Working with a Toxic Rock-star

Working with a Toxic Rock-star

Photo by Nicolagypsicola on Unsplash

Rock-stars are the people who get all the attention from seniors, who get perks from their managers, rock-stars are promoted frequently and are the center of attention in your workplace but all rock-stars are not great.

Some rock stars are toxic, working with them is frustrating.

At some point in time, you must have worked with a toxic Rock-star and trust me working with them is terribly difficult.

Because of the following reasons:

1. Overconfident

Most of the time these rock-stars are overconfident.

They agree to impossible deadlines and end-up pushing their work on juniors or other co-workers.

They take up the work but do not finish it or even take the responsibility for unfinished work and to most of the people their over-confidence may seem as confidence which end-up you seeming as under-confident or even worse irresponsible.

2. Rebels or Rule-breakers

Everyone likes to break rules and rock-stars are rebellious in nature, they break rules more often. Discipline makes them feel like a prisoner even if it’s required for qualitative work.

For example, We had a rule of Pull-Requests (To those who do not know, pull request is like a request for code verification). The rock-star, I used to work with never created a single Pull Request or even bothered to verify and approve Pull Requests created by other team members.

3. Productive but No quality

Rock-stars love working, they are not lazy, in fact, they are highly productive but due to their over-confidence and rebellious nature most of their work is of poor quality and you might end-up cleaning their mess or even worse it stays like that forever until it causes havoc.

4. Infectious

It is very unfortunate that due to the overconfidence and support from the management, rock-stars end-up getting a lot of perks, promotions, interesting work and attention.

To the people who are also interested in those perks and the attention from management end-up following the destructive culture set by these rock-stars which results in:

  • Poor quality work
  • Terrible work culture
  • No learning or teaching
  • No growth

What did I do?

It was exhausting to work with this rock-star, I end-up cleaning his mess and he never shared credit with me, I have never seen him using “We” instead of “I” while presenting the work to the management. So, I quit.

What can you do?

Try speaking with the Rock-star:

  • If you think the Rock-star is a bad person trust me they are not, they are also interested in great quality work, they also want growth. Talk to them, they will surely agree with you, they will support you for the overall growth of the team.

Try speaking with the management:

  • If the Rock-star is not accepting the faults in their attitude then you can consider talking to the management. Talk about the problem, show your work, talk along with the people who are also suffered from the rock-stars.


  • I know it’s terrible advice but it’s the last resort if no-one is ready to understand your problem. You can always get a better job where the team is supportive and nurtures a healthy work environment and It’s far better than Daily-frustration.