Fully Qualified Jerk

I found myself musing the other day about what it would take to be a Fully Qualified Jerk (FQJ). This musing was prompted by what struck me as an odd comment. The person I was talking with (Call him Harold.) was upset with someone else (Call him Joe.) Harold said, 'Joe is turning into a real jerk.'

This got me to musing. Apparently, Joe isn't a real jerk yet but is progressing in that direction. The what/why of turning into a real jerk is not clear to me but, according to Harold, Joe is doing it. I was drawn to the conclusion that some jerks are more qualified and others are less qualified, with 'real jerks' being the most qualified. There then must be at least a few jerks who are fully qualified. If we knew who they are, we could give them the title:

Fully Qualified Jerk (FQJ)

With the designation FQJ in mind, I asked a few folks in Leadership Village what special qualities and skills they thought one would need to deserve the FQJ designation. Of course, they didn't personally know anyone who qualified, especially no one in Leadership Village. Nonetheless, they did have some thoughts about jerks.

I have compiled their ideas here for your consideration. Collectively, they represent the current consensus on FQJ designations. To be an FQJ, one would need to behave such that at least half of the following characteristics would fairly apply to him (or her) on a frequent basis. It is possible to be a jerk now and then but Fully Qualified Jerks are jerks frequently, with most people, and in most situations. As Grandpa used to say, 'Bad manners come from being lazy and a tad ignorant. To be a real jerk requires serious dedication.'

Here's the list. Give some thought to people you know who make the grade as FQJ's. At the same time, give your best effort to assuring that no one has reason to think of you as an FQJ.


Try to intimidate

Yell at people

Condescend or demean


Act arrogantly

Think they are above the rules

Never praise anything or anyone

Enjoy making people uncomfortable

Slam doors and pound tables

Act as if they are superior or smarter

Swear and use course language

Show disrespect

Behave rudely

Belittle people

Are sexist/racist

Withhold critical information

Use inappropriate humor

Give only negative feedback

Always look out for themselves

Blow up in meetings

Start every sentence with 'I'

Set impossible goals or deadlines for other people

Try to steal the spotlight and credit

Let others take the blame

Distrust everyone

Show a lack of caring for people

Betray trust or confidence

Embarrass and humiliate others

Gossip and spread rumors

Criticize constantly

Act as if others are stupid

Over-use sarcasm

Take things out on others

Ignore or isolate certain people

Never forgive or forget

Like getting even

By Gary Crow March 23, 2017