In the past I had multiple experiences here when I addressed the issue of bad performers, bad managers or "non-contributors", and a few people have been quite negative about the topic. I never had a discussion like "yes, bad workers are a problem and this is how you solve it". It feels it is a taboo to talk about bad performers here. Is that the case? Can you convince me that everybody is special, and that it's my fault for not acknowledging the contributions of colleagues who are not qualified for their job?

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    Do you have specific examples so we can understand what you mean? Sep 30, 2019 at 10:00
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    This question about "bad workers" was received extremely well and probably serves as a good counter-example to what you believe.
    – NotThatGuy
    Sep 30, 2019 at 10:31
  • Thanks @NotThatGuy, but that answer contains some terrible advice: "Yes, in the short term you need to get projects out the door, but in the longer term everyone needs to be fully capable of doing their jobs. ", in my experience the "differently efficient" worker is promoted, and those who helped the project catch up become indispensable at their current level.
    – user38290
    Sep 30, 2019 at 11:24
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    @Monoandale NotThatGuy was not advocating an answer, but pointing out a question that acts as a counter example. Sep 30, 2019 at 11:42
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    Do you feel the taboo is discussing bad performers at all or people agreeing with your point of view and giving advice you like? The post linked above is an example of the former. The latter is not a taboo, but rather just differing opinions, and the prevalence of any given opinion should speak for itself. If very few people share my opinion, that might lead me to question said opinion.
    – NotThatGuy
    Sep 30, 2019 at 11:52

2 Answers 2


The answer to the question is obviously no.

Looking at your previous three questions, you give off the impression of someone who is very judgemental, and that can cause a low score. Let's look at these questions:

Joining a company as the expert: what level?

You call your fellow co-workers "imposters" for not meeting your standard. The question was also tagged by you with the tags [idiots] and [retards]. Score is -10.

Increasing productivity and talent pool: is it necessary to compensate for bad performers?

It's very unclear on what you are talking about here, and it's closed as it's primarily opinion-based. You categorise others as laggers. Score is -8.

Does "you are too senior for your role" mean anything real?

This question is about the reaction when you challenged the competency of someone who isn't even in the same reporting line of you. It has a score of 5.

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    More generally, posts are often received negatively due to the preconceptions, assumptions, biases, attitudes or tones of the askers more than a fundamental disapproval of the topics they're asking about.
    – NotThatGuy
    Sep 30, 2019 at 10:29
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    Possibly relevant: What is the “meta effect”? ["It is the effect of mentioning a post from another site on a meta-site. This draws more attention to the post you link from the meta-site's audience, resulting in more views than you'd get from the host site's audience alone, and often more votes. Whether those votes are up or down will depend on the quality of the post"]
    – NotThatGuy
    Sep 30, 2019 at 10:45

It feels it is a taboo to talk about bad performers here. Is that the case?

Of course it's not taboo.

But since the vast majority here are workers and not management, it's human nature that the majority would stick up for their fellow workers.

Sometimes when you criticize "colleagues who are not qualified for their job", it likely feels that you are criticizing many folks here.

Honestly, some of your questions come across as "I'm wonderful and everyone else sucks" - whether that is the intent or not. Issues with tone can often lead to downvotes, from what I have seen.

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    " it's human nature that the majority would stick up for their fellow workers." this is the part that puzzles me: if you are a worker, a doer, and you work hard every day, how can you stick up for somebody whose treatment and responsibilities are close to yours, but who doesn't provide your same amount of skill and effort? I would understand "managers are not that bad, they have different responsibilities and live in a different world", but workers vs. workers?
    – user38290
    Sep 30, 2019 at 13:15
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    @Monoandale, it's very hard to judge a fellow worker because, by definition he has a different task to do, and we are not his boss, we are not the one to judge him.
    – Bebs
    Sep 30, 2019 at 13:20
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    @Monoandale It's not always so easy to judge effort and skill, because you can be blinded by what you think these things should look like, what's important to you and what you're skilful at. But ultimately someone who's more skilful and puts in more effort should be able to rise above others over time without needing to get rid of them (although this may be easier in some companies than others).
    – NotThatGuy
    Sep 30, 2019 at 13:59
  • This doesn't make sense. If everybody is different and nothing can be measured, then expertise does not exist!
    – user38290
    Sep 30, 2019 at 14:15
  • "most things do not lend themselves to simple metrics.", sorry, but this concept is as political as it can get.
    – user38290
    Sep 30, 2019 at 17:20
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    @Monoandale - political? Whatever. Sep 30, 2019 at 18:12
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    I stand fully behind this answer. It doesn't matter what were your original intentions, how you come across and how people feel about what you said is as important as the content. As the old saying about the road to hell goes... Oct 1, 2019 at 8:14

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