There are few things that get under our skin and drive us more nuts than less-than-genuine people with ulterior motives. Hidden agendas, however, find their way into everything from work to friendships and personal relationships. Most of the time, though, they aren’t so hidden. Here’s why you’re not fooling anyone.
The Fair-Weather Flake
Those friends who are conveniently there for the good times, not the bad or the ugly, fall under this category. They will gladly ditch pre-existing plans to join you in that box at a sporting event or sold-out concert or be your “plus one” at a charity event…but that’s about it. You need help moving or a ride to the airport? They are nowhere to be found. These friends serve a purpose, especially when you need a partner in crime for a night on the town, but you learn quickly to place them into that category of friends who you wouldn’t depend on, and in turn take them as seriously as a frat boy takes his booty call. In times of tragedy we have seen and experienced the power of friendship and real friends are undoubtedly like family. Unfortunately, however, it may take times of personal turmoil or tragedy to detect the flake of a friend.
The Skilled Gold Digger
Those perfectly polished, designer-clad women strategically perched on the bar stools of your local Four Seasons or Park Hyatt – we’re talking to you. We are always surprised at the naivety of certain people to the gold diggers among us. Is it that they are that good at having their prospects fooled? Or do prospects not care as long as said gold digger looks good on their arm? A skilled gold digger may seem genuinely interested in what you have to say, but there are warning signs right away that they are searching for dollars instead of a connection. Within moments of meeting, she (or he) asks what you do for a living, what you did for New Year’s Eve (whether you were away on vacation is what they really want to know, and where), the area of the city you live in, followed by a question regarding transportation and “do you have a car?” Then, inevitably, “what kind?” He or she may refrain from purchasing a drink for him or herself, expecting it to be purchased for them, or they will promptly end any banter that has been started. Test a gold digger further; if numbers are exchanged, instead of dinner at the city’s hottest new restaurant, suggest taking your dogs for a walk or meeting for coffee. And if you are a gold digger, don’t pretend otherwise.
The Boss’s Pet
We know many very nice people…but nobody is nice all the time. Of course, we are all for being cordial and, obviously, respecting our superiors. There is a distinct difference between this, however, and kissing your boss’s Dolce and Gabbana-clad butt. The boss’s pet could want that raise; maybe they want your job. Perhaps they need constant praise they lacked as children. Either way, he or she showers the boss with with compliments and coffee and change their demeanor the second he or she is in sight. Instead of hard work and standout performance, they try to capture the affection of the boss with subtle manipulation to become a friend or an ally, using their charm, wit, and even looks. If you’re this person, we can guarantee your co-workers are currently talking behind your back.
The In-it-for-Him/Herself Employee
For this employee, personal gain is their main agenda, not the interest of their department, team or company. No matter how well disguised, the hidden agendas of those nightmare coworkers result in the use certain tactics, like discreet sabotage, to achieve their professional objective. They thrive on the mistakes, habits and shortcomings of others and will go out of their way to highlight or over-emphasize such things. They may provoke the mistakes of others themselves by “forgetting” to inform co-workers of changes to projects or campaigns, or to include them on group emails. He or she may CC a person's boss on an email in a passive aggressive attempt to blast the co-worker by making the emails seem as though it is a last, exasperated attempt to communicate. In reality, this could be the first time the co-worker was ever made aware of the issue. In engaging in such behaviour, such employees attempt to keep themselves in the spotlight instead of under scrutiny. It gets old quickly, however, and (we promise you) others can sense your selfishness more than you think.
The “Friendly” Ex (Who is Still in Love With You)
Although we maintain a strong friendship with one of our “cherished exes,” we do not with the majority of others simply because there is no reason to (and frankly, we wish to erase some from our memory). Despite your ex’s claim that he or she wants to be friends because “you were such a big part of one another’s lives,” approach this with caution. Still-not-over-it exes may want to meet for lunch and try to lend a “sympathetic ear” to the relationship woos you may have. They may even try to make friends with their ex’s new boyfriend or girlfriend in an attempt to get closer to the ex. Most of the time, especially if the break-up occurred in the past two years, there is no reason to be friends. When you are not over someone, it is glaringly apparent and no amount of subtle grasping at straws will make a difference if he or she has moved on.