The one who’s part of the furniture
You know the type – let’s call her Sandra – she’s worked there since the dawn of time, has a ball made out of rubber bands in her drawer and keeps a collection of orthopedic flip flops under her desk.
She has her ‘own chair’ which nobody else must sit on or adjust in any way, with a cardigan that’s older than you draped over the back of it.
She hates change but has somehow survived several rounds of redundancy, new management, and office moves like a cockroach in a thermonuclear war.
It’s not in her job description but she’s also the person who prints off notices about illicit milk usage and laminates them before sticking them to the office fridge.
This is the person who draws attention to any uncharacteristic early morning arrivals by shouting “You’re in early – did you piss the bed?” across the office.
If you pass them in the corridor throughout the working day, they’ll ask “Are you winning?” to which you are obliged to reply with theatrical eye-rolling, groaning, and a witty response marginally less funny than the question being posed – if that’s at all possible.
They’re the first to get into the Christmas spirit with light-up earrings or musical ties, and to make a beeline to the photocopier at the office party.
Their ‘office bants’ gets them into hot water on a regular basis, and as a result they’re on first name terms with most of HR – who they refer to as “a lovely bunch of girls”.
This is the person who talks to you at 100mph before you’ve even had your first coffee – or, to be more precise, talks AT you. It doesn’t matter if you respond or not, in fact your input is entirely optional. They’ve got plenty where that came from and if you’re not lucky you’ll hear them repeating the entire spiel again as soon as a neighbouring colleague rolls into work.
If you’re really unlucky they’ll even talk to themselves while they’re working. Or sing. Even Sandra can’t tolerate the singing.
Beware The Chatterbox, because as friendly and harmless as they seem, it’ll somehow be you who gets in trouble with the boss if they see you caught in the spiders web of conversation from across the office.
And if you ARE the boss, then have a word! If you can get one in edge ways that is…
Unfortunately not all the characters in an office are comical, and some people are so aggressive that they make those laminated milk signs seem like love letters.
The Agressor’s M.O. can range from the classic passive aggressive email CCing EVERYONE in and revealing how you fucked up on a project, to making you look a dick in a meeting, to full on showdowns over the photocopier.
On a serious note, it’s well worth making a note of these things because sometimes they snowball and you might have to present a comprehensive list of incidents if you want it dealt with properly.
In the meantime, sometimes playing them at their own game can sometimes be fun. After all, who gives anyone the right to treat you like shit?
Wouldn’t it be a shame if you accidentally CC’d their boss into a reply to one of their snotty rants? Or happened to mention to Sandra that you can’t be sure but you THINK you just saw them using the wrong milk in the kitchen – although you’re SURE it was an honest mistake.
The Smelly Eater
There’s some foods in the world that shouldn’t ever be consumed in public or confined spaces. Generally speaking, you can safely assume that boiled eggs and fish are both a massive no-no at work.
And yet – AND YET – there also exists some people in the world that think that bringing this kind of food to work is absolutely A-OK.
You need to identify the colleagues that display these anti social tendencies ASAP and give them a wide berth. Failure to do so can result in all kinds of calamities: fainting into your keyboard, gagging during an important phone call, or accidentally screaming “What the fuck is that god awful smell?” out loud when you thought you were just thinking it.
Have a look around your office and see if you recognise any of these characters – if you score more than 3/5 then it might just be time to download that fish4jobs app again.
Enjoy your working week!