Don’t be a 🍆: The Importance of not Being a 💩 at Work

Posted by Rob 07/03/19

If you’ve clicked on this article, chances are quite high that you are NOT a d!@k. Chances are even higher than you’ve come here because you’ve either witnessed or fallen victim to some epicly poor behaviour. Let’s face it, our industry is a smouldering cauldron of ego and narcissism, so chances are EVEN higher, the ones we’re talking about won’t bother reading past the headline. And, if you don’t know who the trouble maker is in your agency or office, it’s probably a dead certainty… it’s you.

Before I commence, allow me to state clearly that I have worked with some awful agency assmasters and it’s only since working with BlueMelon design that I’ve managed to find a workplace free of this type of persona. And if that wasn’t sincere enough, allow me to reiterate this sentiment at the end of the article.

So, why is it so important to be a legend in the work-related arena and not a bitter and resentful Master John Goodfellow?

Seems simple enough doesn’t it? Don’t be a douche. Don’t act like you own the place or the people. Don’t make your teammates wish they’d taken 364 concurrent doona days.

And yet, here I am. Pointing out, what should be, basics.

I have been witness to my fair share of terrible management. Creative Directors that need to be seen and heard at any cost. On the plus side, these characters have equipped me with a heightened value of my personal brand. Being the most recalcitrant person in the room isn’t inspiring for those around you, it just makes me want to hide in the stationary cupboard until you’ve buggered off for a three-hour lunch.

When I first began tapping away on my word piano, I set out to make sure this article wasn’t just a rambling, shambling rant about difficult co-workers. It needed to be something more. It needed to ask, “Why shouldn’t you be a giant #discostick?” Long-Neck Stalks, like their animal kingdom counterparts, are proud beasts. They, more often than not, though bullish means, get what they want and progress faster with little regard for those caught in their wake. Why? How? However, to quote my friend and colleague, “Behind every Dick Whittington is a human being.” This really resonated with me and helped me partly answer my question.

There may well be an underlying reason for such repugnant behaviour. Maybe there’s a deeper, underlying psychological reason that I’m missing or not aware of. It’s not a justification, but it does provide context. Furthermore, I’m confident that if the same characteristics were, for example, displayed to a wife or a family member, they would be shocked, appalled, offended and all manner of adjectives. The Bible may be full of antiquated incongruous ramblings, but to quote Luke 6:31, “Do to others as you would have them do to you” feels like it’s such an easy piece of guidance to activate. However, with frightening frequency in agencies, many people forget that the way you treat others can have a lasting effect. And I mean, long-lasting. Similarly, if you are a self-confessed Richard, don’t get your nose bent out of shape if someone is a prize Johnathon to you. What goes around, comes around.

Thankfully, there is hope! I’ve seen even some of the most arduous creative types do a three sixty on their behaviour during my tenure in the industry. Now, this change has come when their jobs have been threatened and the magnitude of their detrimental behaviour has caused major agency shockwaves. A workplace like BMD, somewhere I’m fortuitous enough to call my home away from home, is an incubator for positive people, attitudes and allowing the whole team a chance to flourish creatively. Ego is left at the door and that leaves the team with the perfect opportunity to collaborate and challenge each other without fear of a scathing social media attack. And our clients love it too.

So, the question is… How do you deal with the PEN15 in your workplace?