Working at an engineering firm is like living in a tiny microcosm of society filled with unique and unusual characters. No matter where you work, we’ve all experienced these folks. Some weird, some funny, some goofy, some brilliant, some annoying, some adventurous, some opinionated, and the list goes on. Here are some of the most common caricatures that you’ll find at the office.
1. The young, overachieving, go getter.
We’ll call this person Arnold. This guy is new to the working world having recently graduated from college or a graduate program. He takes his work VERY seriously. His hobbies include studying, asking questions, and working unpaid overtime. Regardless of how much his boss puts on his plate, he asks for more. This person is always on the phone, always gets flustered when you interrupt his critically important train of thought, and never misses an opportunity to suck up to management.
2. The overpaid, lazy, one foot out the door retiree.
This lady’s name is Cathy. You know this person very well because you’re always having to do her work. She overpromises and underperforms. But what does she care. She’s about to retire and play with her grand kids all day. She’s only hanging around the office to collect that sweet life insurance and those delicious health benefits. Only one more year until she reaches full pension and then SHE’S GONE. No one is quite sure why the supervisors don’t demand more from Cathy. She no doubt collects one of the largest paychecks, but the value she adds just isn’t there. Who can blame her? She’s been working at the company for over 30 years. She’s put in her time. She knows exactly what she needs to get done and doesn’t do a lick more.
3. The oversocial, oversharing, chatty Cathy is actually not named Cathy.
This person’s name is Gary. Have you ever been crushing your work, getting things done, feeling motivated and full of energy from that Starbucks you treated yourself with, then everything comes to a screeching halt. In comes Gary. Well at least you got a lot done this morning because now you find yourself in a never ending conversation with the guy that doesn’t know when to stop. No matter how many ways you try to exit the conversation, this guy just won’t take a hint. How can he continue to weather through the storm of your one word responses? Wait, what’s he doing now? Oh no, he’s busting out family pictures of their most recent trip to the Colorado Railroad Museum… Let’s see if I can text someone and have them call me so I can escape the torture that is this conversation.
4. Harold is the office weirdo.
No one is quite sure what’s going through his mind. He’s creepily quiet and never speaks up unless directly spoken to. It’s painful to go to his office because you know there will be at least three and a half awkward silences every time. His empty stare is haunting and often causes you to avert your gaze and look at the ground. Everyone wonders what this guy does in the evenings or on the weekends. Is he sitting quietly reading on the couch, playing dungeons and dragons with a Meetup group in his basement, or simply watching Game of Thrones reruns with his wife. He is the mystery man of the office. The only mystery is that you don’t want anything to do with him.
5. Then there’s the cool guy.
He knows the office gossip and knows how to work the system. This guy’s name is Nick. Nick is a great coworker. You get along, work well together, and you’ve even hung out a couple of times on the weekend. One time you even went on an overnight camping trip with his wife and a handful of their friends. It seems like everyone in the office likes Nick. How could you not? He’s friendly, funny, adventurous, and always comes into the office on Monday with entertaining stories. It’s funny that on one hand you wish everyone in the office were as cool and easy going as Nick, but what a boring world it would be if that were the case. Weird coworkers are the spice of life.
6. Rounding out the list is the over enthusiastic parent.
This lady’s name is Barb. Barb loves her life, but mostly loves her family. She works the minimum hours so she can always pick up her kids from school, take sick days whenever it’s needed, and participates in all of her children’s activities.
In addition to fondling over her kids, she also enjoys taking care of her fellow coworkers. She’s the office mom. She sets up the lunch platter whenever food is brought into the office. She refills the paper in the printer. She makes sure everyone is having a great day. There’s nothing better than having a kind and loving office mom around.
Disclaimer: All characters and events portrayed here are entirely fictional. No feelings were hurt during the creation or reproduction of this article.