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Coping With Dirty Diggers

The Characteristics of Dirty Diggers

Hostile-aggressive dirty diggers can be found in just about every workplace, and they are difficult to be around. At their best or at their worst — depending on your view — they can offend just about everyone. Their insensitive behavior seems to come naturally to them. Any contact you have with a dirty digger will most likely be unpleasant.

To effectively cope with dirty diggers, you first have to learn to identify them in the workplace. You can identify them by understanding their descriptive characteristics, described here:

They’re jokesters

Dirty diggers never seem to take anything seriously. For them, life is but a joke — usually at someone else’s expense. Often their barbs are not funny to the person on the receiving end or to others within hearing range. Joking is a way of life, and it’s often unpleasant for others.

They’re offensive

Dirty diggers delight in offensive behavior, especially if they can offend multiple people with one sarcastic remark. And if called to task, they fall back on the defense of “Hey, I was just kidding. Come on, can’t you take a little joke?”

They’re disrespectful

Dirty diggers demonstrate disrespect for others at every opportunity. “How disrespectful can I be to someone today?” seems to be their morning mantra. For some, “disrespectful” may be the self-visualization card taped to their bathroom mirror.

They’re insensitive

Just how insensitive can someone be? Pretty insensitive if a dirty digger is involved. Biting sarcasm and barbed jokes are insensitive and usually hurtful. Offensiveness and insensitivity delivered as jokes are the dirty digger’s hallmarks.

When you know the characteristics of the dirty diggers, you realize they often feel insecure around other people. In response, they act out through inappropriate behavior that others may find offensive rather than humorous. Dirty diggers may want to be liked, but they just don’t know how to go about it.