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Todd Parker Todd Parker
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Dear Todd Parker,

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I've been working at the same job for a few years now. I spend long hours at work, trying to do the best that I can. I like to think that more often than not, I do just that. I know for a fact that I'm a huge asset to the company.

Here's my problem. There's this other guy (we'll call him 'Rick') who just started with us a little less than a year ago. He's everything I'm not. He's rude to customers and extremely lazy; I'm always rebuilding bridges that he's burned and cleaning up his messes. Unfortunately, I'm good at that too. So good, in fact, that my boss has begun praising this other guy's 'work ethic' around the office, telling us that we should be more like 'Rick.' There's even talk of 'Rick' receiving a promotion a promotion I've been trying to get for a couple of years now.

I want everybody (especially my boss) to know what a waste of space 'Rick' really is, but I don't want to sound like I'm jealous or anything. What should I do?

Outraged in Old Town

Dear Outraged,

Sounds to me like you've brought a lot of this crap on yourself. It's great that you love your job and that you want things to go well for your company, but seriously? You've allowed this guy to take complete advantage of you, and now he's riding the work that you did to the top of the corporate ladder. Is that fair? Nope, but neither is life.

Here's the thing: the world is full of Ricks. There are Ricks everywhere you turn, people who are perfectly content to coast along without making any real effort. These cubicle parasites are basically human remoras, latching on to more effective office dwellers and riding them to success.

Man, don't be Rick's shark (or whale or turtle or dugong or whatever). Time to pry that sucker off your TCB torso, my friend.

If it were me, I'd just kick in the door of the boss's office and tell him the whole story. Tell him what a complete slackass this Rick guy is; if your boss is anything other than a complete moron, he'll realize what's been going on. If that's too confrontational for you, then you need to wage a silent battle against Rick. Stop picking up after him, but don't tell him. Put his name on shoddy work. Hell, tell people outrageous lies about him if you're feeling particularly creative.

Basically, make his life miserable simply by forcing him to do what he should have been doing all along. Once he has to start taking care of his own business, people will start to see that maybe Rick isn't all that great.

Or you could do nothing at all and let him win. If you choose that path, wellhave fun watching Rick steal your promotion. I'm sure he'll enjoy it.

You're better than this, Outraged. Stand up for yourself and show the world that you will not be Ricked over.


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