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Nobody Likes the Model Employee

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Ever feel the slight pangs of hostility toward a coworker who always gets his job done promptly and professionally? Recent studies show you're not alone -- as if office gossip couldn't already confirm that.

According to the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, employees will distance themselves from the worker who remains unselfish and willing to take on extra tasks. The other members of the staff fear his office altruism will make everyone look bad.

Craig Parks, lead author of "The Desire to Expel Unselfish Members from the Group," told Science Daily, "It's not hard to find examples but we were the first to show this happens and have explanations for why." Parks added that it doesn't matter that someone's unselfish behavior might benefit the whole, what's "objectively good, you see as subjectively bad."

Studies given by a Washington State University social psychologist concluded a group will suspect ulterior motives of a model employee and even suggest he's breaking the rules through his apple-polishing. Though the studies show it's a very common reaction, the experiment didn't go into detail of just how annoying that type of person really is.

You know who I'm talking about.

Look to your left. See that guy? That guy who shows up five minutes before he needs to, works consistently throughout the day, takes the briefest of lunch breaks while still at his desk. Never out sick, never complains, never turns down a task outside his job description. Yeah, him.

What's his problem? No seriously, what the hell's wrong with him? Who in their right mind would be that ecstatic to plod through this day-to-day drudgery? Cheerfully accepting a bigger workload so he could feel more accomplished. Guy's gotta have a screw loose, right?

Probably had nutso parents who beat the ever-loving crap outta him if he didn't have the table set or his homework done. Fostered this warped sense of responsibility where menial labor released endorphins or something. Almost makes you feel bad if he didn't make it seem like he's trying to get somebody fired.

I mean, doesn't he know he's making us all look bad? We're doing a good job, right? Boss has gotta notice it. Sure, we're not Employees of the Month or anything, but management sees we're working hard. Right?

He probably gets off on it. Oh yeah, Mr. Perfect Employee is so happy to see us glancing back, worrying that the big guy is going to tap our shoulder and say, "Hey, why can't you be a little more like my main man over here?" What a jerk, you know? His whole day begins and ends as a middle finger to everyone else. "Hey, everyone! Try to keep up! I'm staying 'til seven!" Get a life.

What do you think? You think he's gunning for your job? No, I haven't heard anything. Seriously, I swear, I haven't heard anything about anyone being let go. Don't worry. I'm telling you, stop saying that. Listen, don't get angry at me. It's him we should be angry at, remember? He's the one that can get you fired. No! I haven't heard anything!

He's probably taking the company down from the inside. Gladly accepting extra work so he could cook the books and steal the company blind. You ever think about that? I do. All the time.

Anyway. I gotta get back. Boss is riding my ass for a report that was due last week. Talk to you later.
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