Once you’ve worked in a few offices, you start to get a strange sense of déjà vu.
You find yourself meeting the same kinds of people and having the same conversations, over and over again. It’s like Groundhog Day, but in cubicles.
Here are the eight types of people you’ll find in every office.
1. The busy bee
Busy bees love to let everyone know how busy they are, often as a cover for not being busy. Which, if you actually have stuff to do, will make you grind your teeth.
They’ll usually do this proactively, but if you do happen to get the first word in or ask how they’re going, their response will almost certainly be ‘manic’ or ‘flat-out’, despite having an empty inbox and a yoga mat under their arm.
2. The dark horse
In day-to-day office life, dark horses are quiet, unassuming and basically fade into the wallpaper. But at office functions they come alive.
After a couple of beverages of choice, they’re suddenly the life of the party; cracking jokes, shouting rounds and bantering with the boss. And by the time they’re salsa dancing with the boss’s partner in front of the whole office, you can’t help but wonder: who is this person?
The thing is, it doesn’t matter. Come Monday morning it will be like nothing ever happened. As you were, dark horse.
3. The smooth-talking sales rep
Impeccably dressed with a booming voice and a distinct strut, this smooth talker lights up the office whenever they’re around, which is never, because they’re always in meetings.
Rarely spotted doing any actual work, their speech is littered with Glengarry Glen Ross references and phrases like ‘two-pronged approach’, and they’re constantly on the hunt for leads or checking the sports scores on their work-issued iPad.
4. The David Brent
Every office has that person for whom social norms do not apply, who can cause offence in any situation and you never want to get stuck talking to over drinks.
Heaven help you if it’s the boss or you’re sitting next to them. That said, if you can find a like-minded mate in the office to stir Brent’s pot, this person could be the best part of your day.
5. The walking cliché
Cliché’s like to think outside the box to achieve synergies, and won’t move forward on the road map without a deep dive into the data.
They have an incredible ability to speak for extended periods of time without saying anything at all, often through liberal use of sports metaphors, acronyms and jargon.
Pro tip: print out a free bullshit bingo card before your next strategic review meeting for a bit of fun and to avoid ‘dropping the ball’ by falling asleep.
6. The nine to fiver
Nine to fivers know their rights, and boy do they exercise them.
They fulfil their contracted hours to the second, and a stretch target involves touching their toes, not taking on an extra project.
Other skills include reciting the terms of their contract from memory, and knowing how much leave they have available down to the minute.
7. The Leslie Knope
A dedicated over achiever, this upbeat, switched on, motivated individual is the bane of everybody else’s existence.
They love procedures, hierarchy and round table discussions, and truly believe that what they’re doing is right.
The phrase ‘if you can’t beat them, join them’ absolutely does not apply to a Knope, as unless you were born that way it’s simply not possible to have that much enthusiasm for whatever it is that you do.
8. The party animal
Young, single and ready to mingle, ‘school night’ is not a term the party animal understands.
They don’t see anything wrong with ordering another round at 2am on a Wednesday morning or getting in a solid Sunday session before the week begins.
You can pick these weekday warriors by the empty painkillers and Barocca tubes littered around their desks, and their tendancy to arrive in the same clothes they wore yesterday smelling like a wheelie bin.