The W Word….

The thing about work, We all have to do it, earn the money to have the lifestyle that our parents, our parents parents and our parents parents parents…ok you get the picture?  As some of us already know, however there are also those who don’t work…the generations of ‘allowances’ people but we won’t go there, everyone has their own opinion! Most of us have a career right?  Well most of us do, some decide to just get what they can and poodle along.  That’s me, a poodle, although I would like to think I’m more of a Westie!

When I left school, different circumstances occurred and I ‘ended up’ working in admin, I started off attempting to do graphic design then radio presenting but one thing led to another and thanks to a little guidance went for a YTS. (Apprenticeship to the youngings who are reading this!) and from that day the rest is history!  (Ok I am sorry, I’ll try not to use that phrase again!) So what kind of place do you work in? Well, it could be a Warehouse? Shop? Outside? (Gardener or Rubbish Operative/Bin Man?), School, Hospital or the dreaded one which a staggering over 80% of us do, an OFFICE (although working in OFFICE the shoe shop would appeal, with all those shoes and discount, but sadly no that’s not what I meant!) but if you don’t work in an office, then please let your eyes be opened to what you’re (not) missing out on.


After many deep heated discussions with family and friends (welcome to the world of my research!) with all the chats, discussions and gossips at the end of the day we all have one thing in common; work , the people they work with and meet at work and I’ve met my fair few or jobs (and I am NOT kidding).  There are the usual types of colleagues and I used to hate stereo-typing but after recent events it has made me wonder if anyone else feels the same way? (‘Of course we do’ I hear you cry!) So here is my guide on the different types of people who work in an office (more than likely at other places too but I’ve not had experience of that!);

The ‘I know it all’ aka Nosey Parker


Every office has one, male or female (I’m going to be controversial and say they’re mostly female in my experience).  She (for arguments sake) knows everything about everyone and has probably worked there since the year the company or department started and she could be the of the ‘older’ variety but sometimes they come young too, but they’re less obvious being able to lie well and able to camouflage themselves into water coolers or photocopiers.  They find out personal details about everyone and reports back to their allies and managers that will use this information against you.  Please keep in mind that this is my opinion, some of them won’t use this information they’ll just have a power surge that goes to their head the fact that they know everything about everyone!

These also could be known as ‘brown nosers’, ‘creeps’ and ‘back stabbers’ you following?  If you are smiling, nodding or even (quite possibly) laughing then yes you know exactly what I’m talking about and you know at least one person like that! I actually worked in an office where there were four of them, the boss was the only one that had no idea.  She actually thought they genuinely liked her, making her coffee when she thought they were making it for everyone in the office (there was 11 of us in there!) but it would give the rest of us in the office a laugh at social gatherings at the local pub most Fridays after work.

The ‘Do I Care?’ aka do gooder

The do gooder comes in all different forms and are also too good at hiding their true colours, a particular one I have experience of (many moons ago in one of my first full time office jobs!) spent her days talking to other colleagues about their personal lives, and taking it upon herself to get involved.  But it wasn’t so much the getting involved that pissed others off (and there was a few of us that got fed up with her), she would pretend to be their best friend so that she could support them (although she wasn’t actually doing that) by having time spent with them rather than doing any work. This will also be the one that could drop you in it at any time, they will use your personal problems to do this.

Having friend that went going through separation and needed time off to recover (it was messy) .  The ‘do-gooder’ visited her at home, tea and sympathy she had called it but then went straight to Management on her return to inform them that in her opinion she wasn’t up to do the job and wouldn’t be able to cope with work and she ended up loosing her job.  I do, however, want to point out though, since that happened the ‘friend’ has a fabulous job working on a famous airline going on flights to Australia, American and Asia so she did alright out of it!

The ‘I want everyone’s attention’ aka the slacker

Every work place has one and this is normally a guy.  (Sorry I’m being controversial again) although I have worked in one office where it was a woman.  This one will take every given opportunity to slack off work, so could also be known as ‘lazy’.  I have worked with one that not only didn’t do any work but would happily delegate to everyone around him so he could spend time to watch prank videos on ‘you tube’ and update his Facebook status every half an hour. They are sometimes subtle, but he wasn’t and he did it in front of the boss.  Then he would tell everyone he was the ‘saviour’ of the company, he even had it on a sign in the kitchen for crying out loud with instructions how he wanted his tea and coffee.

The ‘I work hard’ aka I have no life outside of work

workaholicThis is very old school, not many of these about now as these are the people that get in and start work before the time they’re paid to start and work past their contract time to finish.  Some of them actually come in early and finish late, just because they enjoy their job, my husband works with one (which also works from home sometimes at midnight!) and the office jokes that he sleeps there which could actually happen because he normally wears the same clothes with the same old stains EVERYDAY!

