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Help with incompetent co-worker

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Hey guys,


I have been frustrated by this for a very long time and needed a place to vent before I go crazy. Anyway I'm a software developer working on two pretty big projects by myself. My company is already stretched thin because of the 'bad economy' and we've cut a lot of people. Further my company refuses to hire anyone new to replaces our loses.


Recently, I find out that a guy in my company who is very incompetent will be working with me. I have worked with him before on projects and it was an absolutely horrible experience. He never listens to instructions, writes very sloppy code, is constantly pestering and asking trivial questions, and needs to be constantly supervised so he doesn't introduce new problems into the software. The most damning feature part about him is that he is very argumentative and obnoxious. He refuses to accept an answer and is always trying to debate a 'better' solution even if one does not exist or is not applicable to the scope of our problem. He is very socially awkward and is constantly coming up to my area of the office to talk to me. I know he does not mean to be but he comes off extremely obnoxious and annoying.


Under normal circumstances this would not affect me but I am already stressed to the max working on two projects and do not have the patience or time to deal with him. Luckily my two projects have been going pretty smoothly but from experience of working with him in the past I know he will only complicate and sky rocket my stress even more.


I sometimes have to restrain myself from exploding at him and I feel bad but I am stressed to the max already working 70-80 hours a week with deadlines looming. What's even worse is I came accross a pay spreadsheet randomly on our network and this guy makes WAY more money than me to which heightens my hostility even more. What is even more ridiculous is that his reputation among my co-workers is pretty consistent with mine but the management refuses to get rid of him. He is older and I get the feel the management feels sorry for him as he is trying to transition into becoming a software developer. I can put myself in his shoes but it is at the cost of preventing me from getting my work done on time which is why this situation infuriates me so much.


Do you guys have any advice about how to deal with this situation?

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That's rough when you have a lot of pressure and dealing with a co-worker that cannot at least help you to get the job done. If you say you can normally handle his personality, maybe you should focus on getting him to help you getting the project done? Have you personally approached him and ask what would be the best solution in getting the project completed on time? After all you or he may have a better solution at times and disagreement can lead to arguments that could sour the relationship quickly.


I'm sure there are hidden talents and traits that you can point out, it's possible he's only trying to get your attention. Ignore the fact that he makes more money or he can be obnoxious, redirect your attention on the good side as well as his to get the work completed. If you've done your best to solve the problem together as a team but it's not going anywhere, that's where I would talk to your manager. I'm sure he/she will appreciate your effort and professionalism, rather than going straight to management to complain.

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