the office

The one-upper.

This person has always done something better or more extreme than you, and has always met more influential people and networked to connect with more important folks than you will ever cross paths with. For some reason, they can’t stand the thought (or other people having the thought) that someone else has had a better experience of any type than they have.

The boss’s pet.

For reasons unbeknownst to you or anyone else, your boss will almost always choose at least one favorite. And it’s always going to be someone you think is not as good as you. (Whether you’re correct in this thought is generally up for debate.) This person’s ideas and executions will be better than yours almost all the time. In fact, there have been times you’ve expressed the same idea in different ways and the boss has shut you down in his or her favor. I guess sometimes this happens because the boss is dipping the pen in the company ink. (This means banging his or her employees.)

The email-and-then-nag guy.

It’s the 21st century. We all know how to use email. We read them when we’re available to, and then we respond when we can. This dude always sends the email then comes immediately over to your desk to discuss what he just emailed you about, when one of these two would more than suffice. I mean, he’s not going to get a response any quicker if he comes over to you to bug you about reading and responding to his email.

The overgrown bro.

This guy really likes to do intense exercises, and he probably enjoys telling folks that he works hard and also plays hard. He’s the one who is always down to get beers, and is way too jovial and overbearing with clients. He never really grew out of his “fraternity vice president” mode, and still talks fondly of his frat brothers. (I never understood why these dudes couldn’t just call them “friends.”)

The social chair.

This person (usually in HR) loves to plan events for all the co-workers to hang out outside of the office. It’s supposed to be fun, but it’s mostly for vague team-building and wild gossip. The social chair never realizes this, but there’s nothing more cathartic than going out drinking with your colleagues to bitch about clients, projects, and, yes, occasionally, those within your own ranks.

The weird dude who may be insane.

In every office, there is a man or woman who is thought by majority to be the most likely to roll into the office with a gun someday, or to be outted as a serial killer or person who has a sex dungeon in his or her basement. During lulls in the workday, we daydream about how we would conduct interviews with local news crews after the crazy person’s true colors were revealed. “…He was a quiet man. Always kept to himself.”

Sad guy.

We’re all sad sometimes and in some ways, but the sad guy (which is probably who I generally am) has reached a point where he can no longer put on an outward façade that he is enjoying his job and/or his life. This person’s negative energy is palpable, and it can bring the rest of the crew down. As you may have guessed, the sad guy and the person who may be insane often overlap.

The back-stabber.

This person wants nothing more than to climb the corporate ladder, and they will do everything in their power to ensure that you fail or pale in comparison to them. And they hope you will never be any the wiser.

The hard but inefficient worker.

This person logs mad hours but never seems to get anything crazy done, and isn’t burdened with heavier responsibilities than other people in the office. But this doesn’t stop the boss from using them as an example of someone who really puts in the hours and does whatever it takes to get things done!

The food-and-drink stealer.

I don’t know how people reach adulthood and don’t know that if you didn’t bring a food or drink item into the community refrigerator, and your office doesn’t consistently have beverages and snacks (or f**king entire orders of kung pao chicken) for everyone to enjoy with reckless abandon, then you shouldn’t take things from the refrigerator. It’s like they can’t comprehend how important it is for you to consume that egg roll and Diet Dr. Pepper at 4 p.m., less you go into a famished coma.

The realist.

The person who realizes and fully acknowledges that what you’re doing at your job is probably not as important as people pretend or want it to be, that fate or god did not put any of us in these cubicles, but still gets his or her sh*t done anyway.