I am an average employee

Are you a great employee?

I’m not, I’m totally average.

On twitter I found this pic shared by someone, showing the purported different characteristics of Average and Great employees….

And I clicked and looked at that pic, [you too, click on the link] and thought I’m not having that!

So I doctored it….


I doctored it because i think it is wrong.  Might not be totally wrong, but it is wrong enough that my version is righter.

The original comes from an assumption that people have fixed characteristics. That an employee IS good or bad or indifferent. That they ARE a bag of characteristics that walk in the door, and these characteristics are theirs and theirs alone. This is based on an assumption that most behaviour is what the employee brings to the workplace.

Wrong way round!
It is what the workplace brings to the employee.

On pinterest where this is saved there are a whole load of others akin to it, in their specific wrongness. Here’s an appalling one….


The creep described above sounds appaling!  A massive teacher’s pet.

I think they are appalling because they broadly don’t exist except in the mind of the equally appalling command and control organisation that wants people to be keen, work by themselves and with others in a heartbeat, “embrace change“, challenge-but-in-the-right-way-ie-not-challenge-at-all-really.
Basically be a complete simpleton’s idea of how people act when you give them money for 40 hours of their time.

People don’t act like this. Instead, they act in a variety of different ways, according to their background, upbringing, specific moment in their life, all sorts. But the one thing they DO predictably act like is according to their environment, the workplace.
Want to know if somebody will electrocute someone just cos they’ve been asked to by a man in a white coat? Then don’t look to see if that person has sociopathic tendencies. No need! We’ve done the experiments, got the proof, turns out most people will. No monsters needed, just average people in a specific environment that encourages electrocution of strangers.

So that is why I say I am an average employee. Give me good work to do, and I will do good work. Give me rubbish work to do, and I will do rubbish work. Because I am average, just like you.

This entry was posted in all wrong, command and control, psychology, systems thinking and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

16 Responses to I am an average employee

  1. 2 hole jacket required says:

    daily team building activities
    daily team building
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  2. Brilliant stuff. No way to say it simpler, better & shorter. 😉 Would love to read your take on ’employee/employer branding’.


  3. jaqueslecont says:

    Come on. Admit it. You love a Linkedin conversation don’t you. The ones that start off with misinterpreted Richard Branson quotes?

    I love to have discussions about averages at work. My favorite thing is to point out is that half of the room is below average and has one testicle.


  4. I agree that the characteristics of the bad employee are a bit rigid but lest face it, we all know employees that have some of those bad characteristics.

    And we all know some employees that have the attributes of good employees.

    When I was at work I was a maverick but also totally committed to my job much more than the employee who just does the minimum amount of work. And also because I was a maverick I was pretty good (had to be!) good at office politics.

    I don’t know what the fuss is all about. Some employees are better than others and the ones that are dragging down the company should be removed if possible.

    Above I’m using the non PC terms “bad” and “good” to replace the PC terms “average” and great


    • Capt crunch says:

      Were you a maverick because You Are A Maverick or just because of circumstance?


      • I wasn’t a maverick for the sake of being a maverick if that’s what you mean.

        So yes in a way you could say it was because of circumstance. However that did not mean I was a maverick all the time. Some times I played the “statesman” role if I thought it was appropriate, other times all out war and so on. It was a question of finding out what was the most appropriate approach.

        It definitely helps to be a maverick when working on projects although care needs to be taken not to piss off the financial stakeholders 🙂


    • ThinkPurpose says:

      i KNOW! whats all the fuss about eh? Fuss and nonsense.


  5. Brilliant post. So spot on. Please doctor more things. Be a full-time doctorer. The corporate world needs average people like you.


  6. Pingback: Five Blogs – 2 November 2016 – 5blogs

  7. ThinkPurpose says:

    a full time doctorer doctoring things from one thing to another
    sounds like my full time job of performance reporting

    Liked by 2 people

  8. Lt says:

    This is great, it wasn’t what I was searching for, but I like it.
    Not everyone wants to climb to the very top. I just want to do a good job, make things better and get paid more. I hate job ads that desire high achievers, first tier colleges etc.


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