Every day, we see people whose photos should hang in the Professional Hall of Shame. People who are simply awful at their jobs, and who somehow manage to get away with bad behavior. They never get fired, but they give their profession a bad name.
There are some stereotypical examples in pop culture. Remember Mrs. “H’Wiggins” from the old Carol Burnette Show? She used to sit at her desk doing nothing all day except file her nails.
And there’s the cliché’d used-car salesman we’ve all seen in movies and sitcoms. Greasy hair, polyester suit, and he’ll do anything to get his commission. Television teachers who yell at the class and look for any opportunity to torture their students. The boss whose only joy in life is cutting down her employees.
None of these stereotypes is 100 per cent real but there is some truth to them. In every profession, there are people who make us wonder, “How do you still have a job?”
When no one’s around to check up on us, we probably all do some things that would qualify us for the Hall of Shame. How many things on the list below are you guilty of?
- The Boss is Away Slacker. She’s not in the office this week, so why bother showing up for work on time (never mind early)? Miraculously, leaving work on time is incredibly easy when the boss is away. But do you think no one is noticing? If the hours you actually work aren’t reflective of the hours you’re paid to work (and 9 to 5 doesn’t mean 9:20 to 4:30), then your picture should be hanging in the Professional Hall of Shame.
- The “Working” from Home Faker. Most people would jump at the chance to work from home at least one day a week. How many of us know someone who “works” from home—yet they’re not working from home at all. They might be home, but they sure aren’t working. Into the Hall of Shame they go!
- The Medical Appointment Abuser. Isn’t it convenient how many people’s dental or medical appointments just have to be on Friday afternoons? Or at 11 a.m. on a Monday, so they can sleep in? Of course, not all appointments can be made during non-work hours, but if you are deliberately and consistently planning your medical appointments to extend your weekend, you belong in the Hall of Shame.
- The Friday Flu Catcher. I believe in mental health days, why do some people’s always fall on a Friday? Just about everyone needs a “free” vacation day once or twice a year, but if your company doesn’t have them, then you pretending to be sick on a beautiful Friday afternoon isn’t fooling anyone. Use one of your vacation days instead; arrange it with your supervisor ahead of time. But just calling in “sick” because you want an extended weekend isn’t professional. But it is a good way to end up in the HoS.
- The Personal Life at Work-er. It may be necessary for your kids to text you at work when they get home from school. It isn’t necessary to plan your wedding, balance your chequebook or do your online shopping when you’re supposed to be working. We all know people who do these kinds of thing regularly. It isn’t the odd exception that gets you into the Hall of Shame—it’s the regular use of work time for personal tasks that gets you in.
So, those are the first five “Professional Hall of Shame” awards. Did you win one?
It’s safe to say there are many more ways to get into the Professional Hall of Shame. I’ll follow up this list next year, with the 2017 Professional Hall of Shame Awards and even more examples of poor work behaviour.