The Worst Labels You Can Earn At The Workplace

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Your reputation precedes you. In the age of the world wide web and Twitter, people you’ve never met will probably know you in some form or fashion. Pray to your god that it’s not one of the following terms, because if it is, you probably need to re-evaluate things.


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This one hurts. The “tool” reputation is nearly impossible to kick once you have that stigma. It’s sad because at one time or another, we’ve all been a tool, or at least exhibited tool-like behavior. A tool is often a friend of a friend who gets the invite to brunch and just totally throws off the entire vibe. It may not be his fault entirely, as many tools are just victims of circumstance. Maybe that group of guys he tried to hang out with was just a bad fit. Whatever. The tool wants to fit in very badly, and will sacrifice all dignity in order to do so.

Definition: A person, typically male, who says or does things that cause you to give them a ‘what-are-you-even-doing-here’ look.

In A Sentence: “Mike in the Houston office? Guy’s a huge tool.”

Variations: Hammer, Tool Shed, “Belongs on a tool belt”


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Nobody takes you seriously. You probably had a monumental failure that cost your company a substantial sum of money, and everyone knows it was your fault. This is also a tough one to shake, but you can rebound from the “Joke” moniker by arriving early, staying late, or just dominating Q3. Your coworkers are probably nice to you, but deep down, they don’t trust you with any responsibility.

In A Sentence: “Is he the one that crapped his pants in the Benson meeting? What a joke.”

Variations: Mayor of Clown Town


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You did something very sketchy at a happy hour, and now you have the creep stigma. Or, maybe you just missed a few lunch meetings and forced someone to cover for you. People think you’re a sociopath and wonder if you’re secretly funneling trade secrets to a competitor. If you have this rep, have fun taking days off, because all of your coworkers will just assume that you’re interviewing at a rival company, or coming down off of a DMT trip.

Definition: Someone that appears to have no moral judgment, self-respect, or general hygiene to the point where he/she is a total laughingstock that must be avoided.

In A Sentence: “He was the one that kept disappearing into the bathroom, right? Total sketchball.”

Variations: Creeper, Sketchy McSketcherson


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Beep beep – – Here comes the shit-mobile, and you’re driving. You’re known for being absolutely worthless on Monday morning, and somehow even worse on Friday. You’re balls deep in that college lifestyle still as evidenced by your steadfast refusal to turn down an invite to college night at the local bar you’re too old to be at. Even if you’re a decent worker, everyone knows you have little chance at ever being promoted because you constantly tell stories that end in you waking up in a Super 8 parking lot. Your coworkers live vicariously through you, but you’re more entertaining than you are professional.

In A Sentence: “Bill showed up late again. He looked like shit. What a disaster.”

Variations: Train Wreck, Shit Show


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This is one of the more frequent insults getting tossed around these days, as we are in the golden age of the American Douche. If you’re a douche, you probably know it. A true douche has embraced his douchiness, and it doesn’t matter that he lost a client for being a douche, because you can’t tell the douche nothin’. If you say “Livin’ the dream,” and you aren’t doing so in a tongue-in-cheek fashion, then you may very well be a douche. If you are a douche, then own it, because being a douche is a lifestyle.

Definition: a word to describe an individual who has shown to be very brainless in one way or another, thus comparing them to the cleansing product for vaginas.

In A Sentence: “I heard Jason rented a Ferrari for the Christmas party. What a douche.”

Variations: Douche Bag, ‘Bag


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Don’t be a try-hard. You may think “trying hard” is a good thing, but that’s not what I’m referring to. Effort is a good, but being so obvious with your effort is not. People cannot stand a try-hard, and it’s not hard to understand why. The try-hard will steal your thunder, and may even throw someone under the bus if it’s advantageous. The try-hard will frequently “Cc” a superior on a basic email just so that that manager will know they’re doing something productive. If this is your reputation, you will never be close with any coworkers because they just don’t trust you.

Definition: A person who puts a large amount of effort into achieving a certain image, or counter-image, to the point where it is obviously contrived.

In A Sentence: “You see Blake sent out an email at 11 p.m.? Fucking try-hard.”

Variations: Brown Noser

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