Office Stereotypes

  • Have you ever noticed that a lot of jobs seem to have the same cast of characters that show up? Think about your past jobs for a few minutes, you likely had one or more of the following people in all of them:

    The Company Man
    This is the guy who loves the company, no matter what it does. The company can do no wrong, it's the best place to work ever, he wouldn't leave for a billion dollars. He's totally drunk on the kool-aid. Usually he's the bosses pet, or he's been there for years happily dwelling in mediocrity. His job might be picking up shit, but damn it he'll be the best shit picker-upper ever because Mr. Smith is love, Mr. Smith is life and he deserves to be rich!

    Mr/Mrs Urgent
    Everything this person needs done is urgent, especially when it's not. Often they are a higher-ranking manager so they use that clout to demand immediate attention just because they think they're special. If they submit a request and it's not put to the front of the queue, expect an angry email to your boss's boss, if not higher, complaining that it's not done immediately. Also thinks they're super busy and therefore deserve special treatment.

    Mr. Bad Mood
    Every time this person talks it sounds like they're frustrated and in a bad mood, even if they aren't. They could be wishing someone a happy birthday and it would sound like they're pissed off. Sometimes this is the same as Mr/Mrs Urgent above.

    The Workaholic
    This is the person who is constantly working 24/7, not because they have to but because they genuinely want to. Doesn't matter if he's home or on vacation, he's likely to be logged in doing free work

    The Tyrant
    Usually found in small businesses, this is the arrogant, spoiled, entitled owner who thinks they're a special snowflake and everyone needs to kiss their ass. Often starting a business just to be "the boss" and lord it over people, chances are this character runs their business like a plantation or a feudal village. They usually come with their own troupe of supporting characters:

    Inept Family Members
    The Tyrant's spouse, children and/or siblings that are given high-ranking executive or director jobs, but do little or no work. Often even more clueless and mean than the Tyrant him/herself, these guys usually use family clout to get special treatment from everybody because you work for them too by extension.

    The Weirdo
    Often an older person, this character seems out of place at the job they perform, but performs it well even though their job is typically mind-numbingly boring. They often had a weird background before coming to work at the company years ago (for example, they were a minister or a lumberjack or a railroad conductor) but are happy and content to just coast along. Sometimes exhibits traits of the "Company Man" above.

    Poor Old Bob
    A variation of the Weirdo, Poor Old Bob has been with the company since it started or shortly thereafter. Since then, he's become sort of a manservant in addition to his regular duties. He washes the owner's car, he reminds the wife of her hair appointments, he goes to the mansion to care for the family's dog while they're on vacation for a month in Europe. He's too old and inept to find work elsewhere so he has no place else to go and is little more than a butler. He may or may not be appreciated instead of treated like dirt, but he's definitely taken advantage of constantly.

    Named after the Simpsons character, this guy is a miserable toady who fawns over the Tyrant and/or Inept Family constantly in order to curry favor, and usually gets it. Anyone who doesn't see their greatness and drinks the kool-aid is a threat to the dynasty and needs to be removed as quick as possible before they introduce any common sense into the organization.

    What kinds of office stereotypes have you encountered?

  • kills Dumbledore

    @DocMonster said:

    Mr. Bad Mood
    Every time this person talks it sounds like they're frustrated and in a bad mood, even if they aren't. They could be wishing someone a happy birthday and it would sound like they're pissed off. Sometimes this is the same as Mr/Mrs Urgent above.

    Shit, I think this one might be me. Apparently I'm not very approachable and people are scared of me

  • The IT guys
    They usually are located in remote parts of the office quietly doing their stuff which no one understands. They prefer strange ways of communicating like support tickets and keep to themselves while torturing the normal people because of their ineptitude toward magic machines.

    The hottie
    You can just stop staring while she walks down the hall being called by the Tyrant to his office. Might be the same as Mrs Urgent, so be wary.

  • Ditto.

    But mostly sarcastically bad mood.

    If I start on something I don't like, I get the lean-back and take it crowd, like, "here we go again".

  • Every job I've had has a Topper from Dilbert.

  • Winner of the 2016 Presidential Election

    Mr ADHD
    Usually works on 5 different branches at the same time, while simultaneously watching Youtube videos, updating Facebook and reading a book. Tries to get everything off his desk as soon as possible so he can work on something else. Constantly annoys his bosses and coworkers by claiming he's done with some task when he's actually not. Although competent, he produces most of the bugs, because of his lack of concentration and his apparent inability to actually test his code.

  • There are good ones too.


    This is an elder, usually a woman, who will listen to anything you have to say and encourage you afterward. They keep all your complaints secret, and genuinely care about you. Sometimes this person is in HR, but doesn't have to be.

  • Hm, I think our team scores low. We've got the workaholic, he's the local manager. Apart from that pretty much everyone agrees $COMPANY_NAME is TRWTF.

  • I had a Company Man/Weirdo mix in my old company that I would addend with utterly inept at his job. The worst part is that he thought he knew better than anybody else and felt the need to butt into any conversation where he thought we might need his (nonexistent) expertise.

    He was the company's second or third full time employee, in 2002 or something like that. He only stayed because he would be utterly useless anywhere else. Fuck that guy.

  • @asdf said:

    Mr ADHD Bort


  • The Politician
    This is the guy who spents most of his time engaging with his manager, and his manager's manager, and your manager's manager. He's the guy who is always in meetings, always constantly on the go, firing off emails one-handed from his Blackberry. Is he ever at his desk? Perhaps, but if you find him there, he's always just about to head off somewhere else. Is he in the office, or is he out on the road, "meeting" with clients? Does he actually do any work? Nobody knows, but he's survived the last three rounds of downsizing, including when they laid off the whole of QA, so he must be doing something of value, right? It's not just that he manages to get his name attached to every succesful project, and someone else's name associated with every failure? Right?

  • Discourse touched me in a no-no place

    Stealth Secretary
    A ludicrously over-titled administative assistant or similar whose job responsibilities entail essential things like 'handling the vast mountain of paperwork' and 'running interference with the bureaucracy' who is nonetheless not allowed to be employed by a specific functional group, typically due to HR policies that do not acknowledge that a multi-discipline team might be a good idea. As such, she is a 'Software analyst' or 'Production coordinator' or even 'Senior Software developer'.

    The Long Shot
    An absolute rockstar. Vital to the team, outperforms their more experienced colleagues in any metric you care to analyze. Problem is, they were brought in hopelessly junior - greener than the greenest grass. Baby poop green. No education, no experience, no indicator that they were likely to succeed. In predominantly male fields, they're probably a girl, and probably have a nice pair of tits (which are actually why they were hired - and the hiring manager was fired for being a misogynist prick shortly thereafter). Not even qualified on paper to be the intern. But not only did they succeed, they thrived, learned, and grew. But they're hobbled by their lack of qualifications - nobody takes them seriously, their title is an offbrand, their pay scale is lower than any of their colleagues, and they know it and despair. Their only hope for advancement is to attract a respected patron who will scream at and extort the right people to get them recognition.

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