Dealing with incompetent people- and why you should like them

“I asked him for that excel file 3 hours ago…what is taking her so long?! “

“I cannot believe how long he’s taking, he’s always so slow, what a ____” (insert your favourite insulting word here, mine is “fishcake”)!!  

(It’s not really fishcake, however should my identity ever be found out I do not want a record of the words I really use…)  

Admittedly, I have had unwholesome thoughts like these about various colleagues. I’ve had the pleasure of working with some people who are quite happy to chat with co-workers for 25 minutes while they ignore my document request, (and in turn, my boss gives me heat) – thanks Bob!

Work has been sent to me with errors by Amy, thankfully I double checked it before passing it up the hierarchy , yet Amy is a complete fishcake as I have to double check all her work from now..

But we have to realise – what are the benefits to these unwholesome thoughts? For sure, it makes us feel better in the moment– it’s a vent of frustration. Sadly it probably makes us feel better and superior than the other person and the ego gets bigger. But at the end of the day, all it does is pollute our mind.

When somebody irritates you, you must know it is your own opinion which has irritated you.

That individual chatting with their co-worker for 25 minutes? Could potentially be talking about how they found out their dad has cancer…

Work sent to me with errors?  No one is perfect, good thing it was picked up! The person sending it could have had 10 other tasks to do – and you just bombarded them last minute with an extra task! The majority of it was correct thankfully.

Okay lets say Bob’s dad didn’t have cancer, and you gave Amy that task to do because she wasn’t doing anything apart from reading dailymail. At the end of the day, unwholesome thoughts, cursing them does nothing – Bob still didn’t send you your stuff, and Amy didn’t send correct work – all you’re doing is continually aggravating yourself.

The solution? If you really needed the work from Bob, just give him a gentle reminder –and explain how important it is and how you really need their help!  Amy? Praise her for her great work and thank her for getting it to you, but notice the error and hopefully she won’t make it again the next time you ask!

Perhaps you have a colleague called Harry, who is incompetent and slow. We all think we work quickly and competently, however most likely, not everyone in the office agrees. If we do good work quickly, we should be grateful for our skills! (and if there is a restructuring, Harry is most likely to go if you’re outperforming by that much so be grateful he’s there..!)

But seriously, so what if Bob didn’t send it immediately, and Amy’s work isn’t great. There must have all been a time when you didn’t send something immediately, were slow and made an error, etc etc . give them the benefit of the doubt, move on and smile 🙂

This is also a great time to practice being mindful with how you react to circumstances outside your control , and also if you do find yourself reacting in a way which may not be beneficial to yourself, use it as an opportunity to practice and learn to let go.

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