Work Daze: Hello, I Hate You.

By Bob Goldman

Has this ever happened to you?

Your company makes a passel of new hires, some of whom are earmarked for your department. Because you have no say in the hiring process, you have no idea who has been hired or what they have been hired to do.

The question is — what do you do when the newbies arrive?

  1. Welcome them warmly. They’re human beings and they will appreciate your kindness.
  2. Be friendly, but cautious. Wait until you really get to know your new co-workers before opening your arms in welcome.
  3. Hate them immediately, and never stop hating them until you have driven away every last one.

Of course, the answer is No. 3. Nothing good can possibly come from having a bunch of shiny new people with new ideas and new energy interrupting the slow slog of slothfulness that has kept you employed for so many years.

This brings is to “5 Ways to Handle an Influx of New People at Your Company,” a recent Jane Burnett post on Ladders website.

Burnett does not understand the threat that new people offer. In fact, she seems to believe that you will benefit from their presence and will want to make their first days really happy and productive. No way! What you want is to make their first days their last days, as soon as possible.

The first of the five welcoming ways is to get to know them.

“Feel free to introduce yourself,” Burnett writes, “and tell them what team you’re part of when you meet them face-to-face for the first time.”

You certainly can do that, but don’t forget the real goal of your first meeting — to judge which of the newbies has been hired to do what you were hired to do. You’ll need to know if your company’s personnel practices are still as slack as when you were hired, or if these new people were specifically selected to replace you with someone who will actually do some work.

That’s a person you have to hate, and you have to destroy.

“Try not to feel too left out,” is the second piece of advice. In the author’s fairytale mindset, “you can probably learn a lot from at least one new employee on your team, if not more than one”

They might also come to work every day with baked cupcakes with funfetti on the icing, and leave you millions in bitcoins in their wills. Not likely. They’ve arrived to make your job even worse than it is now, and you have to let them know, right at the jump, that you have absolutely no intention of learning anything from anyone anytime soon.

“I’ve gotten this far without knowing anything,” you tell them if they try to make nice. “And I’m not going to start now.”

Strategy No. 3 is to “accept that the office will change.”

“New people will bring new energy into your workspace,” Burnett writes. “They may also bring in fresh perspectives and new ideas.”

No, thanks! The last thing you want is for someone to take a fresh look at what you are — and are not — doing. Explain to the newbies that the last time the company had a new idea was in 1887, when management decided to switch from goose-quill pens to sharpened Popsicle sticks. It didn’t work out, and there’s never been a new idea since.

“Be open to their questions” is welcoming way No. 4. The article suggests that “whether they need someone to quickly show them the ropes, or have questions about the kind of work you do, be receptive to their questions and concerns.”

Absolutely! And remember — you’re not under oath.

So, let them know that the boss likes to be called “Fatty Chrome Dome,” and that the HR department was recently moved to a nearby Taco Bell. By the time they figure out the truth, they’ll either have been fired by Fatty Chrome Dome, or done themselves in eating Beefy Fritos burritos.

The final piece of advice for dealing with new hires is to “introduce them to key people.” Why? So they can run to management and complain about you? They’ve already met you; who else do they need to know?

Most important of all — think positive. With proper misdirection, and a little friendly sabotage, at least a few of the new hires will turn out to be even worse employees than you are.

In comparison to them, you’ll truly shine.

Bob Goldman was an advertising executive at a Fortune 500 company, but he finally wised up and opened Bob Goldman Financial Planning in Sausalito, California. He now works out of Bellingham, Washington. He offers a virtual shoulder to cry on at bob@bgplanning.com.