This one goes out to all of the Cube Heads out there - that's right, I said Cube Heads. No longer am I going to let us be condescended upon by that awful term Cube "Monkeys". It is such a blatant derivative of an animal that loves routine and lacks thought, we're more than that.
No, no, no, from here on out we are to be referred to as "Cube Heads" an obvious relation to our Rock star brother, the Metal Head.
Today we tackle the personalities of the people you will encounter in your typical office setting. Notice I said typical office setting. I'm talking about your classic, men and women of all ages and races office setting. I have to be clear about that because I know a lot of our readers are young and young professionals may work in these hip, modern offices with arcade machines around the corner or instead of pouring yourself a cup of coffee, you go ahead and make frappes on the espresso machine (Is that possible? I don't even know what a frappe is).
Anyway, I've decided to compile a list of profiles of those that you will either soon be working with or already do – let me know if these people sound like your office and feel free to comment on some additional ones that I may have overlooked. So without further ado, here is our list of the different office personalities.
NOTE: If the office personality types have ***B.O.C.*** next to their titles, they are candidates for burn-out.
The Over-Achiever ***B.O.C.***
Age: Early – Mid 20s
Sex: Male or Female
Run Down: Not burned out, yet. Caterpillar version of The Mentor.
Skinny: Their effort is a mask for lack of performance.
How to Get Along with The Over-Achiever: Compliment them on their effort, example below.
"Dang, you put in the effort. I can tell you really love what you do and are going to be successful."
I won't sugarcoat it; this person just downright makes you look bad. They come early and stay super late because that is the extra skill they bring, the ability to put in long hours. Work becomes an obsession right up until the inevitable nervous breakdown occurs. Following the breakdown, they gear things back a tad and develop a new perspective that is "family first"; however, work will always be priority number one. They are a mover in the office, navigating their way up and enjoying a moderately successful career before eventually turning into The Mentor (Only the Male version).
Age: Mid 50s
Run Down: Enjoyed an above average career that he would characterize as a great career. Formerly The Over-Achiever.
Skinny: Builds you up, takes you under his wing, and prepares all of your steps for success - NEVER follows through.
How to Get Along with The Mentor: Listen intently during their pump up speeches but be advised (In one ear, out the other). Don't buy the hype.
I mentioned it above when I profiled The Over-Achiever; this is who that person has become. The Mentor loves giving you advice about how to find success in this business. Unfortunately, they haven't realized that they never actually achieved a huge amount of success in their own career. They are typically an expert in one specific field and that label has given them a false bravado that makes them feel expert in ALL fields. Hence, the constant lectures about "buying in" to the company philosophy because they feel their achievements justify giving you a pump up speech. If you do seek their guidance, they will end up letting you down and not following through.
Age: Early – Mid 20s
Run Down: Millionaire dreams, ends up peaking in mediocrity.
Skinny: He views his current situation in the office like this, "I'm going to be super successful, and this is just a place for me to build my resume until I find my passion."
How to Get Along with Mr. Potential: Feed his ego, example below:
"Nice bro, you are really good on those phones, sounds smooth."
He's spent his whole life with people in his ear telling him that he is going to be successful, meanwhile, deep down he knows that he's just coasting by with a good personality. Mr. Potential never actually comes through but always projects an image as if he is. The height of his success as a human being has likely already passed him by.
Age: Mid 30s – Mid 40s
Run Down: Family first, career second. She works a 30 hour work week.
Skinny: Kids are in junior high. Nothing outside of her world is interesting. Eventually, the switch flips when her kids turn high school age and she ends up hating them.
How to Get Along with The Mrs.: Endure the kids' stories.
Mrs. Mom thinks you are interested in her kids, obviously you are not. We all know the saying, "People love to talk about themselves" and it has never been truer than in this office profile. In this case, her children are an extension of 'self' and now you are subject to a barrage of stories about their lives. Their meaningless, uninteresting, junior high lives. As I mentioned above, they eventually get older and grow into smart mouth, d-bag high-schoolers that even Mom can't stand anymore. At which point you are finally relieved of her worst qualities. From here on out she is jaded and her misery becomes increasingly interesting.
Note: I may have just beat this person up a bit, but I promise you, there is no one more loyal than "The Mrs." - she'll lift a friggin car off of your body if she has to, and has more loyalty than a made man.
Age: Mid 40s – Mid 50s
Sex: Male or Female
Run Down: Egomaniac
Skinny: This person has had an excellent career and is great at what they do. Unfortunately, they are horrible human beings.
How to Get Along with The Boss: Talk about the money they've made.
No one likes The Boss and that's just the way it is. They have expectations, you hate having to meet them. It's one of the pitfalls with being at the top; you just aren't actually liked by the people beneath you. Of course we all laugh at their jokes, you have to - it's called JOB SECURITY. They are egomaniacs and they basically had to be to get into the position they are in right now. You have to pump them up and nothing accomplishes feeding their ego quite like talking about the money they've made, which means you should constantly make them believe that you are motivated by money, too. If you get them to buy that, you're gold.
Low Profile ***B.O.C.***
Age: Mid 20s
Sex: Male or Female
Run Down: Quiet, smart, underpaid.
Skinny: Minds their own business and uses intelligence and work ethic to perform at a high level.
How to Get Along with Low Profile: Avoid work conversations.
This will actually end up being your favorite person in the office because they mind their own business and for the most part, leave you alone. Also, this is the early form of someone who is going to be highly successful. I will caution you though, avoid them on a personal level at all costs. Once they warm up to you, you will be bombarded with work discussions outside of your work place and nothing is worse than office-speak when you aren't there.
Special thanks to NBC's The Office for the pictures.