The "group" project stereotype usually goes like this--one person does all the work, the others do nothing, the others only do nothing cause the one person doesn't let them do anything, and everyone complains about how awful the entire group is. Truth is though, the dynamics cut a lot deeper than that simple formula. Behold, the types of people that you will and have been encountering:
The Genuine Disingenuous Guy
This guy will make a killing in the insurance industry, but for now he’s forced to skillfully let people down by citing extreme circumstances as the reason he did not follow through on the stuff he was supposed to get done. Which you have a tough time questioning, because his apology email was about four paragraphs longer than the summary he was required to write.
Then again, he’s probably been keeping that long-winded excuse in his draft box for years.
Not to be confused with our own semi-contributor (and full-time yacht etiquette expert) Boatshoe Bobby, Buzzword Bobby has vertically integrated himself with all the possible synergies and bottom lines across the land. Nobody gets excited about B2B transactions and Q3 baseline projections quite like those who fall under the BB philosophical outfit, and your powerpoint will be all the more better for it. Or as BB would say, aesthetically expedited.
It should be noted of course, that the most “real” work Buzzword Bobby contributes is the illusion of contributing work. Though since this often translates into giving the professor the illusion that you guys know your stuff, your group needs this guy.
Unimportantly Busy Person
They just came from the gym, but now they got to go meet a friend out of town. Which is followed by a doubleheader of mandatory office hours and a concert they've had tickets for since forever.
This person seems pretty interesting in that Finch-in-American-Reunion “you wish you were taking as full advantage of life as me” way. That is, until you realize they do like one more thing than you. And it’s not like you’re unwilling to try part-time DJing--it’s just that taking that seriously means entering an entirely new realm of collegiate cluelessness.
Cat Got Your Tongue, Fury Got Your Email
Smart quiet kid, who for some reason lacks the assertiveness to take control as he so desires. The rest of the group is obviously a lot dumber and going in the complete wrong direction, so the only way to rectify the problem?
A. Make innocent, yet confident suggestions as to how to tweak
B. Send a highly critical email consisting of more words than you will ever speak to the group members in person
C. Make a series of references and one-off jokes regarding that bathshit crazy email that was just sent to the group
The best part about these emails is what comes after the fact--the no reply game will take hours at the least, but could sometimes stretch on out for days. It’s a true test of willpower, and in extreme cases, can even spawn a secondary thread--the aggressor of course, removed.
Ms. Exceeds Expectations
She’s very attractive, says little in class, and hangs out with a group of girls that often deploy the lethal combo of aesthetics and family privilege to get what they want in life--be it a man, and internship, or a grade they may not entirely deserve.
You’re not exactly thrilled you’ve been paired up with this one--sure she brings the eye candy, but you’re assuming she’ll contribute nothing to the group and walk away all just fine.
Except you realize this girl has a pretty solid brain, works with a ferocity that rivals Tyler, the Creator’s tweet game, and ends up being an all-around great contributor. You’re now the overly anti-feminist dick who discounts the multi-generational credo that is Protestant Work Ethic, and 2013 has made you out to be a (pleasantly surprised) fool.
You still have no shot with her outside this group, though.
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group project pic via shutterstock