Saturday, September 13, 2003

Working with the Ambitious

Have you ever worked with a person that was nice to your face but undermined you behind your back? Of course you have. Have you ever worked with someone that absolutely insisted on doing things his/her way even if it meant extra work for everyone else? Well I have too.

At work I had the displeasure of working with a young lady like this recently. Behind my back, she would obliquely let others know that every problem was because old Alfalfa Bill just didn't quite have his wits about him. She never said anything to my face, but I overheard enough to know. She was young, ambitious, and just back from an internship back East. If she had to undermine others to rise to the top - so be it. And she was successful.

It was interesting to watch this young lady operate. One of the most interesting incidents was when she joined the project team late but insisted on redoing the databases we had started in one software program into different programs she was more familiar with. She didn't actually insist - she just did it - without asking anyone. The project never recovered because in the process of reloading the data into her favored program - much of the data was lost. She blamed it on the rest of us. And our supervisors believed her. She was attractive, articulate, very self assured, had connected parents, and determined. Our supervisors believed her.

When the project was over she was offered a better job. The rest of the team is still waiting.

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