The Office Shape-shifter is the individual who actively tries to reshape their image to management and to other employees. Sometimes, they have an agenda and will try their best to influence others towards a goal. It’s ok to influence others, but when you’re a shit bag and you’re trying to convince others that you’re not, you’re a shape-shifter.
Shape-shifters will try their best to influence management that they’re not a bad person. They may be completely incompetent on completing any task. They spend more energy making sure everyone thinks they’re great. One may say, “Don’t worry. I know everything has gone to shit since I was gone. I’m here. I’m here to save the day.” They may not be able to tell you how they plan to save the day, but they may try their best to shape opinions of those around them.
Their tactics are simple. They will demonize someone with authority. “That person has no idea what they’re talking about. I’m so good at what I do, this program cannot go on without me.” They will also place blame for their inability to complete a task on their personal schedule. “I had class…how can I honestly complete my work assignment?”. They will state that they never had enough hours. “No way I could complete a 40 hour work week in 40 hours. I need 80.” They might even sell you on how smart they are. “You know, I teach at a local college. I’m a big deal.”
There are a few ways to handle the Shape-shifter. First, is a PIP or process improvement plan. It’s the first step in getting them to straighten up or get fired. However, if your management refuses to fire these fuck tards and you’re tired of dealing with them, you fight fire with fire. Since they’re a big deal, you could tell them that their services are needed elsewhere. You send them to another project and they official become a #JollyRoger. You could give them a large amount of boring tasks and they quit. You could fire them, but you then fight the uphill HR battle. Shape-Shifters are the first to go during lay offs.