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Akwadorable slacker.

That is a word I would never have dreamed up on my own. It’s a combination of awkward and adorable matched with slacker to describe what the entertainment industry develops about characters in movies who have an amazing penchant for laziness and slothfulness.

I have never watched any of those movies or television shows, so I can only wonder why they are entertaining. I do, however, know people who have that character trait and am certain they are not interesting, entertaining, or humorous. But, since the movies and TV shows are popular, I can only assume I never actually knew an “akwadorable slacker.”

In most life situations, having a slacker as a co-worker or a teammate is a serious problem. Being around someone you need to constantly help, that only gives less than 100% effort, and is routinely absent, both physically and mentally, is demanding at best.

My personal rules of engagement with a slacker at work are fairly ridged and I have narrowed it down to four.

  1. If it is a one-time effort, such as on a volunteer team, or special assignment, then I ignore the slacker and encourage the team to pick up a little extra load and finish the job. The slacker is permanently written off, and I will never be on a team or assignment with the slacker again. Although I will not publicly denounce the slacker, I will make known why I will not work with them. Burn me once, shame on you; burn me twice, shame on me.
  2. In a longer-term engagement, either at work or in sports where we need to cooperate for a season, straight forward honesty is the best approach. With no uncertainty, the slacker needs to know they are not fulfilling their responsibilities. I will for a short time period help them and encourage them. But they have responsibilities to maintain, and failing those responsibilities cannot affect the performance of the entire team.
  3. After attempts to work with, train, and encourage a slacker have failed, it is time to go to the supervisor or coach. This is not a tattletale session. You need facts, examples, and observations. Helpful suggestions would be beneficial. Many supervisors will dread this encounter, so be prepared; the last thing they want is to intervene in a finger pointing match between two subordinates. This conversation is all about the team’s performance (which is ultimately the supervisor’s responsibility) and how the continued poor performance by the slacker will ultimately reflect on the supervisor.
  4. If the supervisor has no interest in dealing with the slacker, find a new team or company to work for.

Action 4 seems harsh. Proverbs 10:26 says.

Like vinegar to the teeth and smoke to the eyes,

So is the lazy one to those who send him.

The slacker is a reflection on those around him or her. Putting up with that type of work ethic and lax attitude becomes the reputation of the entire team. If the supervisor is not concerned enough to take action, this team and this company does not deserve your effort.

In the same chapter of Proverbs (10:4), it says.

Hopefully, you are heading a different direction in life from that of the sluggard. Being associated with them will only have a negative impact on your career, life, and serenity, even if you are akwadorable.