The Truth About Your Evil Colleagues

I tend to believe the best about people when I start working with them — for example, that they are telling me the truth, working in good faith with me, being honest when we have conflicting agendas — so of course I am often wildly disappointed in people and frequently disillusioned. (That’s why it’s important to know the answer to question 2 from yesterday’s post, btw. You have to know what kind of environment you can tolerate.)

Yet I’m not a complete Pollyanna. I know there are plenty of plotting, conniving folks out in the world, and loads of them are lawyers. I’ve worked with them, and I expect you have too.

So I read with increasing interest the Cubicle Culture column from today’s WSJ. It’s all about the kind of people you hate to work with: the blame-shifter suckups. While law probably has far more than its fair share, rest assured that such creatures reside in every company, or at least, every place I’ve ever worked, post-law practice. This isn’t to depress you, but to help you recognize when you’re dealing with one. And then get as far away as possible, because they will ruin your career, whatever it is, otherwise. I (for once!) agree with Jared Sandberg, most of the time these evil people triumph over colleagues who are honest and hard-working, those who think that those noble qualities will get them anywhere in a corporate setting. I’ve rarely seen that happen. Have you?

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