Weasel Co-Worker
A character who weasels out of work responsibility.


(permanent link) added: 2013-07-04 22:01:56 sponsor: Goldfritha (last reply: 2013-08-05 17:27:50)

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There's another worker on the same job as the main character. Charming, smooth-talking, or just the master of Exact Words -- utterly unreliable on the job. Both infractions and failures will mean no punishment for him, and not just when there's a Bad Boss. This character can often talk his way around the Benevolent Boss.

The less eloquent main character will have to cope somehow with the extra work and problems, and even blame, until something goes wrong for the weasel.

Often The Slacker, though he may devote a great deal of energy to things that interest him more.

Compare The Casanova and the Miles Gloriosus.

Examples

Advertising
  • Careerbuilder dot com introduced "office monkeys" in a series of newspaper ads. Office monkeys excel at lollygagging and shirking, presumably dumping their workload on the reader. Their ads suggest using their services to find workplaces where the reader's efforts will be appreciated.
Literature
  • Scott Silver in John Hemry's Burden of Proof, starting with his habit of pushing off the work of standing watch on the junior officer.
  • In Andre Norton's Storm Over Warlock, Garth Thorvald's ability to sweet talk his way out of punishment meant that Shann had to endure his abuse -- until Garth opened the wolverine cage. Shann's chase of the wolverines meant he was the Sole Survivor of the Throg attack.
  • A common storyline in The Railway Series and its Animated Adaptation Thomas the Tank Engine, with a pompous engine trying to shift an undignified job onto another, which usually causes an accident and has them caught out by the Fat Controller/Sir Topham Hatt. Several engines attempt this throughout the series, though Sir Handel, Daisy and Dennis are the most blatant examples.
  • In On Basilisk Station Honor Harrington's chief medical officer, Dr. Suchon, is one of these. Her subordinates end up doing her job along with theirs. Honor gets wise and gives her a rather impressive "The Reason You Suck" Speech, then replaces her with the aforementioned subordinates at crunch time.

Live Action TV
  • In Drake & Josh this happens when Drake and Josh work together at the movie theatre. Drake is utterly useless at stacking candy, a complete slob, eats popcorn he's supposed to be selling, and is overall just useless. However he's incredibly charming and beloved by boss Helen, to the point he's instantly promoted (while Helen is literally unaware of diligent worker Josh's existence). In the end Drake takes the blame for a publicity idea gone wrong Josh cooks up, and Helen reluctantly fires him, while she "hires" Josh to replace him now aware he exists. Notably while Drake no longer works for Helen, her preference for him over Josh lasts the entire series.

Newspaper Comics
  • Dilbert Virtually all of the subordinates go for this, though Wally is especially devoted to it. Success rate is variable.

Western Animation
  • Arthur:
    • Subverted in "Binky Barns, Art Expert." Buster & Arthur are paired with Binky for a report on the art museum and think that Binky will make them do all the work and take all the credit, so they do a separate report from Binky. Turns out Binky is the one who does a lot of legwork to prove his theory (a piece of abstract art at the museum is "obviously" hung sideways) while Buster & Arthur are too worried about Binky to actually put a report together.
    • Zig-zagged in "Sue Ellen and the Brain" where Sue Ellen wants to help out on their science project together but Brain won't let her because she might ruin it. This is a common occurance with Brain; all the other kids tell Sue Ellen she's lucky she got paired with him, because he'll do all the work and she'll get equal credit. But when he drops the project (a scale model of a dinosaur skeleton) into some mud on the way to school, she rescues them by presenting it as a model of a fossil dig.

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