So, today, I just wanted to talk about office shenanigans. Now, let me put this disclaimer out, these are strictly the musings of the writer. There is no evidence-based research behind this. These are my random experiences. Now, if any of these cases appear to resemble specific people, places, or things, I can neither confirm nor deny their likeness as being a part of this post. So, let’s dive in.
At some point in our work experience, we have come across people, and we have created long-lasting friendships and partnerships. This post is not about them. Consider this a humorous take on the, often, the stressful and irritating behavior of our co-workers. Now, many of us find ourselves working in jobs (yes, jobs) that meet our basic needs but may not necessarily fulfill us. However, we continue to hit the snooze button in the morning and trudge in to report, disgruntled, unhappy, and miserable. Now, there are also many people who wake up without an alarm clock ready for another day to do what they were born to do. Guess what most of us have in common? Co-workers! Our co-workers come in all shapes and sizes, but there are those “special” co-workers that get under our skin just by opening their mouths, and others that make the day better.
Space Invader: Those who have no concept of personal space. They will walk or stand too close and open closed office doors without knocking. They stand over your shoulder (creepy) and insert themselves in conversations they have nothing to do with. They want you to think they know more than anyone else. Every conversation is not open for group discussion, and, no one is always right.
Storyteller: Don’t be fooled by the friendly demeanor and appearance of this person. They often bring gifts, coffee, candy, ink pens…you get it. They are quietly buttering you up, waiting for you to tell them anything they can repeat to someone else. Many times, this person pulls double duty, fulfilling multiple irritating roles, all at the same time.
Tattler: The tattler may be related to the storyteller. They often bare gifts and will pretend to like you. As soon as they think they have some juicy info, the tattler takes any information to anyone they believe will view them as the hero for carrying the tale.
Investigator: This person always asks questions (often irrelevant to the job). Instead of just carrying the tale, they want to gather more information to aid in proving or disproving the lie. They don’t always bring the tale, but they are famous for shutting people down. They find the holes in all the stories and they don’t care about hurting people’s feelings in the process.
Weak Link: This person will appear to know nothing and do nothing, but they will be at work every day, taking up space. They are carried, continuously, by everyone else on the team. They offer empty, distracting, and meaningless conversation, sprinkled throughout the day. When they receive an assignment, they stretch it out for as long as they can. One day, they will be your boss.
Cold Steel: This person doesn’t break or bend. On the surface, they are cold as ice. Don’t ask them unnecessary questions. DO NOT make them repeat themselves. They will bite your head off and cut you with their evil eye. (On the inside: Some of them are softies, but don’t test that theory). They know their stuff, but they don’t waste time on foolishness.
Mama/Papa Bear: This person is the unofficial caretaker for all employees. They know when you’re pissed, sick, or just, generally, not feeling it. This person can be cold steel, the enforcer, and many others if you rub them the wrong way.
User: This person will come in for work and refuse to acknowledge your presence. As soon as they need you for something, they come up smiling and laughing, only to dump more work on you. Often, it would have taken less time for them to just complete the task than it did to close the distance between your desks.
Goofball: This person comes in, speaks to everyone. They seem nice enough, but they are always joking, laughing, and distracting people from working. They always seem to be moving around, and it’s a wonder they get any work done.
Loner: This person does not engage in any conversation. They keep their head down, they don’t speak, laugh, or smile. The only way they will engage with you is if work is involved. They are not mean, just uninterested in unnecessary connections.
Enforcer: This person knows their job, your job, and the boss’s job. They will put you in your place when you’re wrong (sometimes, making you feel like you’re in boot camp). When the weak link begins their unnecessary dialogue, they shut it down. They may engage in an occasional laugh, but they are efficient in their delivery of office justice.
Sidewinder: This person is smooth. Unlike the weak link, they will let you know that they know everything, but, they may often be caught doing nothing. They are resourceful and can justify everything they’ve done. They are your best option for finding shortcuts.
The Chieftan: Of course, this person is in charge (maybe). They are aware that everyone around them is responsible for the outcome of their evaluation. Many times, this person has no real idea how to perform the duties of their employees. They are good at micromanagement, helicopter leadership-hovering around the employees, creating hostile environments, and running great employees away. They, often, have limited concern for the well-being of their workers and will deny any wrongdoing. They are good at taking credit for the outstanding performance of others.
Go-To: This person has heard it all, seen it all, and knows it all, but they are humble about it. Most employees ask this person for help when they run into difficulty. This person can find the needle in the haystack and boost your self-esteem, even when you just asked the same question five minutes ago. When this person takes a vacation, the chieftan (and most of the employees) freak out.
Ole Faithful: They are related to the go-to. They are fraternal twins. This person has seniority but doesn’t flaunt it. They work to be a positive role model, but they can turn enforcer when pushed. They are the people that could run a 30-person operation by themselves and make it look easy. When this person retires, four people must be hired to replace them.
Hopefully, you enjoyed a laugh about these co-workers. I wanted to try something a little different. Work can be stressful, the important thing is trying to find the funny moments. Even in the worst situations, we have to fight to find the silver lining.
Keep on pushing,