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THIS EPISODE IS SPONSORED BY: The McCommitments - The Scottish Saviours of Soul. 

Sometimes I feel that the world is made up of sensible people who know the plot and bloody idiots who don't. Terry Pratchett

So, I ran a poll a couple of years ago to ask if I should swear and the overwhelming response was that I should. This episode is considerably more sweary than other shows though so you have been warned.


My only concern at this point is that the podcast overlords may find even my deliberately misspelled title offensive and ban the episode. The theme of today's show is a really important element of productivity so I may chicken out and change the title to something less explicit by the time this airs - we shall see – and if you are a cat lover wondering why I’m seemingly abusing a kitty on the promo image that’s not the fuckwit I’m talking about, but the cat’s face reflects my own whenever I realize I have been working with one of them.


The Fcukwit Factor is not something generally discussed but it’s one I’ve faced so often that I simply had to include it in the show. It sits in the area of toxic people to avoid, and that's a subject that's always been popular here - I named it this COLOURFUL title as it has left me deeply IN THE SHIT on numerous occasions as these idiots - if they make it onto a project of yours - will drive you to distraction too.


For those of you not quite in the know the term "fuckwit" is slang that's both offensive and vulgar. It is used as an insult to describe someone who is perceived as incompetent. I asked Chat GPT to help me define that and it also added that due to its offensive nature, it's advisable to avoid using such language, especially in professional or respectful communication contexts.


With that said, and with the full knowledge that this may offend THE FUCKWIT FACTOR is when someone that you believe to be competent takes on a given task, and not only messes it up but drags you down with them.

No amount of evidence will ever persuade an idiot. Mark Twain

A time will come, if it’s not already something you’ve experienced when someone will come along who presents as a tremendous supporter. They will have the skills and the talent you have so desperately been seeking and the chances are they will be really quite nice too. Only as time goes on will you eventually realize that this person doesn’t know what they are doing. Only when you have been figuratively hung drawn and quartered by the chaos this person has caused you, your project, or your business, will you eventually realize that this person, lovely though they are, is not what they seemed to be. Only then you will recognize that you have been duped by The fuckwit factor.

I once cast someone in a film. They were lovely and a good laugh too. Their dream was to be an actor, so I took a chance on them as they were passionate and intelligent and extremely supportive of what I was doing. They auditioned, presented well and I thought – this is going to be great! When the time came for them to step in front of the camera however we had one major issue. Everything was ready. The other actors, the crew, the location locked and everyone was standing by but - They hadn’t learned the lines. They knew none of them. I tried to work with them to get things going but it was no good, they were incapable of performing or learning the lines quickly. I was left in a situation where I had no choice but to cut the scenes. It was a nightmare I’d stepped right into. The gap in the story was never picked up. We never reshot it. It was too late to recast it as they'd appeared in other scenes with no dialogue. I simply had to tailor what I had to make it work. It was a frickin’ nightmare. I'd unwittingly suffered my first experience of The Fuckwit Factor.

The worst kind of idiot is the one who doesn't think they're an idiot. Jeff Garlin

A friend of mine had a similar experience with the fuckwit factor. Another lovely fuckwit, but a fuckwit nonetheless. They were put in charge of some expensive equipment and were given specific instructions on how to use it correctly. Also in general terms on what to do and what not to do. Little did my friend realize however that he was dealing with a fuckwit. This person again presented very well. They presented as an expert. Sadly, to my friend’s cost, he discovered that this was not exactly true. Specifically, they had been instructed never to leave the equipment unattended under any circumstances, but you guessed it, they did. And whilst they were away the equipment was damaged. Totally destroyed in fact. Rendered completely unusable. Only at that point, when all was lost, did my friend recognize that he had also fallen into the trap of The Fuckwit Factor.

I don't want to give too many of my own experiences here but I have had many.

Time and time again I’ve relied on someone who presents well, who convinces me in fact that they are an expert in their field, only for me to realize too late that they have wasted my time. That they don't know what they are doing. This is all so much more than time-wasting. A Fuckwit will not only waste your time but they will destroy your chances of success too.

