Working in an office brings you into close contact with a wide range of characters. While most of us are able to get on perfectly well with our fellow human beings, playing nice with some workplace archetypes is the hardest part of the day.
Jean-Paul Sartre said hell was being locked forever in a room with your friends. Chances are, though, his friends had nothing on the folks described below! So, in the interest of healthy catharsis, let’s take a look at some of the most annoying office characters.
Begin venting … now!
1. The 'Fun' Manager
|Having a grumpy, boring boss would be a delight after enduring several months of this guy. This particularly pestilent breed of manager puts his team through the wringer each week with multiple ‘fun’ teambuilding exercises, such as paintballing, office Yoga and morning group hugs. Most of his team usually wind up moving to other departments, and find they actually enjoy the monotony there.|
2. The Conspiracy Theorist
|Every office has one of these. If he’s not spending office time gawking at websites like the National Enquirer and other such hotbeds of rumor-mongering, he’s cornering you in the cafeteria to explain how the moon landing was actually engineered by the government and took place on a sound stage at Universal Studios. Avoid at all costs.|
3. The Foghorn
|Everyone knows when this person has arrived at work in the morning, because you can hear them from three rooms away. They believe in expressing themselves at least 20 decibels louder than everyone else. Unwitting new hires who carpool with them to an out-of town conference may wind up leaping out of the car on the freeway in a vain effort to save what is left of their hearing ... and their sanity.|
4. The Volcano
|This coworker is intensely annoyed by everything around them, and when they take exception to something, everyone within a two-mile radius knows it. Neighboring workers soon learn to read the signs of an impending eruption – the tapping of fingernails on the table, the intake of breath upon opening an email, the snap of a pencil – and get ready to run.|
5. The Eager Beavers
|This team has been working together in the same tiny office since the dawn of time. Then one day, a miracle happens – there’s a new hire! The team instantly descends on their new ‘best friend’, besieging the poor soul with eVites and requests to join them at their Dad’s dog’s birthday party, and monopolizing their lunch breaks with never-ending “Getting to Know You” meals out. If the New Guy (or Gal) lasts a month under this kind of pressure, they’re lucky.|
6. The Excuse Artist
|Not content with the standard excuses for being late, such as bad traffic or having to wait in for the mailman, this character relishes coming up with excuses so outlandish that they must be true. After hearing about how the excuse artist had a minor collision with a low-flying bird on the way to work and then was held up for an hour as he exchanged insurance information with the bird (no serious injuries!) and completed a police report, most managers just give up and wave the latecomer to their desk.|
7. The Desk Gourmet
|Most of us have the occasional snack at our desk. This guy makes desk snacking into an art form. Where the rest of us might bring in a humble sandwich and an apple, this guy fills up the communal fridge with dozens of little Tupperware containers containing a multitude of treats, including baked salmon wrapped in foil, salad caprese with a balsamic reduction dressing, prosciutto-wrapped melon, and tiny clementine slices. He will never, ever share any of these.|
8.The Office Romeo
|Within minutes of a new girl starting at the office, this guy has managed to re-arrange his entire schedule so that she is in all of his meetings. If he’s not Googling her and browsing through her personal holiday photos on Facebook, he’s ogling her in the kitchen, and bribing his coworkers to talk him up to her. Finding out that she has a boyfriend, is married, or has four children only encourages this guy.|
9. The Over Dresser
|Always the center of attention, this lovely lady attracts the admiration of male workers, and secures the undying hatred of every female in the office. She arrives at work with sleekly styled hair and catwalk-worthy clothing, while the rest of the girls in the office roll into work in make-up hastily applied in the car, and yesterday’s suit covered in dog-hair. We don’t know how she does it but we hate it.|
10. The CIA Agent
|Some people’s only talent in life is their ability to blend into the background. This guy makes his whole career out of staying under the radar, often staying on the company payroll for years because his job seems so vital that nobody dares to fire him. He wears a suit no matter what the weather, his screen is always full of incomprehensible pie charts, and he’s always typing feverishly or talking on the phone in a hushed, worried voice. He is called Chad or Steve, and nobody knows what he does.|
11. The Slacker
|This guy believes that ordinary corporate culture could use a shakeup, and so arrives in work each day wearing obnoxious Hawaiian shirts and flip flops. He listens to his personal voicemails on the office speakerphone, chews gum with his mouth open, puts his feet on your desk when talking to you, and usually brings a muddy bike into the office, which he leans against something expensive and scratchable.|
12. The Gossip
|The office Gossip is never happier than when there’s a potential scandal in the air. Commonly found at the coffee station, this person sees to it that not one juicy piece of information on Sandra’s alleged affair with that guy in accounting goes undiscussed.|
Natasha Rhodes is a writer for CareerBliss, an online career community dedicated to helping people find happiness in the workplace. Check out CareerBliss for millions of job listings, company reviews, and salary information.