Sixty percent of white-collar workers are now stuck in cubicles, and trend experts say the lack of space has spawned a myriad of eccentric office types. Chances are, you work with a “Linux” (cranky tech-support guy), or a “Drool Tool” (someone who smacks his lips and crinkles bags while eating). Here are other common office breeds as described in Robert Lanham’s book “Food Court Druids, Cherohonkees and Other Creatures Unique to the Republic” (Plume Paperback, $12):
An earnest-talking, micromanaging, office-jargon aficionado who has no hands-on knowledge of company procedures or logistics. Common habitat is McMansions in treeless housing developments. Hobbies include collecting metal band wristwatches and reading USA Today. To announce their presence in the morning, straight shooters often enter the building talking jovially on cell phones. Their core lingo includes sports metaphors and such phrases as “I’ll front-burner that,” “what’s on your plate” and “we’re transitioning you.”
Back-stabbing employees whose inflated ambitions cause people not to like them. Favorite hangout is the conference room and leadership classes at the local community college. They typically bring their voice up a notch at meetings, make their pagers visible at all times, bring better cookies and take charge of rounding people up for office meetings.
Excessively cheerful co-workers with overly earnest or maternal natures. Often have an assortment of conversation props on their desks, including candy dish, photos and collection of California Singing Raisins. Obsessed with kids and pets. Enjoy wearing holiday buttons and sweaters. Can be counted on to forward all fun e-mails to co-workers.
(Cornered Rapid Office Workers) The office equivalent of the disgruntled coffee shop employee. Intelligent, sarcastic underachievers who lash out unexpectedly. A CROW’s discontent lies in his lack of vocational fulfillment. However, they are able to juggle work, a dysfunctional relationship, and an active drug habit all at once.
The quietest person in the office. She’s shy, conventional, professional, and 100% business. But give her a couple of drinks at the company picnic, and she’s ready to disrobe and lean over a balcony Mardi Gras-style. She’ll call in sick the next day, but when she finally returns to work, she’ll act as if nothing happened.
Hot Sauce Guy
He likes things spicy and always has hot sauce at his desk to prove it. If you’re fortunate enough to have a good Hot Sauce Guy at your office, he’ll stock his desk with exotic mixtures from foreign lands. He’s very easy to shop for at Secret Santa time.
People addicted to cell phones. They bring their phones everywhere and frequently call friends to update them.
They also stare at their phones and giggle, messaging friends while you’re trying to talk to them. Extremely obnoxious Ring Worms are called Cellholes.
The office pervert. Favorite habitat is hovering over your cubicle. TGIFs often carry a pubescent-level world view and live for the drunken revelry of the weekend. Always animated storytellers, they announce their presence by saying “I’m soooooo hung over” before offering anecdotes. Apt to pop up throughout the day to discuss what the hot chick in accounting is wearing.
The female version of a TGIF.