Saturday, March 24, 2007

Turtling Through Workplace Personalities

Over the course of my career I have come across a bevy of workplace personalities that have been quite annoying. In my current role as a Work Turtle I pretty much ignore these work personalities as they can only harm my peaceful existence within the shell. Below are the major workplace personalities that I have come across. I’m sure many of you work or have worked with many or all of the below. Remember, as a Work Turtle, lay low and avoid these folks as they will only cause you grief.

The Gossip. Have a secret? It won’t be a secret long if you tell the Gossip. A thirst to know everything about everyone drives the Gossip to pry information out of you. The Gossip has several techniques and will disguise their quest for information as genuine caring. They will begin their interrogation by first exposing something about themselves, giving you a false sense of security. Once you have divulged any juicy information the Gossip is eager to “break the news” but clever in how they do it. They won’t tell a large group of people as that would expose them. They will instead talk with a small group of fellow gossips and allow them to multiple the gossip across the department.

The Bitch. There is never a good day as far as the Bitch is concerned. The Bitch is dedicated to being completely nasty and negative to anyone in view. While most workers are fearful of the Bitch and stay out of his/her way, there is always someone who thinks they can change the Bitch by treating them nicely. You’ll see this poor soul walking away from the Bitch, mentally scarred and beaten down. In rare instances you will see an alliance of Bitches who have combined their cruelness and hatred for everyone and everything into a group. They can usually be seen in the smoke room engaged in a Bitch-a-Thon, complete with hand gestures and flying ashes.

The Optimist. The happiness flows from the Optimist as they are always smiling and greeting you with an array of positive comments. No one in the office is certain if the Optimist is medicated or just naturally that happy as many ponder “how can someone be that happy all the time?” The Optimist will also have kooky phrases around holidays such as “have a spooktacular Halloween” or “my Easter was eggcellent!” The Optimist is the arch enemy of the Bitch. If these two work personalities were ever left alone together, blood would be shed.

The Workhorse. First one to arrive and the last to leave, the Workhorse is a fixture at your workplace. He’s been at your company for quite some time and revels in that fact with comments like “In my 20 years with the company….” Or “My 20 years of experience with this company….”. The Workhorse is an incredible roadblock to change and will use the patented “we’ve always done it this way” comment to deflect any improvements offered. The mystery surrounding the Workhorse is exactly what he gets done in all those hours worked.

The Joker. Everyone enjoys a little workplace humor from time to time, but the Joker takes it to a level of complete annoyance. The obvious calling card of the Joker is the rapid fire “funny emails”. The Joker simply cannot stop at one or two emails, but instead fires off 8 to 10 funny emails to you at a time. The Joker is also infamous for taking every opportunity to crack a joke. You may be at the printer or copier and poof, there’s the Joker appearing with a joke “they just gotta tell you”. The catch with the Joker is that most of their jokes are really lame and lack humor all together.

The Brown-Noser. One of the most despised workplace personalities, the Brown-Noser is ever ready to provide a compliment to the boss. They are the first one to agree with a directive or message from the head honcho and will jump in with a pithy comment like “I think this is something we can all embrace”. The Brown-Noser can also be seen buying the boss coffee, going out to lunch with the boss, or even picking up dry cleaning for the boss. Most good Brown-Nosers have developed protégé’s that do some of the above things for them. It’s a complex food chain as the protégé hopes to become a full fledged Brown-Noser, once their master gets promoted.

The Drama Queen. A stressful situation presents itself and you are trying to do damage control. Just as everyone is finally settling down, the Drama Queen enters to stir everything back up again. The Drama Queen is skilled in completely over-reacting and over-dramatizing situations. The Drama Queen’s constant craving for attention is behind the overbearing behavior and once you have provided her the stage to perform she will simmer down until the next performance opportunity presents itself.

The Hypochondriac. If there is a newly discovered illness, the Hypochondriac has contracted it and will explain it to you in great detail. The Hypochondriac calls out sick often, but uses safe havens like FMLA to avoid termination. You can see signs of Hypochondriacs as they usually have a stockpile of tissues and medicines at their desks. They are also frequently and loudly hacking, sneezing, grunting or complaining about their illness to other co-workers. The favorite ploy of the Hypochondriac is to leave you a voice message complete with toilet flushes or intermittent cupping the phone with vomit sounds in the background.

The Mooch or Office Mooch. Your department has decided to have a luncheon, in which everyone brings something in. The aroma from the hot food items begins to spread throughout the office, and the Mooch pops his head over his cubicle wall like a prairie dog. The Mooch is not in your department but casually lingers over and begins to talk to you and your co-workers as if he’s just stopping by to chat. His real motive is to grab some food to take back to his desk, you know it and he knows it. Then suddenly, one of your co-workers comments “there’s plenty here if you’d like to take a plate back to your desk”. This is the green light for the Mooch, and with great skill and agility he packs his plate and scurries back to his cubicle. The Mooch is also adept at borrowing money without paying you back or borrowing something of yours and not returning it.

Feel free to post any work personalities you have come across in the comment section below this post!


How could you possibly miss out The Slut, The Retard and The Slacker...

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