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Ask Shifra

Something Different... Answering questions and making curious observations (online) since 2005.

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Friday, August 26, 2005

The Usual Suspects

In nearly every place I've worked there seem to be a few everpresent "types" of employees on the payroll.

In the style of a National Geographic Special I have tracked down a couple of them in their natural habitats for a closer look.

Perhaps you will recognize them in the wilds of your workplace or can describe some of your own favorites I look forward to hearing about them!

Employee #1
The Fratboy turned Salesguy
Often seen in a homogeneous herd of immature white males, these creatures laugh too loud and too often. Working mostly on commission, these men will do whatever it takes to make the sale especially if it involves drinking, golf, dirty jokes or a trip to Hooters. These men often are quite successful, although there intelligence is often merely average or lower thus frustrating more intellectually minded co-workers. While not generally considered predatory the FTS have been known to whack the unsuspecting co-worker on the back without warning.

Employee #2:
The Office Lady
Ranging in age anywhere from 35-60 in a middle to low ranking position (office manager, secretary, bookkeeper), this woman feels she "runs the office" and will do anything within her power to assert that control. Despite her plump and pleasant appearance in holiday themed sweaters this woman will stab you in the back if she feels you are getting to close to anyone in management she feels is "hers" or if she smells success in the air.
This woman is very up to date on all office gossip, yet blissfully unaware of what is being said about her behind her own back. Cross her and you will never ever get that stapler you requested.


At 12:35 PM, Blogger and so it shall be... said...

I crossed #2 in my last job. She was loving and motherly to my face but a vicious, nasty rumor-mongerbehind my back.

When I left, she was drooling because she was next in line for my fancy NEXTEL phone (this was six years ago and the phone was highly coveted).

The only revenge I has was figuring out how to wipe the phone factory-fresh so she would have to wait about a week for it to be reprogrammed when she received it in the mail from me.

Small consolation, but you described her right down to the holiday sweaters. Rot in hell, Claire -- wherever you are!

At 12:44 PM, Blogger Shifra said...

I knew there were plenty of them out there- mine were named Peggy and Eleanor.

At 10:38 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

So that's why I can't get the red stapler....

At 11:24 AM, Blogger Conservative Apikoris said...

#1, fratboy turned salesguy. There's a subpecies, "Fratboy turned managment." I had a senior manager 210 years ago who was one of these, and I remember a wild ride through a certain souther twon in a renat station wagon, with this guy, who was my boss, rolling around in the back compartment 3 sheets to the wind. In his favor, even with his elevated BAC, he had enough sense to know not to drive, and had me doing it. (I was temoporarily on the wagon because of medication I was taking.)

Actually, he was a pretty good boss, and even though he acted towrds the femal staff as onemight expect, he seemed to know how to keep from crossing the line into sexual-harrassment suit territory. And he promoted a lot of women professionals, etc. And, no, his name was NOT "Bill Clinton."

I will say that by the mid 80's, he had cleaned his act up quite a bit. Heck, our Christmas parties tamed down to the point where we could bring our spouses! :-(

At 11:26 AM, Blogger Conservative Apikoris said...

I had a senior manager 210 years ago who was one of these

Oops, my "1" and "2" keys stick sometimes. No, I am not a vampire with eternal life, I worked for this guy 20 - 25 years ago.

At 6:14 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

We're a B2B business, and on #2 is THE most important person in the target company for us to win favor with to get the sale no matter the company size.
brutus (must use anonymous because working from pda and it doesn't let me use "other")

At 7:03 PM, Blogger Shifra said...

Brutus - So maybe THAT's where the "Office Lady" gets her sense of self importance!

CA- No, I am not a vampire with eternal life - LOL!
I know you are always saying you "been around" but that did seem a little extreme!

At 9:59 PM, Blogger Conservative Apikoris said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

At 12:19 AM, Blogger Ben Avuyah said...

I have more than one "office lady" in my life, and every time I deal with them I put on my best, maple syrup coated voice over, and sweet talk like there's no tommorrow.

Better that, than have your misfiled paper work returned to you over the next three months.

Funny, where the power really is. great post!

At 9:39 AM, Blogger Shifra said...

A combination of syrupy sweetness and respectful humility is always the way to go with these woman.
BA, you clearly know the ropes.


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