Most of us work in offices and most of us know who the A-hole of the office is. If you don’t know who it is, bad news, it’s probably you. What if it is you? Maybe you’ve been living in your own world, oblivious to how others view you. Well, if you don’t know by now, here are some not so subtle clues.
Obviously if you are a dick to everyone and hate your life you probably treat others like crap and are seen as an A-hole. These individuals usually know what they are, but so many do not. What A-hole move didn’t make the list? The person that plays their music loud for all to hear is an A-hole. The etiquette in this day and age is to use headphones, but some refuse, believing their co-workers want to hear their music. Their music is always horrible by the way. You can pretty much pencil in Maroon 5 or Coldplay, or worse, Nickelback.
Offices are full of people and clichés; you might have overachievers, idiots and the office slut, there’s always one. There is also at least one office A-hole. There are many factors that make someone an A-hole in the office; there’s personality, how you use social media or maybe it’s the constant need for attention. Regardless, if you are this person, you are the A-hole at work. Oh, and don’t expect people to tell you this. Most don’t like to talk to A-holes, they avoid them! Here are the 15 signs you might be the A-hole at work.
15 You Don’t Listen
People try to have a conversation with you, but you don’t even try to listen. It isn't so much a lack of attention because you don’t think what they have to say is important. It’s much more of a lack of caring. In fact, an A-hole will be downright rude, constantly checking his phone as someone is trying to talk to them. If you are aware of this, you are an A-hole. If you are not aware you do this, you now know you are an A-hole.
The Apple Watch was made especially for the non-listener. A device to distract the person that doesn’t give two cents about what anyone has to say. Of course, anyone that has experienced someone with one of these devices knows it’s much worse and more blatant with the constant turn of the wrist to ignore your conversation. Any successful executive understands that listening is more important than anything else. I didn’t say A-holes don’t become executives, I’m just saying it’s likely they are not successful.
14 No Happy Hour Invite
Do you notice each Friday your co-workers arrive with a hangover and stories about the night before and you weren’t invited? Well, this is a pretty straight forward indication that you are such an A-hole that no one even wants to be with you in a group setting. Even “mild” A-holes are invited to the happy hours. You have to be real Grade A A-hole to not get invited to Margaritas and nachos after work.
As painful as it might be to find out this is the case - your co-workers have been going out and partying without you. I have some more bad news because hearing a happy hour story is like spotting a cockroach, chances are there are a thousand more you are not aware of. Sorry to break it to you - actually not so much, you are an A-hole, you got yourself into this predicament after all.
13 You Complain About Your Life Constantly
This A-hole is the worst and hopefully you are not this person, but if the shoe fits… Do you complain about every detail in your life regardless of whether or not it's work related? Oh, did Starbucks get your coffee order wrong again? Your mother said what? Oh, your date didn’t call back, again? Maybe it’s you. Maybe the Starbucks barista hates you. Maybe your mother thinks you're an A-hole. Maybe your dates are sick of your complaining!
There are people with real problems and also, there is work to be done. No one wants to hear about your mundane problems constantly. The big issue is that constant complainers really can’t stop. They need CA, Complainer’s Anonymous. Whether that happens or not, if you walk around complaining about everything all the time, people may nod, but they can’t get away fast enough, take note – people will turn away quickly and rarely follow-up on your complaints. They just don’t care about your petty problems.
12 You Constantly Interrupt Someone
What you have to say is more important than anything anyone could say to you. If you have no problem “butting” in constantly to a conversation, you are an A-hole and should take hints from the looks around you. Maybe you're the A-hole that prefaces your interruption by saying “sorry to interrupt,” but you don’t wait to hear their response. Many don’t want you to interrupt and just wish you would stop.
This A-hole trait breeds narcissism. The A-hole doesn’t even care what’s being said, just waiting for the right time to interrupt where their clever antidote, joke or opinion that often has nothing to do with the conversation. This may also be the reason you are not invited to as many outside activities as you’d expect (more on this later), because quite honestly, no one wants to have a conversation with someone who can’t wait to interrupt what they are trying to communicate.
