As you read this article, you will see glimpses of yourself in some of the roles we explore. That’s OK. If you fit any of these traits to a T, then it’s probably time you start adjusting some of the annoying habits you’ve developed over the years. That, or stay in denial about it. Hey, if it ain’t broke, why fix it?
The Problem: Obsessive hoarding of essential office supplies.
The Cause: Youngest sibling who needed to secure his/her share of limited resources.
The Scenario: If your office supply closet looks like a grocery store after the collapse of an Eastern European government, you know The Collector has struck again. This sticky-fingered bandit is so paranoid that an imminent disaster might cut off the world paperclip supply, he’s turned his cubicle into a storage unit.
The Solution: Hide the essential goodies somewhere else. Or take them home for safe keeping. Just make sure to bring them back before anyone notices.
The Problem: Life sucks, but you don’t need to hear about it all the time.
The Cause: Mild OCD meets a serious serotonin deficiency.
The Scenario: The water in the water cooler is too cold. The AC is too hot. The pencils are sticky. While this can be entertaining in small doses, 8 hours of it 5 days a week is enough to make you go postal. And if you’re burning the midnight oil to finish a project, it could be enough to have you literally blowing smoke out of your ears.
The Solution: Tell The Whiner your doc just said you’ve contracted a rare communicable disease, then cough every time he comes near you. They’re also hypochondriacs.
The Problem: Lacking social skills and desperate for friends.
The Cause: Breast-fed until middle school.
The Scenario: The highlight of this guy’s social life is dinner with mom — which happens every night, because he still lives at home. He also smells kind of like a hamster cage. Employees of the opposite sex are terrified of getting stuck with him in the elevator during a fire scare — which he probably started.
The Solution: Send him a letter signed “The Wizard Darth Mor.” Anyone who plays that much Magic: The Gathering knows better than to provoke the wrath of a wizard.
The Problem: Irritatingly enthusiastic.
The Cause: Not beaten up enough on the playground.
The Scenario: This obnoxiously, mind-spinningly peppy twit is always trying to turn Wednesday into “Silly Tie Day” and go to meetings with a list of fun bonding activities. She has a bloated goldfish on her desk she calls “Goldie” that she insists is the official office mascot. Meanwhile, Goldie secretly dreams of the day he kicks the bucket because everything seems just that much more exaggerated through his glass bowl.
The Solution: Beat this person to the punch and hang a pair of pom-poms up near your desk. Sporadically break into cheer formations when The Cheerleader visits. She’ll get the point.
The Problem: Numbingly boring.
The Cause: Advanced college degrees and delusions.
The Scenario: Tax brackets. The paper industry. The history of Tajikistan. Whatever this walking Wikipedia is talking about, you can bet you’re not going to care. Audiotapes of him should be used to cure insomniacs, but his voice is too annoying even for them.
The Solution: Next time a trip to the copy machine turns into a speech on the habits of the ink needle, make a detour for the door. Not even a double lunch will takes as long.
The Problem: Is there one?
The Cause: A good gene pool.
The Scenario: They might be dumber than a houseplant, but that’s okay — you’d still be glad to have them on your team. Just make sure not to let the almighty purr under the hood make you want to take them out for a spin. It’s likely this one’s already been around the block once or twice.
The Solution: Always keep in mind that eye candy was made for the eyes, and the gift of sight can be quite deceptive. But then again, eyes end in yes.