You spend more time with them than anyone else on the planet but just like you can’t choose your family, you don’t get to choose your workmates. Sorry. But if you recognise yourself in any of the personalities below, perhaps you should consider the fact that you mightn’t be the perfect colleague you think you are. Have you ever loudly bragged about being the first to arrive at the office within earshot of the boss? How about helping yourself to a sneaky slice of cheese from the communal fridge? Let’s identify who’s who around the water cooler:
Although they do the brunt of all of the work around here, you have one major issue with The Overachiever: they make you look bad. They’re always the first to volunteer whenever the opportunity presents itself and pride themselves on being the first to arrive and the last to leave the office. How can you compete with that? They’re the personification of ‘going the extra mile’ and make sure everyone knows it.
Identifiable Feature: They walk so hot on the boss’s heels while waxing lyrical about a presentation they took the liberty of preparing that they run the risk of tripping them up.
The Food Thief
Though rarely ever formally identified, you can bet your last piece of smashed avo on toast that a food thief exists in every office. From apples going AWOL to your probiotic yoghurt disappearing without a trace, the food thief can strike at any time. Keep those Tupperware containers close, people.
Identifiable Features: You might want to pay close attention to those of your colleagues who seem to have a suspiciously endless supply of snacks…
The Passive Aggressive Note-Leaver
Ditto emails, 90% of which generally aren’t actually work-related. When the Food Thief steals your leftover bolognese or old mate to your left makes a habit of conducting the loudest personal phone calls in the world, you can always bank on this guy to fire off a ‘all staff’ email, typically signed off with a passive aggressive smiley face emoji.
Identifiable Feature: While the rest of the office are hard at work (or hardly working, see below entry), the Passive Aggressive Note Leaver will most likely to be heard loudly tap-tapping into their keyboard while muttering something about a dirty cereal bowl left in the sink.
They arrive late, busy themselves watching ‘funny cat compilation 27’ on YouTube before heading off to the gym during their more-than-an-hour-long lunch break. The absolute bare minimum of work is then done before they slope wordlessly out of the door just before five.
Identifiable Feature: The Shirkers are master delegators but their knee-jerk response to any request is to shrug, “I can’t, I’m slammed.”
The Office Gossip
Every time you get pulled in to the boss’s office, share a few terse words with a colleague or have to take the afternoon off to go to the dentist, The Office Gossip is watching and more than likely inventing a soap-worthy backstory to the whole rigmarole.
Identifiable Feature: The Gossip’s natural habitat is the kitchen, where they’re free to conduct conversations in hushed tones before not-so subtly changing the subject when you walk in.
The Credit Stealer
If you’ve ever suffered the indignity of having an idea readily prepped for a meeting only to have it swiped from under your nose by someone who then claims it as their own, you’ll know that The Credit Stealer is the actual worst. There is literally nothing you can do to rectify the situation, except silently vow to never divulge your ideas ever again.
Identifiable Feature: Will draw you into a conversation surrounding your preparation for an upcoming meeting before chucking you under the proverbial.