How to Be Passive Aggressive When Collaborating in Google Docs

Sarah Cooper
Aug 7, 2017 · 3 min read

Recently I’ve been wondering how I can be more passive aggressive when collaborating in Google Docs. So I asked a team of experts (my former co-workers) and they came up with these 14 brutal moves.

1. Leave the document open all the time

Even when you’re not reading it, leave the document open in a tab so your collaborators will think you’re watching every single thing they’re doing.

2. Highlight a piece of text then do nothing

Your collaborator will see the highlight and wonder what the hell you’re thinking, even after hours and hours have passed.

3. Type over their sentence while they’re typing it

Change words, correct spelling and grammar, or completely rewrite your collaborator’s sentence as they’re typing. This will drive them crazy, and make them think twice about continuing to write.

4. Take away edit access, then take away comment access

If your collaborator makes an edit or comment you don’t like, reduce their access to “view only” and ask them to just send you feedback through email.

5. Type large amounts of text above where they’re typing

What they’re typing will keep jumping down the page and, after losing their track of their cursor multiple times, they’ll simply give up.

6. Comment “+1” to every negative comment

Don’t add any new comments or edits, just reinforce every negative thing that someone else already said.

7. Resolve a comment without ever addressing it

When your collaborator asks what happened to their comment, say you don’t remember seeing it.

8. Rename the document

This will make it impossible for your collaborators to find it again in the Google Docs list.

9. Go into revision history and keep setting the document back to 15 minutes ago

Your collaborator will furiously wonder what keeps happening to all their edits. Follow up with his manager about why it’s taking him so long to finish this.

10. Make several comments without submitting them, then submit them all at once

This will make your collaborators wonder how you were able to read the document so fast.

11. Make a few minor edits, then add yourself as an author

You contributed plenty.

12. Comment asking a question, but not to the author

Ask a question about part of the document but add in another coworker to discuss it with you, making it clear that you don’t see the owner of the document as an expert in the subject.

13. Write some Appscript so that whenever the other person is done typing, an alert pops up saying “Seriously?”

I have no idea how to do that, but sounds very awesome.

14. Let everyone else do the work, then be the one to share it with the team

And finally, once it’s ready to go, be the one to share it with the team and your manager, along with a note about how much time and effort was spent on this.

The Cooper Review

Funny Because It’s True

Medium is an open platform where 170 million readers come to find insightful and dynamic thinking. Here, expert and undiscovered voices alike dive into the heart of any topic and bring new ideas to the surface. Learn more

Follow the writers, publications, and topics that matter to you, and you’ll see them on your homepage and in your inbox. Explore

If you have a story to tell, knowledge to share, or a perspective to offer — welcome home. It’s easy and free to post your thinking on any topic. Write on Medium

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store