Nightmare workers: The new batch

Tuesday October 26, 2021

The nights are drawing in, there’s a chill in the air, and pumpkins are everywhere from your local shop to your neighbour’s porch. Of course, Halloween is but a few nights away.

It’s not unusual to see trick or treaters doing the rounds, or friends and even co-workers made up for a party at this time of year. What you might not be prepared for though, is a questionable character sauntering into work, and sticking around beyond the 31st.

The following culprits are firm fixtures at the top of HR’s most wanted list. If you’ve spotted one in your workplace, dial The HR Dept Advice Line for immediate action.

The Troll

Stepping up their game in 2021, trolls have graduated from the Nordic woodlands to the Twittersphere and beyond. In fact, with the recent rise in remote working, some now have a cushty home office from which they reign digital terror, along with the odd job application. Even trolls have overheads.

A thorough recruitment process which includes face-to-face interviews and references can deter a troll from worming their way into your workforce and keep your business safe. Be warned though, as a bitter troll can resurface and wreak havoc on your customer service team. This will require some firefighting so it might be a good idea to upskill your team to prepare them for any backlash.

The Lunchtime Lurker

No mug, blueberry, or homemade sandwich is safe when the Lunchtime Lurker is on the prowl. Eager to return to the office to see what tempting treats await them in the communal kitchen, the Lunchtime Lurker gets a kick out of using and even consuming what is not rightfully theirs. Possessive Post-it Notes just spur them on more as the thrill of not getting caught is too enticing.

You might not have time to worry about a misplaced mug or shortage of blueberries, but be warned: this sort of behaviour can start to chip away at your otherwise trusting employees. A brave lurker might even take it further and find it funny to hide or move objects around the office. Best get your detective hat on as this calls for an investigation.

The Vampire

Feeling low energy lately? Wondering why the blinds are always down? You might have a vampire problem. Blocking out the sun at all costs to suit their aesthetic, the Vampire seeks a different kind of energy source, yours.

Whether they’re emailing you, calling you, fumbling their way through instant chat or suddenly appearing at the side of your desk, this vampire is out for attention and draining the life out of everyone around them. The lurker has hidden the garlic, so what are you going to do?

Aside from suggesting they go for a lunchtime walk to get over their fear of the sun, try introducing more structure into their day, to also free up some of yours.

The Evil Genius

Having a genius work for you might sound like you’ve hit the jackpot, there’s just one little problem: this one’s evil. The EG knows how to talk the talk, walk the walk, and thrives off cunning plans. Before you know it you’ve agreed to them launching project X, which is mostly classified because they never tell you anything. Turns out it’s a complicated overhaul of your infrastructure that’s going to cost you an arm and a leg. No, really.

You’ll no doubt want to harness their good qualities and tone down the evilness, they are driven after all. Get them to see the bigger picture with a bit of team building or even fundraising, the right cause could put them on the straight and narrow.

The Wizard

Ticking off their task list with an effortless wave of a wand, the Wizard is a sight to behold. Why then are they on our most wanted list?

Noticing and rewarding good employees is just as important as managing the bad ones. So whilst the Wizard might not be causing as much of a stir, don’t let them pass you by, talk to us about meaningful employee benefits and a retention plan for your dream team.

Preventing People Problems

Subscribe to our monthly newsletter

Office Address: Portland House, Belmont Business Park, Durham, DH1 1TW | VAT Number: 206711045 | Registration Number: 9438642

Copyright © 2007 - 2019 The HR Dept Ltd. HR DEPT is a registered trademark belonging to The HR Dept Limited.

Please complete your details and we will be in touch soon.

If you are an employee please click here.