Before I found my niche as a writer, I had a regular 9-5 job. It was the kind where you made a decent amount of money for spending a good chunk of your day in an office, crunching numbers, entering data and doing projects for a company.

Although it wasn’t my passion, it paid the bills and it wasn’t a job I woke up dreading going to. I got to dress business casual, do some fun projects and work with a team every day.

Although the job itself didn’t suck, there were a few people that I worked alongside everyday that made me have to take a deep breath and brace myself for their overbearing (and sometimes draining) personalities before I walked in the door.

Here is just a sampling of the different kinds of personalities I encountered that made me want to skip office parties and make all lunches personal:

The over-sharer

This co worker was the one who shared way too many personal details of her life. One second we would be talking data and the next she would turn the conversation to the fact that she and her boyfriend haven’t had sex in months and she think’s it’s because he might be hooking up with his ex-girlfriend. Whoa.

The rude-as-hell coworker

He’s the one who’s mean for no reason. I peeped my head into his office to ask to borrow his stapler and it’s either a flat out “No,” or he acts like I just asked him to loan me a million dollars. He always ended our convos with some snarky remark and handled small conflicts as though they were wars. His personal life was miserable, so he made his work life miserable too. He would make fun of people for doing something wrong and tried to boss everyone around as though he was the man in charge. HR has been called on him several times, and each time he would be nice for a week before going back to his rude ways.

The control freak

Photo: Giphy

Working with her was the opposite of team work. She always felt the need to tweak something I contributed in fear it wasn’t right. The finishing touches always had to be hers, and she was better at giving orders than taking them. Though we could count on her to do her part, her part was the only part she thought was important. She never took the input or saw the perspective of the rest us. She was a control freak who thought the only right way was her way.

The deadweight

Really, we wondered why this person worked here and why he even still had a job. He contributed literally nothing to team projects and seemed to have no actual impact or influence on the job. His breaks seemed to be longer than everyone else’s and he seemed to get more sick days too. Maybe the Boss kept him around because the business was still running even when he was gone, but we all wondered what the point in keeping him on the payroll was.

The gossiper

Photo: Giphy

She was the one who always knew everyone’s personal business (mainly the over-sharer’s) and wanted that to be the topic of discussion during meetings and lunch. Her sentences always started out with “Did you hear about …” or “I heard that she/is…” Although slightly entertaining, talking too much with her led to office drama and politics and turned especially bad when the boss had to send memos or hold meetings to tell the group to re-focus and to stay out of each other’s personal business. She was also a bit dramatic, as every time someone approached her about her gossiping or her falling short on a project, she always had some dramatic excuse and complained about being singled out.

The complainer

He hated working there and we all knew it. How? Because he told us! Every day he made a point to mention someone or something he hated about the job and how he couldn’t wait to leave — even though he’d been working there for about ten years at this point. We would all ask why he was still there if he hated the job so much, and his answers varied between “Because you all need me” (we didn’t), and “I won’t make as much money anywhere else.” We felt it was just because he liked to nag, but he secretly loved this place and everyone in it.

The competitive one

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She turned things that weren’t even a competition into a competition. She was the first to reply (all) to emails, she was the first one to present during meetings, the first to sign up to bring her (nasty) potato salad to the potluck, and the first to get there each and every morning. She felt the need to prove herself in situations when she didn’t need to prove herself. In addition to her need for validation, she also was very stingy when it came to helping others. I’d ask for help finding a file or directions on how to do something and she was apprehensive in giving me assistance. She’d rather do it herself — not because she was a perfectionist, but because she wanted credit for the task.

How many of these coworkers do you currently have? Let me know what kind of characters fill your office in the comments below. I’m sure we all have quite a few in common to bond over!

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