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Are you the ‘Dwight’ of your office? 3 signs you may be overstepping at work

By | Aditi Shrikant |

Do you notice what time your co-workers arrive at the office? Or how long they’ve been away at lunch?

Have you met with your boss to discuss a colleague who appears to receive unfair treatment? 

While you might think this behavior is helpful and responsible, it’s likely your co-workers and even your boss don’t agree.

In fact, they probably think of you as a “workplace vigilante,” a title that might not help your reputation in the office. 

Katy DeCelles is an organizational behavior professor at the University of Toronto. In 2017 she co-authored a paper entitled “Vigilantes at Work: Examining the Frequency of Dark Knight Employees.”

“Vigilantes tend to be people who believe themselves to be more moral than the average person,” she says. “And most people think that, but it’s much stronger and more rigid [in a workplace vigilante].”

The mindset can backfire, she says. Co-workers see you as a nuisance and management sees you as a tattle tale who creates more work for them. 

“I think over time people get to realize that this is generally something that is going on in that person rather than something going on with the accused,” she says.

“Eventually you get to figure out who the ‘Dwight’ is and kind of discount their claims.” 

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