Piece of work

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2 comments on this post.
  1. Jenny:

    I used this expression just yesterday, in a derogatory sense, but a slightly different one. I was referring to a guy who has a reputation of being a bit of a braggart and a bit self-unaware. I used in the sense that his behavior is so outside the norms that it is somewhat funny.

  2. elizabeth:

    “a real piece of work” describes someone charismatic but dangerous, to whom other people are simply stepping stones in the pursuit of his or her goal or desire. The damage caused to others by his or her behavior is of no account to such a person.

    An example is a very successful fund raiser, head of a major university, who at a major donor event who shook my hand smiled and looked right through me. Mid-term, he left to go to a different university for greater compensation.

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