Every office has its “types”. Learning about the various people you might encounter in the typical workplace will give you a hidden advantage over others when it comes to dealing with the regular Joes and Janes you’ll meet when working nine to five. Recognise any of these?
The loud talker
Private phone call, noisy YouTube video, overly-loud meeting or just sharing a desk with a gabber? We’ve all known someone who talks too loud in the office! Buy a pair of ear plugs and hope they get the hint!
Some people just love to know all the gossip – at the office, at the Australia Day party or just in the office kitchen. While a bit of gossip can be healthy, spreading negativity is a sure-fire career killer.
The kitchen nazi
Have you taken time to memorise the flow chart on how to stack the dishwasher? Weren’t you aware that it’s your team’s turn to wipe the benches? Every office has a kitchen nazi, and some are more fervent than others!
Guylian chocolate or two? Would you like a slice of this freshly baked cake? In every office there’s someone who seems to consistently have food – and tries to pass it on to you!
Most of us just “get on with it” but every office has a complainer. They manage to find fault with almost everything and everyone and act with an air of superiority.
Not always a woman, both genders can be guilty of over-organisational enthusiasts. They’re the type of people who will reprint an internal document because of a wonky border or have all their folders colour-coded to the extreme.
The dirty desker
Stuff piled up from floor to ceiling? Flies swarming around the desk? There are some people who really do seem to have been raised by wolves.
The personality to avoid
This person is the office clown. They’re always doing an interpretive dance or trying to organise a team karaoke night. This is the type of worker people head to the loos to avoid!
No one likes to know too much information about those they work with. If it’s something you wouldn’t tell your great aunt, then keep it for your friends on the weekend. An over-sharer often fails to see that what they’re talking about is making people feel uncomfortable.
10. The Excel whiz
Seriously, where do these people come from? The Excel whiz can organise tables, validate lines and create formulas but when you ask for help they seem to look at you with pity in their eyes. Then they do what you’ve been trying to do for an hour with a few jaunty clicks of their mouse.
11. The charity enthusiast
Yes, it’s important to give to a great cause but this person is always competing in a charity marathon, collecting money for their kid’s soccer camp or trying to sell you an overpriced Caramello Koala to raise a few bucks.
12. The health-nut
Chia seeds and quinoa porridge anyone? This person doesn’t just eat healthily – they’ll let you know all about it at every opportunity they get! They love to feel holier-than-thou and will tell you loudly how many steps they’ve taken or how they just cycled 14 kilometres to work.
13. The stickler
I’m sorry, the meeting alert was for 11am, not 11:05! Did you put a policy document in the process folder? Are you using a blue pen on your timesheet? This type of office worker knows exactly how things should be done, and makes sure all those silly little rules are followed to the letter!
14. The suck-up
This person will follow the boss around with the intention of getting on her or his good side at every possible opportunity. From offering to get the boss’ coffee to making sure they do extra work on the weekend, the suck-up is aiming to get ahead, whatever it takes!
15. The pen thief
They’re one of the items in a typical office that always seems to run out. All the nice blue felt-tips disappear right after the stationery order arrives on the first of the month and everyone else is left with brittle black knock-offs because the pen thief is stockpiling the good ones!
16. The commander
Talks in a loud, obnoxious voice and speaks to you like you’re under his or her command, when you’re technically equals in the office. This person often gets what they want just because others are intimidated by their office manner.
17. The blame-stormer
It’s always someone’s fault but never theirs. Instead of brainstorming, they “blame-storm” and accuse everyone of doing things wrong all the time, rather than taking responsibility for their own mistakes.
18. The big ego
Self-important, inflated and full of themselves, the big ego is normally found close to the top, but may even be a lowly member of staff who is trying to feel as important as possible.
19. The shrinking violet
Quiet as a mouse, you probably didn’t even realise this person was working in your team for the first six months until you bumped into him or her at the photocopier one day. This person sits in a cone of silence, often with headphones on and a calendar with fluffy cats displayed on their desk.
20. The boss
Walks with an air of importance and has better clothes than you. You’re quietly terrified that they’ll out you as a fraud and take away your ability to pay your mortgage or rent. Carries a smart laptop and a Mont Blanc pen at all times.
Yes, you. The fabulous, engaging and intelligent you. Where would the office be without you? Probably not even running, and certainly not as fun.