Now we all have those special co-workers who have helped shape us. They are our mentors, in many cases our friends, and sometimes become our second family. This post is not about those people. It’s about The Others. My co-workers are I were discussing the other day how new hires reminded us of some employees that had come and gone in the past, and I started wondering: Is there a list that I could create of types of people I have experienced throughout my employment history? Turns out, there is.
(AKA The Behind Kisser, AKA Anything To Get Ahead, AKA The Backstabber, AKA Why Are They In The Front Office Again?)
Identifying Attributes: Everyone acquaintance, but nobody’s friend: The people they report to don’t even like them. Always seems to show up when whispering begins. You check your room/office/cubicle for listening devices because you just KNOW that they’re looking for something to report. When sighted, everyone scatters like mice in a lit kitchen. They ‘bait you’ to see what you’ll say, for example, “What do you think of this new dress code?”. They are the first people you warn new hires about.
(AKA Practically Perfect In Every Way, AKA The Pet)
Identifying Attributes: Usually lack a backbone of any kind. Allow upper management to treat them like a doormat because they will never, ever stand up for themselves. Always gets the best assignments, duties, and jobs with a dutiful pat on the head. Afraid to express opinions, try new things or go out on a limb because they might get into trouble and offend someone. Deer and other wildlife flock to them as they sing in the parking lot. Super annoying.
(AKA That’s Mine Even If It Isn’t, AKA Her Room Gives Me Panic Attacks, AKA Her Room Is A Fire Hazard)
Identifying Attributes: They still have ‘How To’ manuals for computer software from 1986. They dig through things you’ve put out for custodians to take away. Anything they encounter in their environment becomes theirs, even if it has YOUR name on it. At last count, they had roughly 2,000 assorted pencils and pens, yet refuse to loan any. You never eat any food they bring to office parties.
(AKA Anything You Can Do I Can Do Better, AKA Show Off, AKA Know It All)
Identifying Attributes: Love to say, “Well, when I did ________, I did it this way and it worked”. You could find a cure for a disease and they will tell you that they knew about that cure first, but just didn’t report it. They belittle anything you say and try to do. They LOVE to prove people wrong and will spend business time doing research to do just that. They argue with professionals, co-workers, children, plants, inanimate objects, etc. By the time they’re done with you, you feel as effective/useful a person as half a bra.
(AKA The Slob, AKA Are They Asleep?!, AKA No, You Can’t Borrow My Lesson Again.)
Identifying Attributes: The last person in the parking lot in the morning and the first gone in the afternoon. They get paid the same as you, but do 100% less. They sneak into a meeting and sign in during the last 10 minutes whereas you’ve sat there an hour. They eat your food out of the common refrigerator. They usually come in with a hangover, dark sunglasses, and a stamp on their hand. You have no idea why they still work there.
The Needy Whiner
(AKA Why? Why? AKA It’s Not Fair, AKA Everyone Is Picking On Me, AKA Negative Nellie)
Identifying Attributes: Thinks the whole world is against them, and that receiving an assignment, student, etc. is a punishment from God. They make every conversation about them and their problems. They don’t want help. They just want to complain. When you ask them how they’re doing, they tell you terrible and begin to list all their trials and tribulations. They are the most miserable people to be around. Listening to their stories makes you want to stab out your eardrums with chopsticks.