Recently, I’ve been wondering how I can be more passive aggressive when collaborating in Google Docs.
So, I asked a team of experts (my former co-workers), and they came up with these 14 brutal moves.
1. Leave the Document Open All the Time
Even when you’re not reading it, leave the document open so your collaborators will think you’re watching every single thing they’re doing.
2. Highlight a Piece of Text, Then Do Nothing
Your collaborator will see the highlight and wonder what the hell you’re thinking, even after hours and hours have passed.
3. Type Over Their Sentence While They’re Typing It
Change words, correct spelling and grammar, or completely rewrite your collaborator’s sentence as they’re typing. This will drive them crazy, and make them think twice about continuing to write.
4. Take Away Edit Access, Then Take Away Comment Access
If your collaborator makes an edit or comment you don’t like, reduce their access to “view only” and ask them to just send you feedback through email.
5. Type Large Amounts of Text Above Where They’re Typing
What they’re typing will keep jumping down the page and, after losing track of their cursor multiple times, they’ll simply give up.
6. Comment “+1” to Every Negative Comment
Don’t add any new comments or edits, just reinforce every negative thing that someone else already said.
7. Resolve a Comment Without Ever Addressing It
When your collaborator asks what happened to their comment, say you don’t remember seeing it.
8. Rename the Document
This will make it impossible for your collaborators to find it again in the Google Docs list.
9. Go Into Revision History and Keep Setting the Document Back to 15 Minutes Ago
Your collaborator will furiously wonder what keeps happening to all their edits. Follow up with his manager about why it’s taking him so long to finish this.
10. Make Several Comments Without Submitting Them, Then Submit Them All at Once
This will make your collaborators wonder how you were able to read the document so fast.
11. Make a Few Minor Edits, Then Add Yourself as an Author
You contributed plenty.
12. Comment Asking a Question, But Not to the Author
Ask a question about part of the document, but add in another co-worker to discuss it with you, making it clear that you don’t see the owner of the document as an expert in the subject.
13. Write Some Appscript So That Whenever the Other Person Is Done Typing, an Alert Pops Up Saying, “Seriously?”
I have no idea how to do that, but sounds very awesome.
14. Let Everyone Else Do the Work, Then Be the One to Share it With the Team
And finally, once it’s ready to go, be the one to share it with the team and your manager, along with a note about how much time and effort was spent on this. You’ll look like a true leader.
This article was originally published on The Cooper Review. It has been republished here with permission.
Photo of person on laptop courtesy of Paul Bradbury/Getty Images.