Do you ever have to work with people who absolutely, totally, and unequivocally drive you up the wall? Do you sometimes feel like climbing the wall all by yourself as the quickest way to escape from those people? Are there those days when you struggle with the nearly irresistible impulse to turn into a ranting, raving maniac? Is there that one person who gets you so uptight that you don't know whether to throw your office key in his face and walk out or just sit down and cry? If you are saying Yes! Yes! Yes! you have had first-hand experience with "The Frustration Factor," up close and personal.
If instead, these questions are hard for you or if you have never experienced "The Frustration Factor," it is likely that you have lived your life on a very lonely island or are a saint, complete with robe and halo. The Frustration Factor is an ever-present ingredient of organizations from banks to hospitals, from schools to used car dealerships, from large corporations to service clubs.
The dysfunctional behavior of people who drive you up the wall is self-reinforcing and self-perpetuating. It feeds on itself. Unless you are aware of the behavior patterns of the people I call "players" and are prepared to counter them, it is easy to become the foil for their antics. Once this happens, it is too late for most people. The game is on. The world quickly divides into players and foils.
Here is the real problem though. Anyone new coming into your company enters in the middle of the game. He is immediately part of the process, either as a player or as the foil for other players. The game quickly consumes senseless amounts of time, energy, and company resources. The Frustration Factor becomes a major resource drain. Playing the game takes on as much importance and sometimes more importance for the players than taking care of business.
The Frustration Factor is much the same as the virus causing the common cold. The symptoms are always about the same although the virus has a hundred varieties. Players range from warriors to mainliners, from troublemakers to those who always play it By the Book. There are players who are aggressive and those who are passive, players who are extroverts and those who are introverts. I describe and discuss all types of players and their techniques in detail.