Like most working Americans, I make absolutely zero effort to engage with my coworkers in any way. I’m a headphone in my ears, lunch in my cubicle kind of guy. While I’m an outgoing guy outside of work, I have zero intention of being the social butterfly of my office. I’m also the kind of guy who enjoys the occasional complaining about my coworkers when I’m around family and friends, because frankly, it’s an American past time.
With this all being said, I have discovered that there are, in fact, a small number of coworkers I’ve had who actually make my day a bit better. They’re an endangered species that lurk among the cubicle graveyards that you and I slave away in five days out of the week. A rarity among the white collar workforce, one has said that you are more likely to find an intelligent Trump supporter or perhaps even an optimistic Bills fan before you find one of these unusual specimens. But it’s true, these likable coworkers, they live among us.
The Sports Guy
An office staple. I work in an office of mostly women, so locating the sports guy was a must within my first few months on the job. Early on, I realized my coworker Frank was a real guy’s guy, and we shoot the shit about the weekend games for roughly 45 minutes every Monday morning in his office. Honestly, I think Frank may enjoy our talks more than I do though. He’s a die-hard Cowboys fan who lives in the DC Metro area so, it’s only natural to be careful about putting all your cards out on the table. Given the fact that I’m a Broncos fan, he knows that our conversations are a safe space. Then again, I do work at a University so there are plenty of safe spaces to go around.
The Work Wife
The incredibly depressing reality is this: I spend more time with my work wife crushing Excel sheets in our neighboring cubes than I do with my own girlfriend. We get half off appetizers at Applebee’s every two weeks, catch up on office politics almost daily, and consistently have each other’s backs when our team meetings get a bit testy. We rarely talk outside of working hours, but during the work week we’re the greatest office power duo this side of the Mississippi.
The Office Mom
Once you get past the humble bragging about the progress her son Tim has made in piano, the office mom isn’t all that bad. Out of all the demographics in the American workplace, I have found middle-aged women to be among the easiest to work with. While I haven’t found an office mom at my current place of work, my old job featured the office mom of the decade, Alicia. Alicia just got it. She had a way of realizing when her younger colleagues were stressed and always handled those situations more like a mother and less like a superior. Alicia and I have actually remained friends after I moved to DC and even like each other’s shit on Facebook every now and then. If I could work in an office full of moms, that would be the dream.
Ah yes, the office baker. This individual is often times the office mom, but can coincide with a variety of other roles as well. We have a few bakers in my office, and while I may not care for all of them individually, their baked goods are often exactly what I need to pull out of my Tuesday morning slump. Our Director of Marketing is particularly strong in this regard. This past February, I watched several overweight coworkers New Year’s resolutions crumble to pieces when she brought in her famous double fudge brownies. Keep on crushing dreams and brightening my gloomy mornings, you talented Rachel Ray clone.
We’ve all had our first “Oh shit, I’m getting fired” moment. I had mine for the first time last month. Thankfully, many of us have the classic security blanket of the office underachiever, unless you yourself are that unfortunate soul. You know, the haggard looking son of a bitch who is a real life Creed from The Office and hasn’t checked their email since this time last week. This individual is notorious for showing up late to meetings, calling in sick every other week, and pissing off Donna in accounting for forgetting to do his time sheet each month. Thankfully though, this reckless buffoon gives you just the amount of leeway you need to avoid being next on the chopping block when layoffs come around.
On the rarest of occasions where my office holds work-related events outside of working hours, it’s almost certainly centered around the classic dinner and drinks combo. At my first job, we used to hold monthly happy hours on the last Friday of the month. Our accountant, Edwin, was a twice-divorced twenty-eight-year-old who had given up on women and was now in a committed relationship with three men: Jack, Jim, and Morgan. While he often made an ass out of himself, Edwin was quick to buy shots for everybody, including our VP (Power Move), which always made Fridays at the local watering hole an office favorite. During my time at this office, I wouldn’t be surprised if old Edwin bought over $1,000 in drinks for our staff. As far as I’m concerned, every office needs an Edwin.
The Eye Candy
This one’s a given. Every office needs a token babe or stud to get you through those horrible team meetings. I had a buddy who graduated with his degree in finance and works in marketing (I speculate) solely for the eye candy in a field that is approximately 96% attractive women under 30. Even though I’m in a committed relationship myself, there’s no shame in having a flirty conversation with the office babe. Dunder Mifflin’s own Karen Filipelli is a fine example of the perfect office babe. She’s likable, fun, and relatable. You really shit the bed on that one, Halpert. .
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