If you work in an office, you’ll probably recognize most of these personality types. Just preparing to enter the workforce? Use this as a guide for whom—or what—to avoid. (This article first appeared in Uncle John’s Curiously Compelling Bathroom Reader.)
PSI (Personal Space Invader):
Has no concept of acceptable distance; usually hovers well inside the bad-breath zone.
No food is safe in the office fridge.
Hipper Than Thou:
Talks in catchphrases; punctuates remarks with two-handed finger pistols. Addresses coworkers as “Dude” or “Chief.”
Never heard of deodorant.
Exceeds the Right Guard (or perfume) quotient.
Shirt is never pressed and is always hanging out the back. Usually has a lot of jingly change in pockets (is often also a Stinker).
No answer is a simple “yes” or “no.
Mr. Nice Guy:
Can anybody actually be this pleasant? Possibly harboring a dark, dark secret.
Butts into other people’s conversations, adding un-asked-for viewpoints.
Likes to “borrow” stuff from your desk.
Management is stupid, lunch is lousy, the boss is unreasonable, my work never gets recognized, life sucks.
Somewhere under that pile of papers and burger wrappers is a desk. Somehow he knows where everything is.
a feather duster and a mini-vac in the office.
The office “comedian” has a bad pun for every occasion. Makes meetings last longer.
Own life is so boring that she feels compelled to create office drama.
Mr. Needs-a-Tic Tac:
Need we say more?
Gives way more info about personal ailments, romantic conquests, and family history than anyone could possibly want to know.
Thinks he’s being quiet, but has no clue how loud he really is, humming along and tapping to the beat. Responds by yelling.
Pats you on the back, places hand on your shoulder, brushes against you in the hallway. Creepy.
Every sentence begins with “My fiancé(e)…”
If female, compulsively twists her hair into dreadlocks; if male, clicks pen and bites his fingernails.
Master of useless (and incorrect) knowledge.
Man who has difficulty looking female co-workers in the eye, focusing instead on the region south of the chin.
Hasn’t mastered his “indoor voice.”
Has been announcing intentions to “quit this damn job” since before you worked there, and will still be after you’re gone.
Not the superhero, but the gravel-voiced lady whose life is her cats, to which her cubicle is a shrine.
Repeats other people’s ideas and often takes all of the credit.
Gab Gab Gabber:
Shows up unannounced to your cubicle and tells you all about his recent trip Disneyland; usually has photos.
Once they get your e-mail address, you’ll be bombarded by cute li’l Internet jokes (like a list of office personality types).