These don’t exist much nowadays and I’ve no idea why, but they don’t claim their extra money because either work is their life, or their life is work. (I know, I know, it’s the same but I had to throw that in there!) This is all very well, but if they do the extra hours to complete work how will Management know when there is too much work?

Silver Backed Gorilla or the ‘don’t you know who I am?’

silverback gorilla

As known very well by someone very close to me, this is normally an alpha male that likes the sound of his own voice and takes great pleasure in making people feel uncomfortable by either belittling them in front of colleagues or bullying them.  They also love the power of knowing that they’re in control of everyone and their employees are their robots.  These species are regularly seen in companies with the latest smart phone (iPhone) super glued to his cheek shouting obscenities down the phone to his small wife at home.

I’ve worked with some in the past but luckily not directly, but know people that have.  Having heard stories about them, they generally get their comeuppance.  So to make you feel better, I recently found out that one of these species not only had his precious iPhone stolen but also got locked out of his house the same night he discovered his wife was having an affair! Go on, laugh, I know you want to…

‘SH’ aka Gob Almighty / Part-time Workaholic / Drainer / Milker (You get the picture?)

I can’t actually expose this nick name for this specie as it’s someones name, all those of you who me are now going through all people with these initials but only one of you will know who I’m actually talking about (and they already know I’m doing this!) This type can either be male or female I’ve known both but this particular one is female.  I haven’t worked with her, but I know plenty of people who have, these are people that I have known for years and they all tell me how lucky I was never to have the pleasure of working with her.

Her hours are the usual office hours of 9-5, or should I say 7-6.30pm?  Some of you are thinking wow, that is one long day, but if you knew her you would realise that she only actually worked the total of four and a half to five hours a day. Arriving at 7 in the morning she crack on with her work, tapping away at the keyboard so quick you could see smoke coming from behind her screen.  She would normally get all her work done in the first two hours of the day, but then at 9am she would have her first break, which would generally last about three hours.


Yes you heard it right, she would work solidly till 9 and as soon as that second hand hit the 9am mark she would stop work instantly. In that time she would; read the internet, chain smoke, walk to the shop, gossip to colleagues and generally be loud and disruptive to the rest of the office.  12 o’clock would come and she would be back on the keyboard typing for an hour (sometimes two) typing loudly to make sure everyone could hear she what she was doing (yes, the poor girl never had a proper lunch break)!

Her afternoon would normally consist of pretty much the same as her morning and making her way around the open plan office chatting to various people till the clock turned to 5pm when most people would leave the office.  SHe (see what I did there?) would stay for an hour or so after to complete work that she should have been doing all afternoon.  Although the minute she was alone in the office would click on the internet and do her shopping and spend time dreaming of holidays and looking out the window. (It was before the days of Facebook and Twitter!) The reason for all these extra hours, was ‘all together now’ overtime pay!  Aha, did you NOT see that coming?

The ‘My door is always open’ aka I need to know everything.

A very knowledgeable person in my life once said don’t tell them too much at work, and that was the best words of wisdom that anyone could’ve given me, why did I NOT listen! This type is normally disguised as a Manager, or an ally or a Manager who wants to be your best friend.  They want you to open up to them, to tell them your weaknesses (or in their words, be honest).  THIS IS A TRAP, the reason they give you for this is because they want to help you build on this and make it your strength BUT IT’S A LIE.  It’s so (in plain English) that when ‘shit hits the fan’ and they have to get rid of someone they make you do the work that makes you weaker, and they’ll push and push till YOU just have to give in and leave which makes their life a lot easier not having to go through dismissing you and bringing up a possible court case.

The ‘Layabout’ aka can’t be bothered

man sleeping at deskI once worked with someone like this, but only in a temp job for a couple of weeks but I do know people that have worked more closely with this type and I have Laughed Out Loud at the stories that they have told me.  Stories that would make your toes curl and your hair frizz (obviously before conditioner and hair straighteners was invented!)  I’m going to let those people have privacy and not tell these wicked stories. However, I have to tell this one story though; of a friend who worked in a furniture shop at a Retail Park in Hampshire (it’s ok they won’t mind me telling this as it was twenty years ago).

This particular eighteen year old manager had come in with a hangover telling everyone that he had lots to get on with and couldn’t be disturbed NO MATTER WHAT and shut himself in the office and proceeded to SLEEP off the hangover (whilst getting paid £6 an hour which was a lot in those days!) Halfway through the afternoon, this manager had a ‘surprise’ visit from the Regional Manager after reports of members of staff playing football in the show room and throwing cushions and pillows around.  Needless to say that the manager was dismissed immediately and told to leave the premises, that furniture shop went bust shortly after that!

I could go on for hours with this, having had experience of working with many different characters over the years but I can safely say that all the evidence used above is not by my own working experience over the last six and a bit years so if you’re looking through trying to work out who each one is….I wouldn’t even try, sorry my lips are sealed!