The old idiom goes that truth is stranger than fiction, and all you need to do is watch an office comedy show or movie to know that’s a fact. For every wacky story portrayed on a show like The Office, anyone who’s lived the incomparable office life can easily shell out one that’s equal—or better. Anytime you toss people together with a variety of strengths, weaknesses, loves, hates, backgrounds and talents, you’ll find the mix of personalities to be entertaining, if not outright explosive. Here are just a few of the office personalities we see on a daily basis—which ones have we missed?
The Social Butterfly – This busy butterfly doesn’t have enough time in the day to get his or her job done… but that’s mostly because before they can get down to business, they need to talk about what they did over the weekend, the book they’re reading, the celebrity gossip they read, or the new recipe they’re trying out. But the social butterfly is also the one most likely to remember that your mom’s been sick or you just got a new dog, and will check back up on how things are going.
The Caffeine Addict – You’ve learned to keep your distance from this morning misanthrope until he or she has had their first cup… or four. The resident caffeine addict either stalks into the office a little later than everyone, slow-going due to the lack of java, or they arrive early to make sure to brew the perfect pot. After all, no one makes it like they do. But by mid-afternoon, they’re an unstoppable dynamo of ideas and energy while you’re hitting a slump and wondering why the clock has completely stopped moving.
The Boundary Breaker – Didn’t want to know about your coworker’s colonoscopy, relationship troubles, or landlord issues? Too bad, because this person is going to talk about all of them in the cube right next to you without shame or second thought, and he or she will listen in on all your conversations, too. It’s hard to find privacy in the world of cubicles, so they’ve just given up the pretense. But this coworker is also the most likely to overhear when you have an issue and step in with the right info at the right time.
The Office Intimidator – The seeming nemesis of The Social Butterfly, this person puts the pro in productivity. With a no-nonsense approach to projects and tasks, he or she seems like all work and no play. The focus is intense, and can be off-putting for officemates who like to break up the day with a little levity or discussion of the big game over the weekend. But don’t be intimidated—your ultra-motivated teammate is also ultra-dependable, and is happy to blow off steam once the job is done to satisfaction.
The Professional Parent – This perpetual planner and organizer keeps everything moving, whether it’s putting together an office party, selflessly tidying up the breakroom, or volunteering to take notes at meetings that have gotten out of hand—and in all likelihood, those things aren’t in his or her job description. This might enable some of your coworkers to an infuriating degree, but all that multitasking means this colleague is a jack of all trades, and probably has the answers you’re looking for.
The Breakroom Burglar – You’re warned ahead of time… there’s no silver lining for this odious office villain. Contrary to all good manners and adult instincts, this coworker lifts lunches from refrigerators, freezers and breakrooms, all without ever being witnessed or caught, and the culprit isn’t likely to ever confess. That means the healthy lunch you had planned is long gone, leaving you to go out and splurge on a sandwich down the street… which might be a silver lining, after all.
There are countless other office personalities out there. Do you identify with any of these? Which ones did we miss that you see every day in your office? We’d love to hear more—and might include them in another blog about the crazy coworkers we coexist with each and every day in the office!
All images made with Piktochart