At one point (particularly low point) in my life many moons ago, video games were an integral part of my human existence. I would rush home from school and fire up my Sega to play Sonic and Mutant League Football until the cows came home (aka Mom yelling down to me in the basement it’s bedtime). As I approach 30, the Corporate workplace lifestyle in a lot of ways reminds me of the cult classic computer game The Sims. The office truly has become a bunch of “characters”. Whether it’s Bill from Accounting or Susan from HR, everyone plays a integral role in this dystopia. So I’ve compiled the best of the best “Cube Farm Characters” who exist in every office building across this great country:
Random Person You Don’t Know That Constantly Walks Around: You don’t know this guy’s name or what he does but he’s just always around somehow. Whether he’s at the water cooler, between department sections or at the coffee shop, this person’s job description includes being awkwardly away from their desk and in your space making ghost appearances throughout the day. Be on the lookout at the grocery store for this corporate ninja next time too.
Gossip Queen: There will be many, but there is always one that goes cube-to-cube to deliver the latest inter-office TMZ gossip. The story changes at every encounter, and no one is beyond their reach. Be aware of those with free snacks or candy for the taking…it’s a trap.
Person Who Drank Too Much Coffee For The Morning Meeting: You internally mumble, “It’s 7 in the morning…put your fucking hand down. No possible way you could have a question remotely worth asking right now”. Your best foot forward is not jittery with a side of diarrhea.
Painfully Unaware Person: Constantly late to the conference call, or stumbles into the room after things have already started, this person will ask a million questions about things that have already been answered and will be silently shoo’ed into oblivion.
Happy Hour/Party On Wayne: “Just a few cocktails” has a different meaning for typically always reserved and quiet Jim. One minute you’re asleep in his touch base meeting, the next he’s telling you about his broken family and company secrets while smoking a cigarette in the alley after asking a stranger for a light.
I Don’t Know How To Use My Indoor Voice Person: You could be 50 cubes away and hear that on Tuesday Carol has a hair appointment at 3PM (skipping the marketing meeting!) or Joe’s team won’t hit the numbers again. Better yet, Rachel’s dog took a shit where!?!?!
The Sniffler: This person has at least three boxes of Kleenex, a cabinet with half of the pharmacy’s cold and flu section in it and odd mugs all over the place. Each sniffle is a not-so-silent fuck you to the awesome weekend you had planned of not being sick
Special Chair/Standing Desk/Yoga Ball Person: THIS IS AN ERGONOMICALLY CALIBRATED CHAIR. DO NOT TOUCH. You should try my standing pad…you know how much sitting reduces your life expectancy? Yoga balls are great for posture. Just nod you head, turn-around, hunch your shoulders over your monitor and wait for your spinal stenosis and carpel tunnel to kick in.
Floor Fire Marshal: This job is taken more seriously than their actual job. Safely evacuating employees during a fire drill is their Super Bowl. The best of the best will have a customized hat hanging off the corner of their cube. One day there will be a real fire in a corporate office and all of you will stop laughing. Just kidding
Decorate Their Cube Like Home Person: Ornaments and candy-canes? 10,000 pictures of their family or pets? Motivational posters or kitschy designs? Rugs? 5 plants that have names? Once you move in, their immediate reaction is to help you ‘personalize your space’ and make things your home away from home. Kick rocks you weirdo.
Gross Smelling Lunch Person: Historically, tuna was the cliché no-no for corporate offices but globalization has now brought Indian, Kimchi and other foul dishes mainland. Stick to salads and sandwiches and nobody’s nose gets hurt.
Fast Food Errrday: Everyday around noon that sweet, sweet heavenly smell wafts through the air. You escape to a place only a McDonald’s bag can bring you. But then you catch a glimpse of 350 pound Carl walking in while you slowly turn around to aggressively shove the fork back into your healthy ass arugula salad. Fuck You Carl.
WFH Too Much: Oh, you only came into the office because you thought you got a holiday present? Team meeting includes lunch? You’ll see these rare breeds in the wild roughly once a month. It’s more awkward when they are actually there because you just assumed they existed in life as a green dot in messenger.
Forgets How To Use The Cafeteria Like An Adult: Hungry or thirsty and needed to get away from you desk? Welcome to line-purgatory, because Bob needed an afternoon chai-vanilla-soy-latte-withanextrashot-nowhip-whipontheside-twocups-twosleeves, because his doctor won’t know until the next visit, and Sarah had to get a salad and forgot the 2 different dressing types and stared at them for 13 minutes each trying to make up her mind. Also, just because there are free snacks does not mean you should eat ALL of them. Leave some Pretzel Rods and Nature Valley bars for the rest of us.
No New Outfit Since 1984: Everyone knows this old timer who hasn’t went shopping since Sears was trendy. Raid their closet and have the best Macklemore thrift-shop party of all time.
So there you have it, the definitive list of corporate creatures. If I missed any, please comment below and let me know!