When I was a kid, I was the guy in my group of friends that would plan stuff — parties (mostly at my house and behind my parents’ back, of course), New Year’s Eve in NYC, football games over Thanksgiving break, renting beach houses down the Jersey shore. Lots of fun, but the planning and coordination that went into it was awful. Imagine.. trying to gather a consensus and then motivating a group of 15 dudes. I was lucky if one of them responded to me prior to the day of the event. And if someone did reply, most times it was to bust balls. In the end, things tended to work out and we had our good times but I reached my limit by the age of 26 or 27. Who the hell is crazy enough to put all of their energy into something so aggravating for a bunch of momos? Actually, I still run a men’s softball team, but that just about caps out my patience with my friends these days.
Growing up, I thought my friends were going to be the biggest challenge I faced in terms of planning and coordination. Not even close. And, at least my friends I could punch when frustrations peaked. No, people in the corporate world suck ten times over. How so? Good question.
- Yes’ers aka Ass-Kissers – Their only response is ‘Yes’. They promise the world and come through maybe 10% of the time.
- Flakes – Sort of like Yes’ers but don’t even extend themselves that much. They give you a luke-warm response and then peace out at the worst possible time, leaving you to fail miserably.
- Commiters Anonymous – This is the guy that you ask for confirmation on something and they cannot bring themselves to give you a concrete answer. Like getting a guy to decide on a wedding date.
- Ghosts – You send this sub-human emails, call him, ring his doorbell, hold his Grandmother hostage. Nothing. No response. He may not have an answer, but dammit man, just say “I don’t know right now”.
- Snooze Button – Motivating this person to do anything requires you to threaten his job or his life, whichever gets his attention first. And even once they’re awake, it will be the final second when they deliver. Oh, and don’t expect any surprises.. you get exactly what you specified and what you paid for, and not a smidgen more.
- Disorganized Snooze Button – After you motivate the snoozer, he forgets what you were even talking about. These guys are still doing the same amount of drugs they did in college.
- Disorganized Type-A’ers – This guy expects everything done yesterday, but then you send him a single question and it takes 10 follow-up emails and 3 weeks for him to answer you. And then they bitch you out for missing your deadline.
- Excuse Me? – Last but not least.. the stall-tactic / my-neighbor’s-Mom’s-friend-just-had-surgery-and-I-had-to-water-her-cactus / excuse-happy guy. For every request, every deadline, every misunderstanding, it’s never their fault and if it is, the dog at their homework.
I’m sure there’s more but these are the people that I dream about physically harming. It’s inconsiderate of your time and effort. And I am constantly disappointed. My guess is that they were raised by buffalo, or maybe really really old cavemen. Maybe we should all lower our expectations but that sounds kinda terminally doomsday-ish.
But here’s the silver lining. For every jerk mentioned above, the margin for you to impress someone, simply by paying attention, abounds. Think about the mechanic that not only schedules your car to be fixed and actually fixes it that day, but calls you as soon as it’s ready and changed your oil for free while he had it because he noticed the check engine light was on. He’s immediately your mechanic for life, no? Shit, make him your best friend while you’re at it.
Point is, with 6 billion plus on this planet and a lot of them sucking, it’s easier these days to stand out as being someone people can depend upon. Take advantage.