Jun 27th, 2013 | By | Category: Columns

Oh, the great comedy of errors that is the office. If anyone told me having a career would be like this, I would have pulled a Thoreau, found my own Walden’s Pond and happily starved to death within two weeks.

Actually, that isn’t true. I’m in that minority of people who likes their job and in the even smaller minority of people who like their coworkers. We’re all friendly, take our work serious, don’t take each other too serious and help each other out. (As for the rest of you, sorry but we’re not currently hiring.)

However we all know that offices are breeding grounds for drama and the biggest hurdles aren’t your work responsibilities – it’s some of your co-workers. Want to combat evil while making that deadline? Then, know your adversaries:


The Office Shaman
No meetings are safe when the office shaman arrives. These horrid busy-bodies have built a religion around office protocol and treat their HR manuals like bibles. Half the time, they don’t even know what everyone’s suppose to do, but as sure as hell, they’ll spend an hour telling you how to do it. What? You want to make things more efficient? But that would ruin everything!

Motive: Protect the integrity of the highly coveted office routine.

True Motive: Destroy the non-believers.

How to combat: Put a laxative in their coffee. During their frequent bathroom breaks, rearrange the furniture in their office. Rinse, repeat, giggle mercilessly.


Harbinger of Gossip
“There’s a demon among us and her name is sabotage!” Once you’ve heard this statement, it is already too late. The Harbinger has already cast his/her web of doubt upon your impressionable soul and is determined to add you to their roster of mindless thralls. Listen too much and you’ll think a day in the office is like a trip to the Best Little Whorehouse in Texas.

Motive: Do everyone in the office.

True Motive: Undo everyone in the office

How to Combat: There is no escaping the Harbinger of Gossip, though I have heard self-immolation helps a little.


The Nay-Sayer
Nobody know where this guy came from or what he’s doing here. But his name is NO. “No, it’s impossible.” “No, this project can’t be finished by the end of the week.” “No, that’s not in my job description.” “No, I won’t participate in Silly Hat Fridays.” “No, I did not put a laxative in Steve’s coffee.”

Motive: To be the voice of reason.

True Motive: To ensure I don’t have to do anything ever.

How to Combat: When told “No”, ask them how things should be done. Stand behind a solid structure, such as a door or wall and wait for their head to combust.


The Greek Chorus
These people parrot each other as if they are all saying something different. It takes about ten minutes for all of them to confirm that they read the email. When asked how something works, don’t plan on getting to work on it until the next day.

Motive: In unity, we are one.

True Motive: Get you to drink the Kool-Aid.

How to Combat: They won’t fight without their leader. Disguise yourself in their ceremonial robes of assholiness and keep your dagger handy. Go for the jugular.


The Office Slut
Quite frankly, I don’t believe in slut shaming and when you are so lucky to have the office slut, you should befriend them immediately. They tell the best stories, their wardrobe always makes you look professional and their working lunches usually involve a martini or five. Don’t be picky. Office sluts are versatile group: both men and women, young and old. Meet them, friend them on Facebook and enjoy.


Motive: To combine work and play with a paycheck.

True Motive: Their blog will one day make them millions.



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