Ever since, I’ve been hooked on James Spader’s character, Raymond “Red” Reddington. Without spoiling anything for the uninitiated, Red is a fixture on the FBI’s Ten Most Wanted List, a supremely enterprising international underworld mercenary, and a brilliant mind who surrenders himself to the FBI for reasons that still are unknown to viewers. All we do know is that Red has agreed to help the FBI apprehend a number of vile criminals, gangsters, thugs, and scrubbed-up lowlifes (many of whom the FBI had no reason to suspect of any criminal involvement). He feeds these names to a special FBI task force one at a time, and each episode’s title is named for the latest name Red pulls from his mental (wait for it…) “Blacklist.”
Hopefully all you personnel pros out there aren’t dealing with international criminals, thieves, killers, and gangsters, but you certainly have typecast employees whom we all can’t help thinking we’d do better without. I’ve described a few possible candidates below. I’d welcome any other types of employees you may want to add to the HR Blacklist in the comments.
- The Dime Store Lawyer: This individual has read the employee handbook cover-to-cover and really likes the Internet. He’s also the guy who shows up in his doctor’s office and the first words out of his mouth are, “So I was reading the CDC’s website and ….” This employee will bring his dog-eared copy of the canonical handbook to HR and haggle over the intricacies of your leave policies and vacation accrual records. He likes to share his scholarship with other employees and encourages them to take his advice to the bank.
- The Line Dancer: This employee is well practiced in the ways of making herself a pain in the neck, but knows exactly where “the line” is and deviously refuses to cross it. If your disciplinary write-ups roll off her record after a certain period of time, she will mark off the days until she thinks her record is clear enough to spark another round of low-level mischief.
- The Advocate: For some reason, this employee never complains for himself although he clearly has a bone to pick over something. Instead, he busies himself with spotting perceived injustices and slights visited upon other employees and rushing to their aid (even though they may be perfectly happy). He’s always indignant that you don’t do things the way they did them at his last company (which fired him, by the way).
- The Consumer: This employee has never bought a stack of sticky notes, paper, pens, highlighters, paper clips, or single cans of soft drinks in her life. Oddly enough, though, her desk is stuffed to the gills and her home looks like an office supply warehouse. Really, who can blame her? Most American home offices these days have really, really impressive staplers–the temptation is too much.