Thursday, March 18, 2010

The Balldroppers

Ok, sure, everyone makes mistakes. That’s an inherent part of being human. We’re prone to failures, slip ups, missteps, gaffs, poor decisions and the like. But, the hope is that we learn from our mistakes and go forward as wiser creatures in the world because of them and that does hold true for many of us. However, there is a distinct segment of the population teeming with serial mistake makers who seem to neither gain knowledge from their errant ways nor make any conscious effort to avoid them in the future.

While we are constantly juggling like crazed circus performers, they can't seem to keep even one ball in the air. So, we’ll call them the Balldroppers.

They can wreak havoc in a professional setting, leaving a trail of missed deadlines, fouled up assignments and wild eyed co-workers panicking to pick up the pieces. Balldroppers can be counted on to screw up the simplest request, will order lunch for two instead of ten and have it delivered at 1PM instead of Noon. They can annihilate a project before it ever gets off the ground despite their apparent excitement at being chosen to assist. They always seem to have the best intentions that eventually tank, sometimes slowly, sometimes all in one fell, messed up swoop.

The best Balldroppers are the ones who tug at our heartstrings, the ones who, despite every possible effort, just can’t seem to get it right. They nudge at your sympathies and draw you into their chaotic world as you attempt to lend assistance in righting their sinking ship. Of course, do this and it will be you who ends up on the phone at 2AM tracking down FedEx packages accidentally labeled Michigan instead of Minnesota.

Beyond the actual work related melee caused, Balldroppers can and will weigh heavily on the nerves, especially when they ask you to cover for them while they go grab a quick bite and then come sauntering back in three hours later. Or, when they RSVP to your swanky afterhours girls get-together and then no show. And you can forget about divvying up the ingredients list for that ice cream social! Balldroppers will either forget whipped cream altogether or drag in with some obscure brand and not have the sense to get the fat free.

These people must be avoided at any cost. They have the intrinsic ability to zap every ounce of one’s enthusiasm and creativity and will to live. They will spark numerous bathroom whispering sessions and planning meeting eye rolling. You will start to hear the voice of Charlie Brown’s teacher whenever they open their mouths.

Yet, for all their failings, Balldroppers sometimes have amazing longevity and can occupy that middle cubicle for years before any higher-up gets wind. So, it’s up to you to keep your wits about you and to not completely lose it before the day they bring your lactose intolerant boss a grilled cheese sandwich. And believe me, it will happen!


Freck said...

You're totally right. Balldroppers sincerely suck everyone's morale straight out of them. They.Must.Be.Avoided.

Shayna said...

Absolutely true... Of course, the wrost part is, these Balldroppers have been long recognized, but odds are you have to find out for yourself the hard way before a colleague clues you in to the fact that they already were aware... watch the Rock Stars - the ones moving up in the company or division when you start, and if they steer away from someone, be wary... it could be something else, but I'd bet you a forgotten fax that they're a Balldropper.

Amy said...

So so sadly true. The worst are the ones that you genuinely like as people, but can't stand to work with bc they so badly screw everything up. I'm struggling to tactfully handle that kind of situation right now..

Ellen said...

This is hilarious, so true. It's people like THIS that make me incredibly bitter about my current unemployed status. I mean, REALLY?!

Legyviel said...

This is so horribly true. The worst part is that the balldropers never realize that it's them who screw it up.

bittersweetm said...

So funny. So true. I'm dealing with this at work now, and I have no idea what to do. I've tried little hints, but she just walls up. She asks the stupid questions, embarrasses us in front of clients, makes negative comments about coworkers to clients, and is letting every task slip through the cracks. What's worse? She's a really nice person. But no matter how great of a person he/she is... stay away. Balldroppers cause too much stress.

~Elizabeth aka Lacquered Lizard said...

Sometimes, a great employee can become a balldropper due to the insanity surrounding them in the work place or simple boredom. Rather than move on, they stick around and milk the job for what they can.
Most managers just don't understand that the best thing they can do for the balldropper and for the company is to show them the door. The company excels and the balldropper finds a new space to get back into their groove...for a while.

miss_kay said...

"Balldroppers" I got a few of those to deal with.

The worse is when I send out an email "detailing" instructions yet somehow they can't manage to get it right. And they come back saying "But I didn't know, you never told me that", it's like hello read your email, the most important parts are HIGHLIGHTED in neon yellow to help you out!!! lol

Tullulah said...

I hate balldroppers lol

Can we just lock them all in a room together???

Luv Tullulah


Anonymous said...

For those on the ball, Balldroppers get in the way of us working girls and cause conflict and make our work harder for us - then come to us to clean up their mess. Sometimes the boss thinks we are not working hard enough for them because when someone drops the ball it is not always apparent who made the mess and it is not always a good idea to blame or try and explain that the ball dropping was a co-workers fault. Then you will have conflict with them and it escalates into a bad working environment as well as makes every thing suck harder. Everyone makes mistakes, but when it is a pattern it's time to think long and hard and look at it and say, this girl is not working out. I'm new here and like the other posts but I'll be anonymous today and sign up later.