11 You Think You Are The Smartest Person In The Room
Let’s get something straight right away and this is not a news flash: if you think you are the smartest person in the room, you are probably not, just a conceited A-hole. You love to throw out the latest fact you just read regardless of the counter argument or whether it applies to the current conversation because you believe you are brilliant… No, you are just an A-hole.
It’s not just about your poorly thought out opinions. People who believe they are the most intelligent person in the room shouldn’t even be there. If you really were smarter than everyone else you should know it’s time to move on and not just subject people to your tired anecdotes that don’t relate to what’s actually going on. The key is that this isn’t the case; an A-hole is one that believes he’s the smartest person in the room, but rarely is it true that he actually is.
10 You Crave Attention
You crave attention in so many ways; it’s the way you work, the way you look and the way you interact, seeking approval across all facets. Foremost, you need people to acknowledge the work you do, putting supervisors and colleagues in uncomfortable situations constantly. Then there’s the appearance factor… Did so and so complement your new haircut? Why not? Oh, they did, thank God, but why didn’t they say it was amazing? Probably because it’s just a stupid haircut and you really need to get a life and stop seeking so much approval in a work environment.
If you are the type of person that will do ANYTHING for approval, sorry, but you are an A-hole. Let me guess, when you don’t get the approval you need you feel the need to go to battle and bad-mouth that person, right? Yeah, I thought so. You, sir or madame, are an A-hole.
9 You Give Backhanded Compliments
If you love giving unasked for advice, yeah, you know how this goes by now… This particular A-hole spews their unwanted opinions in what they structure as constructive criticism, but in reality are just backhanded compliments. “Hey, you know what you should try…” because obviously your way is not effective in their mind. This is really an A-hole move.
It’s not just a character flaw to push your advice on co-workers, it’s abusive. You are telling people how to do their jobs when they believe they know how to do it best. You are not their mentor (assuming this because if you check any of these boxes you are an A-hole, and no A-hole is a mentor) so why would you tell them how to do their job? No one is asking yet you keep giving your opinions. Oh, because you know best and feel like insulting someone is the best way. Way to go A-hole!
8 You Don’t Comply
You never say “Hello”, you are too self-involved, no “Good morning”, and who has time for that? Is that you? Well good morning to you Mr. A-hole. It goes without saying your elevator etiquette is non-existent, you don’t even realize others are in the same elevator as you. Its part self-importance, part straight up douchebag and part A-hole, you just don’t want to be part of society, you are better than the majority.
Now comes the bad part and it’s not announcing you are an A-hole, I believe that has been established, no, it’s that all of this at some point is going to bite you in the ass. People talk and you know what? People get fired and laid off and if you don’t think people are going to review “the list” which is the way it works and not dump the A-hole that doesn’t give a crap, you are wrong. You are gone, faster than you cannot say “Hello.”
7 Read Receipts
Sure, sometimes there may be a legitimate reason to put on a read receipt, but for the most part it’s being paranoid. What’s funny is that if you put read receipts on the messages you send, there is a chance you don’t know people are notified of this. Spoiler alert: They know you have asked for a read receipt and you are an A-hole.
What are you worried about and why do you need to know every single time someone reads your message? Are you that insecure or is it to cover your ass? Regardless, it does not make you look good and you can be certain people are discussing it over at the water cooler, or worse, over their own emails, that most certainly do not have return receipts attached. Stop being so paranoid, stop with the micro management - oh wait, I forgot, you can’t stop, you are an A-hole.
6 You Don’t Defend Your Co-Workers
It’s not like any of us want to stick up for a co-worker when they are wrong, but never backing an associate is an A-hole move. At work you work in teams and there are times you need to back each other. A-holes don’t listen to others, making it impossible to stick up for anyone.
