The 5 Types of “Group Project” Workers

Group Project FightWe all love group projects, right? I mean, hey, if you’re in a group, you only have to do some of the work.  Actually, you don’t need to do any of the work-you can just depend on your group members for that.  Works out great.

Except that it doesn’t.  Let me use an analogy to get this point across: Ooog and his pre-historic semi-human friends were hungry.  So, they formed a hunting group and set out.  When a fat, juicy pheasant came by, none of the pre-historic hunters bothered to try to catch it, as they assumed their group members would do the work for them. 

This went on for about two weeks, with the hunting party crouching in the same patch of bushes, until they all gave up, famished, and went to McDonalds.  But, in a shocking plot-twist, they learned that McDonalds hadn’t been invented yet, so instead they reflected on their poor hunting ability and realized: there were no such things as pheasants, as they hadn’t yet evolved.  And then they all lived happily ever after, except for one of them, who got eaten.  Thus, the mystery meat ‘chikin’ nugget was born.

Now you see my point: that someone has to do the work, or at least make a trip to McDonalds.  But as soon as one person starts the work, it becomes their responsibility to finish it.  Which means the other group members still don’t do any work.

The solution? Eat your group members.  No, just kidding, don’t actually eat your group members.  Instead, sabotage another group this way. 

Realistically, though, the solution is to know the strengths and weaknesses of the types of people in your group.  (Also, this gives me an excuse to continue that brilliant analogy).

#1: The ‘Ooog’ Character

Just like Ooog, this person is quick to form a group and get everyone organized.  But when it comes to doing actual work, they simply assign that to everyone else.  However, you can force this person to do work with a combination of physical threats and lawyer-esque pinky promises.  On a scale of 1 to 10, 10 being the best group member, this person is a 4, unless they bring stuffed pheasant, in which case they are a 7. 

#2: The ‘BoOooG’ Character

This member of the group is good only as a shield when you inevitably clash with another group over whose project was better.  A strong-performing BoOooG group member will absorb 14 arrows, 5 bullets, or 2 nuclear explosions before being used up.  If you do need to make this person do work, physical labor is often best (something like keeping the other kids quiet during your presentation, if you get my drift).  On a scale of 1 to 10, this group member is a 3.

#3: The ‘Alexander’ Character

First, I just want to say that I’m sure you’re an ‘Alexander.’ At least I hope so, because this type of person would find this list most amusing.  For that reason, I know you are this type of person (note: that was flattery-do not try to use me as a reference on your resume, as I will just tell a bad joke to your future employer).

This person does all the work.  If the project is not challenging enough, they will find some way to incorporate a side project, such as a presentation of their cold-fusion anti-matter time machine.  If you have an ‘Alexander’ in your group then you will probably get a good grade (unless you make the mistake of making Alexander ‘chikin’ nuggets).  This person is a 10.

#4: The ‘Henric’ Character

This person is, to put in nicely, rolling in so much money that they could build a perfect and peaceful world and still have enough money left to build a almost-perfect human civilization on Saturn as well.  Needless to say, they are a good person to have in your group when it comes to getting supplies (your group needs new Iphone 4S’s if you want to get a good grade) and getting a good grade (they might accidentally forget a few $1,000 bills in the project binder when you turn it in).  They are often stuck-up, though, so a spritz-bottle of lemon juice is good to have on hand (aim for the eyes).  The value of this person, on a 1 to 10 scale, is a 7.

#5: The ‘Bwa-caaauwwk!’ Character

This is not a person, but rather a bird of some sort.  Preferably, a domesticated one that does not have sharp talons and tastes good.  After all, you didn’t actually think I would advocate cannibalism, did you? You are only allowed to eat your group member if they are, say, a chicken. 

That doesn’t mean you have to, of course.  The bird is often good at providing the comic-relief element of your presentation, such as leaving a ‘present’ on your foot while you are presenting.  Also, birds have neater handwriting than any teenager.  This ‘being’ is a 4.5, unless it is a parrot with a Boston accent, in which case it is an 11+.

There you have them: your five types of group members.

Honestly, though, group projects can be a pain to complete if you and your group both do only as much work as your average employee at the federal department of ‘men with good hair’ (also known as: congress).  That is why I recommend avoiding group projects as you might avoid a falling satellite.  Otherwise, even without the good hair, you end up bickering in your group over who does what like the ‘bipartisan’ chickens you are. 

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