.   This person would “Knife” others in the back, criticise others and never took any real personal responsibility for what they were doing.  That is, they really pointed the finger at others in a harmful way – without taking any real accountability themselves.  This person managed quite a few people and a lot of their direct-reports had similar problems.

Later on, although I did my best to work with this person – they started trash talking me to others.  I really did learn that if you meet someone who “Back-Stabs” everyone to you, you can safely bet $100 they trash-talk you to others as well.  Then as some problems in the business increased, this person’s dirty ethics got worse and worse – and even some of their lies came up as “Feedback” into my next performance review!  Even though this individual’s results were extremely poor!

This person was very manipulative and the good news of it all was, that about 1 – 2 years later – I heard from an old colleague that this person was demoted.  This person was just a power junkie and I could imagine that this would have been a tough blow for them.  It really appeared that with declining results, this person couldn’t lie, cheat, or manipulate their way out of this one.

Unfortunately in some workplaces, we see people who aren’t necessarily competent get promoted or keep positions purely for the fact that they have mastered politics and not their actual jobs.  It’s a tough situation, as you can get good honest, hard-working bosses that accidentally hire people who are good at “Snow-Balling” them as such.

The good news is, that in many workplaces with clever objective management, these people often are detected and it’s great to see them get what was coming to them.  If you are an employer or an employee – it’s really important to find these people, coach them out of the bad behaviour and hold them accountable for their actions.

Unfortunately, there are always a few sharks in the fishing tank! * Thank you to “Dave” from Flickr for the great Lucky Charms Pic.


2 Responses

  1. Hi Eddie – Troy here from when we were growing up. Recently come across your blog and it is really enjoyable reading – and reminicent of when we used to hang out.

    Now to this blog – I’ve come across such “nice” people before and have a good story about one person who made my work life difficult when I wasn’t there but was very nice to me. I didn’t understand what they were doing at the time but looking back their strategy was to sabotage others to compensate for their lack of self esteem – where they didn’t believe they could survive based on merit alone and resented those who they saw as a threat to their ego. Based on their jilted view of the world, their response was logical as it allowed them to a) gain a ‘percieved’ advantage through playing politics b) gain satisfaction from seeing others fail.

    Anyway a few years later I was working at a new company and my manager mentioned they interviewed someone and wanted to know my opinion of whether we should hire him – I was very diplomatic but mentioned the persons destructive presonality and the problems that I had, balancing it with their good qualities – their experience and ability. Anyway, my manager mentioned similar feedback from the persons previous employer and a third source (who we both knew) and the person wasn’t offered the job. Had they not played politics they would have surely been offered the job but because they were deemed to be a destructive influence they were not offered the job, despite my company desparately needing to fill the position.

    Any hoo – will be good to hear from you and would be great if you want to drop me a line.

    • Hello Troy! This is certainly a blast from the past and I am glad you enjoyed the blog!

      It’s good to see that person’s Karma came back to them and nothing like justice. It’s funny how these people tend to sneak into companies – worse even stay there! 🙂

      Thanks and will do!

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