Are You The Office Gossip?
We all have one; that annoying colleague whose habits and eccentricities get right up our nose.
Here are some of the most common workplace personalities and a little advice on dealing with them. Hopefully you won’t recognise yourself among them.
- The Hipster: he wears the shiniest suit, the loudest tie and the silliest socks and is a grand master of the fake golf swing, finger pistols, thumbs up or spin bowl action. Shout Fore! or Six! every time he swings into action and get everyone to email him details of the local bespoke tailor.
- The Borrower: something missing from your desk? Every office has a perpetual borrower. Tell them you would like your possessions returned by a certain time and you’ll start charging ‘interest’ if they miss the deadline – one chocolate bar for every hour past the deadline sounds a reasonable amount.
- The Snake: slimy, limp hand shaker who slithers around and stares at colleagues for far longer than should be allowed. Intensify your own hand shake grip and start staring back in an attempt to out freak your colleague.
- The Smacker: the colleague who slurps their way through lunch, talks with their mouth full and shares far more of their lunch than they should. Vomiting actions or comments on the nation’s poor eating habits should nip this in the bud.
- Pussy Galore: sweet yet neurotic colleague whose desk is covered in pictures of Fluffy and who loves to share stories of kitty’s ‘cute’ and ‘amazing’ antics. Fight back with Fido pictures or invent a few alarming shaggy dog tales about cat lovers.
- Moaning Minnie: there’s always one person who we’d like to put a sock in it – sometimes literally! Counter the corporate Victor Meldrew by whistling ‘Always look on the Bright Side of Life’.
- The Gossip Monger: loves a good drama and is always first to share any scandal. Tell your colleague a story ‘in confidence’ then watch it spread like wildfire. Then confront them publicly with the fact that you are not really moonlighting as a lap dancer to pay for your daughter’s gap year – surely they can understand a joke when they hear one!
- The Sniffer: the person who overdoses on perfume or aftershave and wafts through the office. Invest in the cheapest, nastiest smelly you can find or break into fits of sneezing and talk about your severe allergic reaction.
- The Message Mangler: takes a message but always forgets to find out where the caller is from or take a contact number. Give them a message template with headings for name, company and number or remove their phone altogether.
“Anyone who has ever worked in an office will have encountered these characters. We reckon humour, charm or beating them at their own game, are some of the best ways to deal with irritating colleagues and their habits. However, if things are genuinely getting out of hand, it is always advisable to speak with your personnel department whose role it is to nip any genuine problems in the bud, ” said Andy Haywood, managing director at officebroker.com.