There's nothing more dangerous than a resourceful idiot. Scott Adams

Usually, these fuckwits will only present as what they truly are well after you have been hung out to dry but here are some management strategies that may help you to handle such people more effectively and discover them sooner:


  1. Set Clear Boundaries: Establish and communicate your boundaries. Let the person know what is acceptable and what is not in terms of time and interference with your work.

  2. Be Assertive: Communicate your concerns directly and assertively. Express how their actions are affecting your work and time without being aggressive.

  3. Prioritize Your Tasks: Focus on what's important. If their actions are hindering your progress, prioritize your tasks and concentrate on what needs to be done first.

  4. Limit Interaction: If possible, minimize the time spent with this person. When you do interact, keep it focused and on-topic.

  5. Document Interactions: Keep a record of instances where this person has wasted your time or disrupted your work. This documentation can be useful if you need to escalate the issue to a supervisor or HR.

  6. Seek Support: If the problem persists, consider discussing it with a supervisor or HR department. Sometimes, external intervention is necessary to resolve such issues.

  7. Stay Professional: Regardless of the situation, maintain your professionalism. Avoid personal attacks or emotional responses.

  8. Reflect on the Impact: Consider whether there might be a misunderstanding or miscommunication. Reflect on how you might be contributing to the situation and what changes you could make.

  9. Develop Coping Strategies: Find ways to manage your stress and frustration. This might include taking short breaks, practicing mindfulness, or seeking support from colleagues or mentors.

  10. Plan for Future Interactions: If you know you'll have to interact with this person plan and stay focused on your objectives.


I sigh as I write that list as it’s often too late by the time you discover someone is a fuckwit. Sticking to these guidelines, however, may help you to protect yourself when the time you do realize comes around.


The best bit of advice on this that I found during research comes from Ronnie Apteker who says Hire slowly and fire fast. Even if someone presents as brilliant, check their references and look at samples of their work. If they don’t check out give them a wide berth. I recently checked someone's references who said they had a Level 3 in stage combat. That's pretty high in BADC terms and classed as advanced. Of course, when I scratched the surface of that one it turned out to be level 3 of an unrecognized course, meaning just about 6-10 days of experience, but not in stage combat at all, in another form of martial art. This person had already been cast by production, so I had to work that one through!


I think I've likely made my point. If one of these people gets too close to you they will destroy whatever you are doing, they will likely take you down with them, and it will take you an inordinate amount of time, money, and effort to set things straight again.




Let me take a moment to ask you to subscribe to the podcast on your preferred app. I typically release episodes in blocks of three months on, three months off, so subscribing ensures you won't miss any shows. Also, please consider leaving a review on iTunes or Spotify. Reviews on Apple Podcasts are particularly influential, but ratings on Spotify also significantly impact the algorithms that promote and suggest content to other listeners. Thanks for listening and on with the show!


Today's final thought on the matter comes from Woody Allen who said Who's the bigger idiot, the idiot or the idiot who gets fooled by the idiot? I’ll let you ponder the answer to that one.


Now take control of your destiny, keep on shootin’, and join me next time on FILM PRO PRODUCTIVITY AND SUCCESS!

The Fcukwit Factor [Film Pro Productivity Podcast]
The Fcukwit Factor [Film Pro Productivity Podcast]

  • The music you can hear right now is Adventures by A Himitsu and the executive producer is Kris Sommerville of Frontline Kit UK. Uniform hire for TV and film.

  • You can view the show notes for this episode on the official website

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Kris Sommerville of Frontline Kit UK. Uniform hire for TV and film.

Frontline Kit UK Premier police kit and uniform clothing provider.

THIS EPISODE IS SPONSORED BY: The McCommitments - The Scottish Saviours of Soul. 

Celebrating the music from the multimillion-selling soundtrack to the iconic Alan Parker movie "The Commitments". The McCommitments keep the soul of The Commitments alive with an 11-piece band smashing out classic soul hits such as In The Midnight Hour, Try A Little Tenderness,  Take Me to the River, Hard To Handle, and of course.....Mustang Sally [and more.]

The McCommitments are available to play shows all across Scotland and beyond delivering a high-energy 2 hours of soul music that will have audiences going and dancing.  Available for corporate events, social clubs, charity events, and theatres.  

Instagram: the_mccommitments_soul






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