Watch Out for these 10 Co-workers!

We spend a lot of time with our co-workers.  We often see them more in a day than we do our own families.  It is only natural to find it easy to get along with some co-workers and challenging to work with others.  It’s important that you have a clear idea of who your co-workers are so that you can work effectively with them (or around them if necessary).  Check out this list of 10 challenging co-workers that may cause you problems at your job:

The office bad boy (or girl):  The office bad boy is probably your friend, and is likely a lot of fun.  However, it is important that you keep your distance.  The bad boy will convince you to take an extra fifteen minutes on your lunch, and will persuade you that it’s okay to go home after your off-site meeting finished at 1pm.  If you’re in the company of the office bad boy, you will almost certainly get into more trouble than you would on your own.

The office rival:  The office rival is always keeping score.  Your success is her failure and she measures her own accomplishments by how much she stands out over others.  While competition can be healthy, the office rival is not a team player, and she may be willing to take you down if it makes her look good.  Watch out for her.

The office schmooze:  The office schmooze is mostly harmless as long as you recognize him for who he is.  He’s a nice guy and he’s always up for a pleasant conversation full of small talk.  If you ask him for feedback, he’ll tell you that your report is the most beautiful thing that he’s ever seen and that your eyes shine like the stars.  Don’t take him too seriously; just use him for a confidence boost when you need one.      

The office flirt:  Be careful of this one; she’s dangerous.  She’ll send you suggestive e-mails or text messages, just daring you to respond.  She may even grab on to your arm when she talks to you.  Don’t engage; it can damage your professional reputation, and it’ll only lead to trouble.

The office critic:  The critic is good at spotting problems with everything.  He’s got a negative attitude and he’ll tell anyone who will listen why the new system won’t work, why the new manager is ineffective, and how the schedule isn’t fair.  Watch out, negativity can be contagious, and if you spend too much time hanging around the critic, you may find yourself lured into his way of thinking.

The office brawler:  The brawler is always up for a fight.   You have to steel yourself for battle every time you go to talk to her.  Hold your ground and if she starts to argue, just walk away.  If she wants to escalate the situation to the manager, then at least you know that you’ve done nothing wrong.

The office reporter:  The reporter is the manager’s eyes and ears; he tells the manager everything.  As long as you’re doing your job and you’re not misbehaving, the reporter is no threat to you.  It’s in your best interest to stay on the reporter’s good side.

The office chatterbox:  The chatterbox is easy to spot; you ask her how her weekend was and you’re still there twenty minutes later learning about the details of her neighbour’s garden.  The chatterbox isn’t a dangerous character, but she is a bit of a time thief.

The office delegater:  The delegater is skilled at getting other people to do his work.  You may have an easy morning planned, but after you run into the delegater, you will find yourself swamped with tasks that aren’t even in your job description!  If there is a delegater in your midst, always be ready to say no!

The office egg shell:  The egg shell is one of those touchy people who are oh-so-easy to offend.  You make one innocent comment and then suddenly you’re apologizing and explaining until you’re blue in the face.  The office egg shell can be dangerous because she can become angry with you while you remain blissfully unaware.  If you have any doubts, be cautious and keep all interactions with her extremely formal.

How boring would the workplace be if we all acted in the same way?!  Having all these interesting characters around makes the world an exciting place to be.  The key to keeping your life simple and your career on track is to manage all of these personalities and to know when to keep a safe distance.

(Photo from mrpuen/


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