Unbusinessy - title graphic 

Cartoon: jerk covers mouth of woman colleague to take credit for her idea. 

How to Be a Jerk at Work in Nine Steps

By Jeffrey Baumgartner

If you suspect that jerks tend to do better in business, you're right. If you happen to be a jerk, this is great news. Keep it up. On the other hand, If you suffer the misfortune of having been raised a polite, respectful and caring human being, you need either to accept that you are a loser or you need to learn to be a jerk. If you prefer the former option, I suggest you leave us now, loser.

If you are ready to become a jerk, at least during working hours, read on.

1. Be Overconfident

The thing with jerks is that they are way more confident in themselves than they should be. If your shoulders slump, un-slump them. Square them off. Hold your head high and look down your nose on others. Laugh disdainfully when people say things they believe to be meaningful. Walk with a swagger. Practice these superior behaviours until they come naturally to you.

When asked a question, answer with confidence even if you have no idea what the answer is. Tests have actually shown that being the first to answer a question confers expertise and leadership upon you, even if you are wrong. If you are the first in a group to answer a question, you impress people. So, do not worry about right or wrong. Just answer promptly and confidently.

2. Own Any Room You Occupy

Have you ever noticed how overconfident jerks have a way of walking into any room as if they own it? You need to do this too. Before you walk into a space, tell yourself that it is your space. It is your room. You own it and you can do whatever the fuck you please with it. If anyone else does not like it, such as the real owner of the room, he is a loser and he is taking up space in your room. Be sure to treat him like a loser and then watch him act like a little puppy trying to get praise from you. Amusing, isn't it?!

3. Be the Most Important Person in Any Situation

You must believe yourself to be the most important person in the room, team, group or organisation. You must believe this and act this way. Do not ask if anyone minds if you take the last cup of coffee. Only losers do that. You are more important than others in the office. The last cup of coffee belongs to you. Take it.  If a colleague is telling a story about her, interrupt her and make the story about you. If you are not first in line, push your way to first.

4. Interrupt and take Credit

A common complaint among women office workers is that when they speak out in meetings, they are often interrupted by their male colleagues who simply repeat the woman's suggestion and then take credit for her idea. Those guys are real jerks. You want to be like that.

When you are in a meeting and a colleague (of any sex)  proposes an idea, jump in as soon as you know what she is talking about and complete her suggestion. Bring up the suggestion again, later in the meeting, but refer to it as "my idea". If the person who proposed the idea complains, laugh dismissively as if she is a cute child wanting attention. And remember, women can be jerks too, so ladies, don't be afraid to interrupt the guys.

5. Never, Ever Apologise

Jerks never, ever apologise. That would be admitting a mistake. It would be conceding that someone else is right and you are wrong. It would be acknowledgement that another person or people are significant. You are never wrong and others are insignificant compared to you. So, no matter what you do, never apologise. It will only make you feel human. You do not want to feel human.

6. Never Acknowledge Incompetence on Your Part

Have you ever noticed how stupid people fail to acknowledge or even realise how stupid they are? This is called the Dunning Kreuger Effect. Basically, it states that people who know nothing about a subject often believe they are experts because they fail to understand the complexity of the subject and way overestimate their expertise in the subject.

Competent people, on the other hand, get that their subject is complicated and while they know a lot about their subject, they also know they have much to learn and, as a result, believe they are less competent and knowledgeable than they really are. This tends to make them humble, open minded and not jerks.

Incompetent people, who believe they know all about a subject because they read an obscure blog post on the topic, are often jerks. So, if you want to be a jerk, you must never acknowledge your incompetence. Instead, act confidently competent at everything, especially regarding subjects you know nothing about.

7. Deflect Blame

If you make a mistake, blame someone else. Anyone else. If someone accuses you of making a mistake, chastise them severely and point out that they are really to blame. If you miss a deadline, blame someone else who's involved in the project. If results are second rate, it is not your fault. It is someone else's. Anyone else's. Blame women, children, immigrants, the cat. It does not matter, just blame others for your mistakes. Always

8. It's All About You

Real jerks in business tend to be narcissists or psychopaths (or both) who are utterly focused on themselves and do not give a flying fuck about anyone else. More than anything else, you need to be like that. You need to be completely focused on your needs and live as if everyone else should also focus on your needs.

9. If in Doubt, Ask What Would Trump Do?

Fortunately, the president of the United States (at the time of writing) is a perfect example of a narcissistic jerk. He is self focused, deflects blame, refuses to acknowledge incompetence, never apologises, interrupts, takes credit and so on. He is everything on this list and more. So, as an aspiring jerk, if you ever find yourself in a situation where you do not know what you should to to demonstrate your jerkiness, simply ask yourself; "What would President Trump do?" and do it − unless of course it involves nuclear warheads. Please stay away from nuclear warheads.

What do you think?


Only a Jerk Would Include Self Promotion in an Article Like This

If you and your team are a nice group of people, you might benefit from a "How to Be a Jerk" workshop or keynote. Either is a great way to learn why jerks get away with so much, not letting them ruin your team and learning from their behaviours.

Interested? Get in touch!


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