In every working environment are the people whose personal behavioural quirks are enough to drive you to drink, murder and Colombine-like mayhem.
These are some of the ones I interact with.
1. The Man Who Talks to Himself
On one evening this week the Husband and I attempted to work in the same room together.It was an exercise in extreme patience. The Husband is the Man Who Talks to Himself. All the time. Loudly. And sometimes he seems to expect a response. I asked gently if this was his normal working mien and apparently it is. His fellow open plan office colleagues must have to restrain themselves from grievous bodily harm.
Every office has one of these. The guy who makes himself a hot cup of coffee and makes that nerve shuddering slurping sound. The Husband had one. He eventually moved out of his office into the open plan studio to stop himself committing murder.
They sigh. Heavily, loudly and as if the world itself was ending. They also expect you to stop whatever you are doing and ask what the problem is – as if you care.
This is the woman who eats tuna or microwaves cabbage and Brussels sprouts stinking up the entire office. At this point no-one is hungry anyway.
This is the one who has a personal mug without which they cannot function. If some poor person happens to use it the wrath of God will fall down upon them. This is not a joke. I had a friend who had a formal complaint laid against him for harassment after he used someone’s cup on his first day of work.
6. The Too High and Mighty
We all know this one. The one who can’t get themselves a cup of coffee, clean up after themselves or unwrap the plastic from around an eraser, while no-one quite knows what this person does to make them more important than God.
7. The Zoner
This is me. I zone out. This is incredibly annoying to other people. I do not hear the phone ring, my name called or anything else. I just shut down all external sensory input. This also means that when deep in thought I stare unblinking at people I do not see. This is very creepy.
8. The Touchy Feelie
Yup. The one who needs to touch you. A lot. Inappropriately. Under the table. Under your shirt. And usually the same one who gets drunk at office parties and hits on you.
9. Mr. Big Idea
He likes to call you at 3 am with his big idea to change the world as we know it. He does not like it if you inform him that his big idea will still be crap at 9 am the next morning.
10. The Music Fan
He likes to make sure you can all hear his music, despite the headphones, because it is just so amazing. Sometimes this person likes to sing along.
You may find if, as we do, you have a communal iPod speaker that music you once loved becomes loathed to the extreme. Or that you have to listen to the collected works of some teenage pop star.
11. The Martyr
I almost forgot this one. He’s the guy who comes to work suffering from Ebola and proceeds to give his sickness to everyone else, because the office would stutter to a halt if he called in sick and isn’t he so dedicated to come in while dying.