Part of adult life includes meeting people who come from different walks of life. College exposed us to a melting pot of different people with all kinds of habits, sayings, and personalities. We are a quick to bond with some of these foreigners, but others we could simply shrug. The difference between college and now is, if we work with these folks we can’t just turn a shoulder and awkwardly make conversation when we run into them at the bars. We are bound to these people eight hours a day, five days a week. Tendencies that we found funny or endearing when we saw these guys one or two times a week turn into nightmarish habits from hell when we are forced to be in the same office for 40 hours every Monday through Friday. Here are a few of the people you might run in to in the working world.
The Guy from A Rival School
This guy is just like you. You two are inherently drawn to each other when you realize that you both spent too much money on well whiskey at happy hour last night. His jokes about the boss’s last name remotely sounding like a venereal disease were right in your wheelhouse. You two both graduated with seemly unuseful marketing degrees, but there is one issue. You went to rival schools. Your school might have scored a touchdown in the waning seconds of the last football game you attended. His team may have knocked yours out of the conference tournament. It doesn’t matter. You hate him. It’s a primal, beginning of time hate that you have stumbled upon. You may still talk, but now that chatter is filled with passive aggressive comments about his alma mater’s quarterback getting another DUI.
The Guy From A Neighboring State
Interactions with this guy are friendly affairs. Nothing really stands out that makes him different from where you’re from. You’ll only start to notice that he’s from across the border when you’ve worked with him for a few weeks. He’ll drop subtle random facts in regards to his state. It’s not long before you’ll be engaged in an all out, pride-filled argument about your state’s contributions to the world. Oh, you invented Kool Aid? Well, we have the largest cereal producer in the world, bitch. The discussions are petty and trivial, but nonetheless passionate. After all, what else do you have to be passionate about at work?
The Guy From The Area With Better Weather
We get it, Simmons. It’s never this cold this time of year where you’re from. Whatever time of year it is, whenever this guy rolls into the office he’ll always have some reason why there’s something wrong with climate. If it’s summer, he’ll say, “Well, it stays much cooler where I’m from.” If it’s winter, he’ll say, “It’s not nearly as harsh back home.” Where’s this guy from, the Garden of Eden? You need a medal for the times you’ve held back from asking why he even moved here in the first place. The best practice is to politely acknowledge the guy until you can pawn him off on the accounting department to let them know his weather app shows home as 75 and sunny.
The Guy From Minnesota
Whoa. This fella has some idiosyncrasies that haunt you 45 minutes after you leave the office. You thought when he said he’d bring a hot dish for the company get together, he was joking. He took personal time off last month to watch the high school state hockey tournament–and his old school didn’t even make it. You try to show some resentment for this character, but damn it all if he’s just too nice to let you. You knocked a stack of perfectly organized case studies out of his hands last week and he asked you to get a beer later. If you really need to get under his skin, he can be set into fury mode if a coworker mentions that the Vikings’ Super Bowl trophy case has collected dust since they joined the league. And for the love of HR, don’t mention them losing a hockey team to much warmer Texas some decades ago.
In reality, these people aren’t all too bad. They have their moments where you’ll roll your eyes and wonder how you came to occupy the same office space with them. Just remember you come from a different neck of the woods, too. If you think they aren’t equally annoyed with some of the stuff you bring to the table, over there is cubicle 14. You’re in denial my friend.