If Only Life Were Written By Ricky Gervais

Feb 23rd, 2015 | By | Category: Columns

Most of us have the “honor” of working in an office environment, and, unless you’re one of those privileged few who works for Google, the standard layout of any office is as follows: grey everything, fluorescent lights, and sadness. Of course, to be fair, it’s not the building’s fault that it’s the physical manifestation of the first 20 minutes of Up, but rather the people who fill that building. As we grow, we mature (either willingly or via coercion), we come to recognize that certain behaviors we partook in during our younger years really has no place in the real world, much less in a working environment. We shed a lot of the superficial notions we clung to in our adolescence, or rather, most of us d0–for some, however, they feel the need to fight these concepts while in the workplace.

It appears that no matter how old we get, and what road of life we’ve decided to travel, a lot of people can’t shake off the shitty personalities they exhibited in high school. The only difference between then and now: getting into fisticuffs results in getting fired rather than a few days suspension. Oh, and lawsuits. Lots, and lots of lawsuits. Since the possibility of sitting in your home cold and in the dark is a very real possibility for reacting in a slightly violent way, we have to be able to identify the beasts who roam our respective jungles, and recognize that their shortcomings as a  person is a result of them having not mentally or socially developed past the 12th grade.

  • The “I’m the Most Important Nobody!”: This is the equivalent of that preppy rich kid who simply felt their existence made them more important than you. They had connections and, should you not bend to their demands, would exploit what minuscule amount of influence they had to ruin your life “just because.” Often, and unfortunately, this person is found in positions of power (due in part to the brown streaks on their nose). They stride about knowing that the only thing that’s enabling their all around bastardy behavior is a tiny thing called “the law.” If this were a society in which forensic science wasn’t so effective, we’d have a lot less of them running around.
  • The “Hey, Didja’ Hear?”: Much like war, gossip never changes. There’s always that one person who knows more about the interoffice feuds than their own job. Back in high school, this was the person who you’d find peering around open lockers, or subtly reading the notes passed back and forth in class. Rest assured, your private dealings aren’t off limits, and I’m sure they’ve implied you’ve done something woefully inappropriate at an office gathering on more than one occasion.
  • The “I’m Your Friend First, and Boss Second.” First off, nobody with even so much as an iota of common sense believes this; second, your friends are the people you complain to about the infuriating nonsense you deal with at home and work. It’s not exactly wise to tell you how much of a dickhead you are now is it, Boss Man/Woman? Well, I could if I don’t mind eating cold ravioli from a can while sitting under an overpass. Behind that “I’m everybody’s pal” façade is the cold, calculated face of a person who would sell you up river if it meant they got a little extra praise in an email. This was that teacher in high school who yearned to be viewed as the cool teacher, but would deduct 10 points from your paper if you forgot to date it, and then send a note home to your parents about how careless you are when it comes to your assignments.
  • The “I’m Retiring in Six Months!”: What they’re saying is “While you’ll be sluffing in to work for the next 35 years, I’ll be at home, sipping coffee and watching The Price is Right.” What I hear is “I’ll be dead way before you.” It makes sense for you to retire soon, you’re 64, drool, and have cataracts…quite frankly I’m amazed you weren’t shipped off to the glue factory years ago. This was that senior who lauded over the underclassmen’s heads that they’d have to deal with standardized tests and the stringent rules regarding their home life. What they fail to realize is that it’s all downhill after high school, as the adult world slaps you in the face, pushes you down, and takes your milk money, then throws in a wedgie for good measure because life’s a dick.
  • The “Reply All-er”: These are your everyday know-it-alls, quick to call out the sender of an email when they make a mistake, something as small as a typo, or the sender not knowing that a sudden situation changed a course of action. The smug sense of satisfaction they get in embarrassing a person in front of their peers is surpassed only by their need to seek the validation from everyone around them. Fun fact: Nobody cares if you caught a typo, and the whatever props you receive for pointing it out only pales in comparison to the attention you never got from your parents. Sorry, you’re dead on the inside.
  • The “Fundraiser…er”: Remember that kid in all of your classes who had a Safeway bag filled with various Hershey or Mars products, offering his fellow students a sugar fix at $1 a pop, akin to a legitimate drug deal, taking place in 11th grade English? Remember how you would never talk to them unless they had a king’s ransom in peanut butter cups and M&Ms? Same story happens today, only instead of candy, it’s worthless crap that their kid is selling. No, I don’t need wrapping paper, towel holders, and/or Mr. and Mrs. Claus salt and pepper shakers. Unless your child is selling the legal crack that is tagalongs or thin mints, we have nothing to discuss.
    Obviously, there’s way more archetypes who reside in every office setting, however I don’t have enough time to catalog every species who emerges from the primordial ooze that is college. So, we have one of two options for dealing with the ever changing landscape:
  • Option One: petition our government to legalize hunting humans for sport. Not only would it allow us to rid ourselves of those who would’ve been bested in a duel centuries ago, but would also allow us to thin the herd, allowing us to conserve precious resources.
  • Option Two (Or, the not as fun option): we learn to deal with these wonderful people, as assholes and the like will exist so long as humanity does. So, until Yellowstone erupts, we’ll just have to deal with it.

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