There is an old joke (involving a rabbi and a goat) which hammers home the point that things can always be a lot worse. I have my own tale of woe to relate in this regard: One of the people in my department is a seriously lazy individual with no work ethic whatsoever. On the days that this slack bastard actually shows up for work, it is necessary to check up on him constantly if you want him to produce anything of value. He is utterly incapable of working unsupervised for any length of time and if left to his own devices, he will, quite literally, do nothing. He makes your average three-toed sloth seem like a caffeine demon by comparison.
When we are chasing a deadline, we inevitably allocate the non-critical activities to him, because he is so unreliable. As a consequence, the rest of the team are forced to shoulder more of the workload than necessary and much grumbling ensues. Needless to say, this individual has been an ever-present thorn in my side. Pains in other parts of the anatomy also come to mind whenever I think about him.
Up until recently, I foolishly believed that Sloth Boy was about as bad a colleague as one could be expected to encounter. Little did I suspect that I would soon be introduced to someone who would make sloth-boy look like a front-runner for Employee of the Year. A couple of weeks ago, one of the company’s new staff members was allocated to one of my projects. “At last, someone to share the load”, I thought. Was I ever wrong!
Not only do the new guy’s mental processes operate at glacial speeds, but it has become painfully obvious that he is completely clueless in the areas of engineering where he is supposedly ‘highly experienced’. Millstone (as I like to call him now) spent more than a week on a task that would typically take less than a day and all he had to show for his efforts were a few illegible scribbles on a single sheet of paper. I suppose it’s possible that he’d been hypnotised by his screen-saver, but it seems more likely that he put so much creative effort into lying on his CV that he blew a brain-gasket in the process. The only way to get him to complete anything at all is to go through each individual task step-by-excruciating-step and watch him as closely as a teenager focused on a porn video.
How I long for those golden days when I only had to contend with Sloth Boy.