I started working in my current company in August 2013 and I have next to me a "coworker" who is doing the same job as I'm doing as a trainee.

He started at the same period of time than me. Frist he made some bad remarks on many people working here, like to our Projectmanager - asking him why he have such a small car. I don't really get it why they didn't kicked him out right at that state. As I live and work in germany, the probation period is fixed by law to 3-6 month, after this it's very hard to get rid of a trainee who has a contract for 3 years. This time is over by now and they didn't dismissed him.

But the worst part of all is the professional about him. He always make the same mistakes, I tried to teach him basic stuff a few times but after 6 month he still make the same mistakes like on day 1. Few people already told him that he need to get better and think more about what the is doing / programming as he is doing alot of stupid stuff - but he just doesn't care.

I directly recognized at the start that he isn't very smart. But now it reached a state were I really get agressiv feelings, only when I look at him.

I don't know how to handle this situation any more...

  • Is this guy an "Auszubildender" and does he have an official "Ausbilder" you can talk to? – nvoigt Jan 30 '14 at 11:18
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    This question appears to be off-topic because it is a rant, not a question. – Jim G. Jan 30 '14 at 14:27
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    I flaged the question as opinon based, as I can't delete it anymore – Johnny000 Jan 30 '14 at 14:31

The German apprenticeship system makes it very hard to get rid of an apprentice after the probation time. When a company got a lazy apprentice, they are usually stuck with them until they completed their final exam at the chamber of commerce.

When an apprentice turns out to be utterly and irredemably incompetent, all the company can do is try to prevent them from causing damage by keeping them away from any productive projects. It is, however, not an option to give them no work at all. A company which takes apprentices has a duty to train them in their profession, and the chamber of commerce is supervising this. So assigning them a window-looker position isn't an option. But what the company can do is let the apprentice do non-productive training projects or assign them internal work of little importance.

What worries me a bit is that you say you "really get agressiv feelings, only when I look at him". That sees quite unprofessional from your side. You also said that you "directly recognized at the start that he isn't very smart". Are you sure you really judge him fairly? It sounds to me like you just don't like him personally. Did you even give him a fair chance from the start? An apprentice usually has zero experience with the profession and needs to be trained from the start. And programming is a very complex task with a very long learning period. It usually takes several years for a newbie programmer to become competent enough to work in a team with experienced programmers. Also, apprentices are usually just out of shool, so they still lack professionalism. They never were in a professional work environment, so they often don't know what's appropriate behavior and what isn't.

You also said that "Few people already told him that he need to get better". Is it maybe just your personal opinion that he is an underperformer given his age and experience? Are you sure you aren't expecting more of him than should be expected?

  • @Johnny000 Reading your comment seems even more like you just don't like him for his personality. Maybe you have your reasons for not liking him, but you seem to project your dislike for his personality on his work output and level of competence. – Philipp Jan 30 '14 at 13:16
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    I should refactor the question to something like: How to deal with someone I can't loathe... – Johnny000 Jan 30 '14 at 13:31
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    @Johnny000 You could, but it would be better when you would ask it as a new question, because the current question has value as it stands right now. Remember that a question doesn't need to be applicable to your personal situation to have value for stackexchange. – Philipp Jan 30 '14 at 13:40

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