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Wednesday, 26 March 2014

Navigating the World of Red Flag Colleagues

Last week, I was commissioned by two upper level consultants to work on a report that required a lot of back and forth consultation while the associate above me was on leave. So I did my part, submitted it to them and waited for the next instruction.

Fast forward to Monday when both consultants were on leave, the client suddenly called the next person in charge and wanted it by the end of the day. The immediate associate above me started freaking out, with tantrums of course because she is now responsible for providing the client with the finished version in which she has no absolute clue. 

Due to the fact that I wasn't given any further instructions on what to do next, I had no fucking idea on how to proceed with handling a report that needed consolidated information, figures and approval from the two consultants who were not in the office.

However, as a responsible and initiative-driven person, I stayed back and single-handedly worked on it continuously until a version we "believe" is final was produced. The associate thanked me profusely for being such a trooper and I felt appreciated. I became that bottom level guy who had to finish the job of an associate.

To be honest, I never liked her from the start because of the amount of boisterous superficiality she tends to exude and the many betrayals she committed behind my back. But that night for some reason, my heart softened at the thought that there might be some form of genuineness in her and I shouldn't give into my defensive instincts.

Then guess what? Just when I thought things were going to be different this time, everything was forgotten and she did not mention any credit on my part the next day when answering to the consultant.

I was furiously annoyed! But then again, I can only blame myself for being so naive with people again and again. I couldn't believe that at the fear of not wanting to become the difficult version of myself that might get nasty, I disregarded my instincts and all the dishonourable red flags about this person that were knocking on my door. 

Then I thought: "Okay M, time for a refresher's course in learning how to be smart! It's life's way of trying to tell you that you are every bit the greater good and respectable individual you know yourself to be, but you also need to get used to being extremely firm and controversial at the same time with people in order to have boundaries, and also to implement the things you feel is right."

As someone in his mid-twenties who is just starting out, I understand that stories like these in a world of jobs and survival of the fittest are not abnormal. There are worse case scenarios and work personalities out there, but I just needed a post today to vent my frustration.


  1. The post remember me when I was a mother often told me that "a essere troppo buoni si finisce per essere coglioni"...but I don't know how to translate it in english XD
    The concept is that people who are too much good are often submitted by evil people and, if you are kind, you need to be carefoul ;)

    1. Hey Steve, yes I kinda get what you mean. But I'd like to think that no matter how kind someone is, there is always a limit. In my case at least. Hahaha.

  2. I'd be a little direct with her and say that I'm trying to further my career and tossing my name out on high impact projects would help. That way, you're asking her to be an ally and to stop some of the office dysfunction, making it tangible and not just philosophical. But still, wouldn't blame ya if you're a little cautious...

    1. Hi Bruce, I've decided to ignore and just do my part. It's really not worth it when you know somebody doesn't have your best interest at heart. But I have a feeling I might just tell her off one day.

  3. My hubby had a boss who continually stole his ideas. He got fed up and one time copied everyone but her. Then sent a report to her alone. She didn't realize and of course forwarded it as her own. She never did it again.