Working is a vital necessity in today’s world, and we all need the money to survive. Whenever we start a job we are thrown into a world consisting of people, rules, and information that existed even before we got there. Sometimes these are people or things which, in our regular lives, would never cross our paths. It is hard to deal with these things on a consistent basis because we would normally walk away from them when given a choice otherwise. One of the most common frustrations is the dreaded obnoxious co-worker.
Let’s face it, we all had those one or two office characters that make us want to laugh, cry or punch the nearest wall. I have dedicated this article to all of the mentally unstable people that I have ever worked with over time. I have listed my favorites in no particular order. I am sure many of you will be able to relate.
(1) The Ghetto Girl: Oh, how I hated you. It wasn’t your weave with the tracks showing, or your too tight pants that allowed your double muffin top to spill over. It wasn’t how you watched “The Cookout” on a mini-dvd player, or chewed off your fake nails during work hours that got to me either. It was your overly loud voice that broadcasted your business and dispensed unsolicited advice that really drove me insane. I don’t “need to go to da club” or “gets a baby daddy” like you said I did. I didn’t want to know how “T’shante from around the way laid it down like a pimp with a strong hand” over the weekend. Sure, he was “bangin’ in his White T” but do I care? NO! Get back to work and, for the love of all things holy, please stop trying to order bootleg 20-inch rims over the phone from a cousin of a friend of a friend.
(2) The Mentally Unstable Guy: I feel badly that you have some sort of chemical imbalance in that head of yours. What I do not feel badly about is how you get psychotic at the drop of a hat. It’s unfortunate that you incorrectly filed away the paperwork, and that I had to remind you of how we do things around here. It is also unfortunate how you got in my face and threatened to kick my ass when I told you. I was willing to let it go, but after you threw a temper tantrum when someone used a blue post-it instead of the standard yellow, I knew you had to go. I did like how that vein bulged out of your head though, and you did teach me curse words I had never heard before. I kind of miss you now that I think about it. I doubt your three ex-wives feel the same way.
(3) The Oversexed Nympho: My god! Just looking at you could send someone’s hormones into such a frenzy that they would have to fight off the urge to hump the nearest inanimate object. Your suggestive remarks and constant butt-slapping wouldn’t bother me as much if the President of the company wasn’t standing right behind us. That skirt you wore last week? I am pretty sure I could see your ovaries it was so short. I must thank you though for teaching me about what a “Donkey Punch” “Red Wing” and “Shocker” were. I just thank my lucky stars that you told me verbally, and did not make a PowerPoint presentation when educating me on these things.
(4) The Complainer: I don’t particularly love coming to work every single day either. Sometimes the rules don’t make sense, and it sucks that the coffee they serve in the break room tastes like flavored chalk. This doesn’t give you the right to complain every single second you are in the workplace. You have taken being a disgruntled employee to a whole new level. The only thing you haven’t complained about yet is the fact that you are completely and utterly useless. If making stupid mistakes was an Olympic sport, you’d be a gold medalist for sure. Those who live in glass houses shouldn’t throw stones. Man up already!
(5) The Smelly Dude: Uh, the makers of Lever 2000 called, and they told me that all of your 2000 parts stink. There is so much body odor in your area it smells like a junior high locker room on a hot summer day. Let’s put it this way: I’d rather get trapped in a room filled with the farts from someone with Irritable Bowel Syndrome than be around you for ten seconds. If you don’t remove Mt. Dandruff from your desk anytime soon I am sure the Department of Sanitation is going to shut us down.
(6) The Pervert: I could catch an STD just by looking in your direction. You undress everyone with your eyes, and say inappropriate things thinking you’re being smooth. I am not sure if it is the soft, slow voice you speak in, or that you twist your abundant chest hair while making conversation, but everything you do redefines being creepy. Also, those serial killer glasses you sport have got to go. I’m pretty sure that when you die the cops will find dead bodies underneath your house.
(7) The Control Freak: I didn’t realize that I needed to get your permission to breathe, go to the bathroom, or daydream about the hot UPS guy. You seem to know everything about everything, and any rule you did not invent is idiotic and couldn’t possibly work. Who cares if your micromanaging screws everything up? Who cares if your daily rants and miniature breakdowns cause people to feel on edge constantly? Who cares that you are single-handedly running your company into the ground? This is your world and we’re just living in it!
(8) The Wimp: Stop letting everyone treat you like a redheaded stepchild. I love how your subordinates talk down to you, and make you play by their rules. I wish you were my boss so I could walk all over you like a cheap doormat. I imagine it cannot be easy to stand upright when you don’t even have a spine. I have some advice for you: grow a pair already!
(9) The Lazy Girl: Are you allergic to work? If so, I would be willing to let it go that you hardly show up for work, or that you don’t even do anything once you are here. If it’s a medical condition I can’t fault you for that. Somehow I just don’t think that’s the case. You’ve missed more days than you’ve actually worked, and when you do come in you complain about how you need a vacation. I am pretty sure that the last time I looked up the word sloth in the dictionary your name was next to it. Actually, I don’t think any of the seven deadly sins want to be associated with you.
(10) The Chronically-Ill Guy: You get a cold and all of a sudden you’ve come down with the bird flu. You’ve got a headache but you’re certain that it’s actually a brain aneurysm in the works. These small things don’t concern you, but your terrible smoker’s cough and crapping yourself regularly don’t seem to bother you. Oh, and don’t think that we haven’t noticed those “irish coffees” you’ve been drinking in the morning. Tequila and coffee? Classy. I can’t even bear to think of what your liver and lungs look like. If they look anything like your teeth, I don’t want to know.
Oh co-workers, we’ve had some good times over the years. There have been days when I have wanted to give my two weeks’ notice because of you, and other days when your antics are the only thing getting me through the week. Most of you don’t deserve steady employment, and yet, here you are year after year. You’re too legit to quit, but I wish you would.
*this article has been adapted from an article I wrote and published in April 2007