Every office is comprised of individuals, but there are some characters you can expect to encounter in almost every workplace. Here are eight of the most common.
The Funny Man
The office funny man probably spent his schooldays as the class clown and his habits haven’t changed since joining the workforce. Usually, he has abandoned dreams of becoming a stand-up in favour of a career in a cubicle, choosing instead to perform his comedy routines by the water-cooler, in the canteen, or indeed anywhere he can corner an unsuspecting colleague.
This person has been working in the business since forever but has somehow managed to avoid learning how to use a computer or adapt to most other technological advances of the 21st century. The Antique will come to you for help whenever they need to send an email or prepare a Powerpoint presentation, but you are happy to help because they remind you of a simpler time.
Tip-toeing to their desk twenty minutes late in the morning, unexplained absences from their desk throughout the day, unusually frequent sick days, dodging emails and meetings; these are just some of the characteristics of the office Dosser. Here is a person who needs a job to pay their bills, but really would rather be somewhere else.
Immaculately presented and never without a business card to hand, the Networker probably came into being after attending a training day on ‘Personal Branding’ and taking it way too seriously. The Networker has diligently built up a web of contacts across the organisation and has many mysterious lunch dates pencilled in the diary throughout the week.
Every group needs someone it can push around, and this is where the Doormat comes in. Here is the individual who gets saddled with the extra tasks others don’t want to do, is told to move desks when someone new starts or is sent out as a relief when another part of the organisation is short-staffed. The Doormat is a naturally diligent and reliable worker, but their biggest weakness is their inability to say no.
When cake or other baked goods appear miraculously in the kitchen without there being an occasion, you know who’s behind it. The Feeder likely harbours ambitions to perform on the Great Irish Bake Off, but in the meantime is keeping themselves busy by force feeding colleagues pastries at break time.
The Battle Axe
Did you leave a dirty cup in the kitchen? Forget to contribute to the weekly kitty for tea and biscuits? Is a piece of work you’re doing a little overdue? Rest assured the office Battle Axe will find you, and hold you to account for your crimes. This person isn’t necessarily a bad person, but it’s usually best to try and stay on their good side.
Want to know who’s getting a promotion, or what scandal went down at the office party last night? Then you need to pay the office Gossip a visit; this person can be found standing by the coffee machine, stroking a steaming mug, awaiting his or her next visitor like some oracle. Pass the sugar and the Gossip will provide the answers you seek.
Article by Peter Flanagan (@peterflanagan).
Images from Shutterstock.