The end of the OFFICE dynamic?
Anyone who has seen “The Office” can relate to the myriad personality types you may have to work with in an office setting. The pandemic has at least temporarily ended the typical office structure, as most of us have been hunkered down at home in front of our personal computers over the past 11 months (has it been that long already?). Some thoroughly enjoy being apart from their colleagues, and others are literally climbing the walls from social deprivation.
No matter which category you fall into, we have all interacted with memorable coworkers at one time or another in our quest to climb the corporate ladder. At the risk of generalizing, I have attempted to give you a flavor for some of the common “office” personalities you might encounter once we finally return to our offices. Any Resemblance to Actual Persons, Living or Dead, is Purely Coincidental.
The Martyr – This individual is indispensable to the operations of the business. The Martyr is the first one to arrive at the office (usually before sunrise) and the last one to leave. Another sign of an office Martyr is the deluge of emails you receive from them at 4:10 a.m. or 11:55 p.m. If the Martyr were to take a job elsewhere, several extraordinary things would happen. The remaining employees would freeze solid and find themselves incapable of continuing their daily tasks. The business would quickly grind to a halt and the world would come to an end.
The Comic – This individual perceives himself as a mix of Will Ferrell, Jerry Seinfeld, Richard Pryor and The Three Stooges. In fact, the Comic is extremely obnoxious and annoying. The Comic will often play juvenile practical jokes on his coworkers, which make him as popular as an ingrown toenail. Colleagues often wonder if the Comic does even 15 minutes of real, actual work during the day (credit to “Office Space” for the quote). Despite this fact, the Comic just celebrated his 25th anniversary with the company. I guess somebody high-up in the corporate hierarchy either has a poor sense of humor or is completely oblivious to the suffering of the office peons.
The Popular Clique – Remember your high school days? Maybe you would rather forget them. My first memory of high school was the cliquishness of the student body; second is the awful cafeteria food. From the start everyone seemed to join forces with a smaller group of students with shared interests and attributes. The most disliked group was—by far—the popular clique. These were the cool students who seemed to always have 10 to 20 fellow students hanging outside their locker, each a wannabee member of the clique. Unfortunately, you cannot escape your high school days once you enter the workforce. The popular clique is alive and well in the office environment. In my opinion, it is always preferable not to be part of an office clique and instead go your own way (credit to Fleetwood Mac).
The Teacher’s Pet – Also analogous to your school days, the teacher’s pet is one of those individuals who is universally despised. If your coworker is a teacher’s pet, you will undoubtedly understand what I mean. The teacher’s pet is consumed with pleasing the boss, whether it is treating them to Starbucks coffee in the morning or a smoothie in the afternoon. The teacher’s pet will always make it a point to sit next to the boss at a staff meeting and echo the bosses’ comments. Quite often, the teacher’s pet will take on the characteristics of a Martyr (see above).
This barely covers the multitude of interesting personalities you may encounter in the office. Suffice it to say that you may regret not pursuing a psychology degree (or at least a minor) during your Drexel years!