Friday, January 28, 2011

Mother Hen Syndrome

I recently discovered this new syndrome that affect some employees.  They are usually ones who are fairly inexperienced or inadequate in their role and salary band, i.e. the ones who got a bit too far in the deep end of the pool.  The ones with a lot of insecurity about their ability to perform the task at hand, but refuses to show any signs of weakness or ask for help.

One of my old coworker may call this individual Schmitty (though the Urban dictionary has a funny definition of the term), but I coin these individuals fondly as Mother Hen (another great definition), or "MH".

Mother Hens like to attempt to be in control and be involved with everything that goes around the office for fear that their incompetence may be "found out".  Because Mother Hens try to interject and involve themselves in everything, even in areas where they have no expertise in, many times their direct involvement creates inefficiencies that makes everyone else have to work harder.

Mother Hens also love to take credit for things that they did not do.  These individuals are usually very politically savvy to management but everyone who has had to work with them directly (either as a peer or subordinate) sees through their BS immediately.  This is mainly because their peers or subordinates are usually the ones who are thrown under the bus by the Mother Hen when things go bad, and credit taken from them when things turn out well.  If you look up "office politics" in the dictionary, you're likely to find their name mentioned as the cause.

Mother Hens also hate it when someone else comes up with a good idea that they have not thought of first, and will work hard to either discredit that individual or assimilate that idea as their own. Mother Hens operates mainly from a toolbox of selfishness, fear, and emotions, and rarely consider the good of the company as a factor in their decision making.

Just look around your office now, I'm sure you can pick one or two individuals immediately that deserve the MH honor.

I raise my pint of beer to you, Mother Hens of the world.  Without you, work would be too easy.

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