Wednesday, August 22, 2018

High-Maintenance People

Whenever I hear an employee described as "high-maintenance" I wonder if the maintenance fee is worth it. If the person is a temperamental genius - think Steve Jobs - and can be sufficiently separated from others to reduce damage, then it may be logical to have the brilliant loon around.

In my experience - and probably in yours as well - such cases are rare. The high maintenance person drives off good people, reduces respect for management, and lowers morale. 

Despite whatever good qualities they may possess, over time they become more of a deficit.

Don't keep them around too long.


Dan in Philly said...

In my experience, some cultivate a high maintenance reputation in order to show their own importance and power in a company. It's not just their behavior is tolerated because they're so good and so indispensable, they realize this and seem to choose to flout niceties and rules to parade the fact that such rules don't apply to them.

I suppose I'm sensitive to all this sort of nonsense because I'm in supporting services and can hardly be called indispensable, yet have to interact with those who truly are. I've learned to handle such people like dynamite and deeply appreciate those who treat my job as important and me as a fellow human being, instead of a pest they need to tolerate at best.

Michael Wade said...


I've found that the high maintenance people often are bullies who have discovered that they like bullying others and that they can get away with it.

It is much easier to train someone who is less technically proficient but who has a great attitude than it is to buy the prima donna a new personality.