The 6 Types of Colleagues You Loathe Working With

The 6 Types of Colleagues You Loathe Working With
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By Priscilla Tan

Epoch Times Contributor

I’m not an expert, but if there’s one thing I know to be true, it’s this – the weekday blues involve myriad things: heavy traffic, early mornings, and difficult co-workers. I don’t have a solution to frustrating road congestion or becoming an early riser, but I do have a couple of pointers on working with unbearable folks.

Did your least favourite colleague in the office make the list? Let’s find out.

The Act Blur

What It Means

The clueless.

The clueless is sneaky. They don’t draw attention; but they don’t play the blame game, either. Instead, they let their behaviour speak for themselves. Spineless and ignorant, they would rather let things go wrong in the office than own up to their mistakes.

Chances are, they’re acting this way because of two things: a) they’re afraid of embarrassing themselves, and b) they don’t want to get caught red-handed.

What You Can Do

Confront the situation, and if possible, offer them suggestions. Remember that there’s a difference between criticism and constructive feedback. If it doesn’t work, walk away.

The Boh Chup

What It Means

The one who doesn’t care.

Picture it: There’s a potential retrenchment in the company and rumour has it that you’re one of the unlucky ones. You, along with your colleagues, are about to have a massive panic attack. While biting your fingernails and pacing around the office, you glance over to a co-worker who has his hands behind his head in a relaxed pose.

You can’t believe it. It’s not confidence. It’s something else — he simply does not care.

What You Can Do

What happens when the boh chup is part of your department and there’s an important project nearing the deadline? Easy, you keep tabs on them. Get a checklist ready and hand it out to all the team members. This way, the boh chup will not know you’re targeting them. Daily and effective communication is the key here.

The Jia Chua

What It Means

The lazy.

The jia chua is every working adult’s nightmare. Dependent and downright cruel, it seemingly looks like they do not give a hoot about their colleagues’ feelings. You’re right: they don’t. They’re experts at manipulating people and pushing their projects to other employees — even when it’s their responsibility.

What You Can Do

Speak to your executive about it. If you’re the manager in charge of the jia chua, it’s time to take action. Do not sugar-coat the truth. But remember, you don’t have to sound mean, either.

The Kan Cheong

What It Means

The one who gets tense easily.

It’s not their fault. Anybody who works in a fast-paced environment knows how tough it can be. For the kan cheong, the knots in their stomach can be uncomfortable and overwhelming. A natural worrier, they dislike multitasking and would prefer taking a stable project over a tight assignment deadline any day.

What You Can Do

Do not take their overbearing behaviour as a personal attack and learn to take a step back. Let them be. Or better yet, offer a reassuring word. Sometimes, a kind gesture can go a long way.

The Geh Kiang

What It Means

The smart aleck.

The geh kiang loves the sound of their own voice. They favour talking over listening. They don’t make an effort to listen to their co-workers’ inputs. Arrogant and insufferable, it’s as if they’re from the George Bush era: “Me, me, me!” The Golden Girls’ Sophia Petrillo clearly knows what she’s talking about.

What You Can Do

There’s a lot of tension in the air and you have a feeling the geh kiang doesn’t like you. There’s nothing much you can do, except for one thing: be indifferent. Take an organisational perspective instead of a personal one. Focus on what matters and you’ll do fine in the workplace.

The Kiasu

What It Means

The competitive.

Sometimes, the kiasu lets their over-ambitious nature get the best of them. There’s nothing wrong with being competitive. It’s healthy, even. But when it involves ugly arguments and bitter resentment, it’s a different story altogether.

Here’s the thing about the kiasu: they love winning. In fact, they’re willing to go the extra mile to win a pat on their back.

What You Can Do

This means that friction could arise in the workplace. What happens when you’re caught up in a messy confrontation with the kiasu? Well, Desmond Tutu says it best: “Don’t raise your voice, improve your argument.”

A shorter version of the article titled ‘SG Edition: What Is Your Working Style?’ first appeared on the Glints blog. Glints is an online talent recruitment and career discovery company based in Singapore.

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