Fables about workplace behavior: focus on your job instead of mine
June 15, 2016 7:05 AM   Subscribe

Please share your published stories/fables/whatever that communicate this simple idea: focus on your job instead of mine. I'd especially like something geared toward children.

I have a co-worker/team member that is a royal PITA. He regularly sticks his nose into other team's activities, chiming in as an expert. He does the same for members of our team as well (including me). It's a bit of a running joke in the office: here comes that know-it-all that really knows nothing. It's been a source of frustration for me and many others at work, but I can handle it (especially frustrating because our boss is hands-off despite complaints). His own work suffers as a result, because he's not focused on it. He burns bridges because he talks down to other peers.

Please share your published stories/fables/whatever that communicate this simple idea: focus on your job instead of mine. I'd especially like something geared toward children.

Before you ask: no this isn't some revenge plot of mine. I'm just looking for a simpler way to communicate this issue to other people in my life, rather than delve into details that drive me insane.

posted by teabag to Work & Money (8 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite

If you're familiar with Harry Potter, Cormac McLaggen is this guy to a T:
Although he was skilled, McLaggen was also bossy and repeatedly tried to advise Harry on game strategy and insulted the other players' abilities. The match was a no-holds-barred disaster, as McLaggen spent more time trying to tell the rest of the team how to play rather than watching the rings, resulting in several goals for the opponent. This culminated in him wrestling a Beater's bat away from Jimmy Peakes and attempting to show him how to hit a Bludger, only to knock Harry off his broomstick and crack his skull.

The fiasco was possibly Gryffindor's worst and most embarrassing loss ever (a final score of 320-60).
posted by Metroid Baby at 7:50 AM on June 15, 2016 [2 favorites]

Not quite what you're asking for, but sends the same end message: Shel Silberstein's Helping
posted by Mchelly at 8:29 AM on June 15, 2016 [1 favorite]

MeFi favorite askamanager has addressed this at least a few times, I think as recently as last week.
posted by rhizome at 11:17 AM on June 15, 2016

The Tao of Pooh has a chapter called "Cottleston Pie" that explains the Taoist principle that everything has its own place and function, that to know where something belongs means knowing where it doesn't belong, etc.

(FYI, the name "Cottleston Pie" comes from a poem of a the same name spoken by Winnie the Pooh in the Milne book Now We Are Six.)

The only other idea that occurred to me was that the Inca Civilization assigned everybody a job, and executed those who tried to do another job.

Pooh is more light hearted
posted by BadgerDoctor at 12:23 PM on June 15, 2016

Sorry rhizome, was not aware of this blog but I will look. The most recent two pages of posts don't seem to address it.

The blog seems to be more about office-place advice. I'm not really looking for a way to cope with the issue.

I'm looking for ways to explain this as "shitty" behavior via a story or anecdote. Something that can quickly convey the idea in an entertaining way. The Tao of Pooh looks interesting. The Harry Potter example is excellent.

Thanks everyone thus far!
posted by teabag at 12:58 PM on June 15, 2016 [1 favorite]

In 12 steps the saying is "keep your side of the street clean". Simple and direct
posted by SyraCarol at 2:05 PM on June 15, 2016

Ah yes, my mistake.
posted by rhizome at 9:04 PM on June 15, 2016

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