Tuesday, June 28, 2005

DEALING WITH J.A.W.S. (Jerks at Work)

Photograph by Richy! via flickr

18375998_0b1749fea8
Can you guess which one of these waitresses is the Jerk at Work? I can't, but one thing I know for sure, at least one of these innocuous looking women makes life hell for her co-workers. Why? Once again, I'm not sure, but there's some kind of scientific principle in effect, as reliable as the laws of gravity, that says there has to be a Jerk at Work.

Category: Day to day survival

Oh my God, I was so excited when I found this article in The Economist (courtesy of Arts and Letters Daily. As a crazed poet and writer by day I've never read an economics rag in my life. And as a waitress by night, I'm too busy to scrapping for pennies to think about the bigger picture. ) But Jerks at Work, now that's a phenomenon I've been studying for years, mostly on an involuntary basis.

As soon as I read the article, I immediately invented an acronym for it: JAWS, and I think it's pretty damn apt, because Jerks at Work take a bite out of your ass on a daily basis. But please, don't hate them for it. They're just doing their job, and besides, they were probably just Born to be a Jerk. Really, there should be support groups. In fact, I think all those pharmaceutical companies who are bleeding us dry should get to work on a medication for this problem.

Just think of the profits involved! People wouldn't just buy the anti-jerk pill for themselves. Unsuspecting bosses would swallow it in morning coffee on a daily basis. Hell, this could be bigger than Tic Tacs. And after Peter Kramer wrote a book about the new wonder drug, there would be no limits to its uses.

The funny thing is that just this very morning, a co-worker and I were discussing the JAWS syndrome. And while we're not Harvard researchers or anything, I think our scientific insights were pretty profound. Call it the Waitress Theory of Relativity:

If we somehow managed to get rid of all the JAWS who are currently making us miserable, then someone whose never done a nasty thing in the past, would be required to turn Jerk. It has something to do with nature abhorring a vaccuum, or something like that. Thus it's better to hang onto our present Jerks, or at least a couple of them, because who knows? If they vanished, one of our most beloved friends--or even we ourselves must be forced into the role of designated Jerk.

But seriously, greater minds than ours are at work on the problem. From the aforementioned article in The Economist:

In a study of over 10,000 work relationships at five very different organisations, Tiziana Casciaro and Miguel Sousa Lobo, academics at Harvard Business School and the Fuqua School of Business respectively, found that (given the choice) people consistently and overwhelmingly prefer to work with a “lovable fool” than with a competent jerk.

Now that's what I call an interesting study. And I have to say that in most cases, I agree with the majority. I'll go with the lovable fool over the competent jerk any day. Or at least on most days. In fact, it pretty much depends on degrees. Exactly how foolish are we talking here? Jerks, too, definitely come in grades from 1-10. There are also situational Jerks--you know the type. Get them alone, and they're not all that bad. But put them with a couple of their Jerk cohorts, and they flare up like a roman candle. And then again, if EVERYONE in the workplace was a lovable fool, you might have a lot of fun, but nothing would ever get done. At that point, some previously inoffensive individual be required to step up and play the Jerk. See what I mean about the Waitress Theory? Those Harvard researcher dudes definitely need to have a chat with some of my friends...

6 comments:

rdl said...

Hey did the waitress get loose again?

Patry Francis said...

Yeah, definitely. Actually, I was planning to post this on the Waitress blog, but I had a guest blogger so stuck it over here.

Benjamin Franklin Gates said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Falconmyst said...

Sufring by..........

Bookmarking for later...

Anonymous said...

Wonderful and informative web site. I used information from that site its great. » » »

Anonymous said...

^^ nice blog!! ^@^

徵信,徵信,徵信,徵信,徵信,徵信社,徵信社,徵信社,徵信社,徵信社,