This never works out for the A-hole who spends all his time sticking a knife in the backs of others when eventually, he is found with the fatal knife stuck in his own back. How A-holes don’t see this coming is not surprising given their conceited attitude and know-it-all answers to every solution. If you can’t stick up for your own co-workers you shouldn’t be in an environment with others; instead, go work by yourself on an island or work with other A-holes so no one is expected to work together or support each other. I’m sure that will work out well…
5 You Think You Are God
This isn’t about thinking you are the most brilliant or smartest person, no, this is much worse, so much worse. If you believe you are God and do not believe you are also an A-hole, well you should probably talk to someone. This type of A-hole believes the world revolves around them and no one else matters. To say this person is self-confident does not do it justice, no this A-hole is overconfident.
Other than everyone thinking you are an A-hole, having a God complex will catch up with you. You would think this doesn’t need to be said, but those who really believe they are God will never see it coming. Arrogance is something that for many comes and goes; however, in the workplace you aren’t among friends and once you play the God card, you own it, which means you are an A-hole and have to deal with the consequences.
4 Fight Over Email
If you are a person that is constantly pounding their keyboard in reply to emails that is a problem because people think you are an A-hole. Taking out your anger over email versus meetings, phone call or just face to face is not the way to effectively communicate in an office setting. Sure, sometimes putting someone in their place if warranted works via email, but don’t get personal and don’t make it a habit. If you do: A-hole.
Social media also follows the same protocol. Don’t be the guy that comments negatively on everything or always adds a condescending remark. That’s an A-hole move and everyone who can see feels the same way. Yes, we live in a digital world, but we still need to have personal communication. It’s easy for an A-hole to not see this due to the self-absorbed and all, but it is what it is. In the end, if you take part in this activity you are an A-hole, end of story.
3 Everyone Around You Quits
You can make excuses, but if everyone that works with you quits eventually it’s pretty clear that you are the problem. Oh, business is bad, maybe there’s been a change in the organization – all reasonable reasons people are quitting, but if everyone quits and it’s impossible to keep anyone on your team, you are the issue and likely because you are an A-hole. You can also tell by how long it takes before someone quits. Employees can tolerate a lot, but working for A-holes often means less than one year. One year is a pretty good measuring stick.
Don’t expect this to come out in exit interviews because no one says jack in those things; instead, the word of mouth will start to build and pretty soon it will be impossible to even get candidates. That’s the way it is with A-holes, at first it appears to be effective, then troublesome and then it all caves in, leaving yourself with nothing, but your stupid ideas and arrogant attitude that no one is left to hear.
2 You're Called To Human Resources Every Week
Having to go to Human Resources is usually a stressful event, the equivalent of being sent to the principal's office. If for you this is normal behavior, a weekly chat with HR over your actions, it’s probably because you are an A-hole. Today’s work environment encourages employees to go to Human Resources whenever they have a problem and most problems stem from the people they work with; hence, if you are that person, again, you know what this means.
Logically, if you get called into Human Resources often it means your job security isn’t very high, or the company you work for has no one better to do your job, essentially the job is so bad they are okay having an A-hole perform that role. They would rather have people upset than have you fired, wasting their time each week telling you why you are an A-hole. If this is you (and you are an A-hole), this is really your best-case scenario.
1 You Have No Boundaries In The Office
This is the biggest sign you are the office A-hole. You have no shame and don’t believe your consequences have any actions. Do you overstep corporate hierarchy in calling out people? Have no shame in belittling people? What about sexual advances in the work place? If you even thought about any three of these (and there are many more) than you are the office A-hole, quite possibly the king office A-hole. I hope no one ever sets out to be this person, but it happens, often. What can be done? I always like to think we can arrange a conference in an arena for all these A-holes. There’s a big net involved…
This is the most despicable, the person that has no compassion or respect for society, never mind his associates. This A-hole is the reason people are called A-holes – they are most visible and no one knows how they get away with it (although most end up dealing with their consequences).