In our former life, just about the most obnoxious people that we dealt with on a daily basis were former employees calling and wanting to know why their 401(k) distribution had been taxed even though they were well under 65 years old. Pretty mild, really. And quite boring.
In our current life, some of the most obnoxious people that we deal with on a daily basis are public relations professionals -- PR people, for short. Public relations are incredibly vital to a company, no matter its size. And the PR field is a landmine of snafus, misunderstandings, apologies, damage control, hustling and marketing -- always marketing. That's why PR is such a fine art.
Not to disparage PR people who are true professionals -- as we, having relatively the same social skills as a bonobo, would totally be unable to perform their duties -- since it's truly a balancing act of making the client happy and getting their message across to the public without coming across as obsequious or irritating. And that can be a very hard thing to do. No, we greatly respect PR as a field and thank God every day that there are people out there who performing this task with admirable talent and grace.
That said, there are PR people who make the rest of the professionals look horrible. You probably know them. They're the guy you met at a bar once, or the woman who harangued you at a previous job, who make you say -- every single time you meet another PR person -- "Ohhhhh, you're one of them," before scurrying quickly away. The bad apples who spoil the bunch.
Below are some of the worst moves that a PR person can make. If you want to avoid being that person, or want to give your colleagues a heads-up on what makes the public's blood boil, take our advice.