The Martyr (aka The hardest working Woman in the World)
How to identify: Tends to be large. Wears flowing garments in man made fabric and sweats a lot. Usually has a pained expression on her face as she has had a headache for the last 10 years. Takes work home every night and weekends (we all know it stays in the boot of the car). Sighs a lot.!
Location: Sedentary - usually found in finance department or admin.
Lunchtime: Brings packed lunch of chips, biscuits, chocolate eaten at desk during the morning and then sends out for toasted sandwich at actual lunchtime. Snacks all afternoon but often has piece of fruit on desk.
Sick Leave: Comes to work when chronically sick, infects everyone and then criticizes them when they are off sick.
Annual Leave: Can’t possibly take more than a day’s leave at a time or the whole place will come to a grinding halt.
Currently reading: You must be joking – I have no time to read. Finds time to watch soaps, reality shows and hones in on depressing news stories.
Hobbies: You must be joking – I have no time for hobbies. Finds time to watch soaps, reality shows and hones in on depressing news stories.
Starts every conversation with……:” I’m exhausted” or “I don’t know why I am this size, I hardly eat anything. – I live on fruit”
The phone: Is too busy to answer it – if it’s a business call – finds time for personal calls though!
How to identify: Shoulder length, carefully ironed hair – usually blond or unconvincing shade of maroon. Wears make up every day – lots of it. Has a permanent smile. French manicure, square cut Gel nails. Skirt hem and neckline often meet. Accessories - Killer heels, Big bag and lots of bling.
Location: Reception, boutiques or anywhere where the nails won’t get damaged or broken.
Lunchtime: Survives on coffee and cigarettes and occasional tomato.
Sick Leave: Exhausted – often calls in sick on Monday and/or Friday.
Annual Leave: Spent in shopping malls or on beach
Currently reading: “Hello” or anything from Mags and Fags
Hobbies: Shopping, Face booking, Clubbing, Shopping
Starts every conversation with……: “Is it nearly home time?” “What did you do last night?” ends conversations with “You are joking!”
The phone: Attached to the ear at all times – often texting at the same time.
How to identify: Wears blazers in navy, grey or red with coordinated check, pleated skirts, often in uniform, wears name badge. Short spiky hair and spectacles on chain
Location: The library, doctor’s reception rooms, accounts department
Lunchtime: Nutritiously balanced packed lunch eaten on the go.
Sick leave record: Hasn’t had a day off work sick in 20 years. Competes with the martyr to hold this record.
Annual Leave: 3 weeks per year in annual shutdown period spent on computer or other training course.
Currently reading: The Basic Conditions of Service, Labour Relations Act or Company policy manual.
Hobbies: Reading the above.
Starts every sentence with……: “That’s against company policy “or “We have always done it this way.”
The phone: Answers on the first ring but speaks so quickly no one can understand her - repeats herself often
How to identify: This one can take many guises. Non stop talking is main identifying feature. Usually found around the copier machine, water cooler, fax machine or in the ladies.
Location: They are everywhere – every office has one.
Lunchtime: Doesn’t draw breath - eats earlier in the day so that lunchtime can be used to natter. Wanders around with a coffee cup at lunchtime trying to establish eye contact with unsuspecting victims.
Sick leave record: Very rarely off sick - can’t bear to miss out on anything
Annual Leave: Spent having lunch and coffee dates with colleagues to get information on what is going on.
Currently reading: The company newsletter, the intranet, the local newspaper and any other source of news.
Hobbies: Socialising, Movies, Bookclub, Belongs to several business and social organizations – often serves on the committee.
Starts every conversation with……:” Have you heard?” or “You’ll never guess?” often ends conversations with ”I swear that I won’t tell a soul”
The phone: One in each hand - Can have 2 conversations at once.
The Corporate Climber
How to identify: Sharp trouser suits, often black, pinstripes, sleek, groomed hair, Shoulder-pads, Stilettos, Laptop case, Blackberry, Mans watch: Accessories: Gold, Black and Armani .
Location: The upper floors – whether their office is there or not. They like spending time there.
Lunchtime: Skinny cappuccino to go or often DOES lunch to network in coffee shops with laptop open and 3G
Sick leave record: Hasn’t got one – replaced with study leave
Annual Leave: Spent with the boss.
Currently reading: The one minute MBA or latest Business Bible
Hobbies: Spending time with the boss, the boss’s wife and anyone else who can be useful.
Starts every sentence with……: a business quote. Speaks in ACRONYMS and jargon and uses the “absolutely” a lot. Often ends conversations with “Yes sir.”
The phone: Checks their mobile phone constantly – occasionally embarrassed when it rings while they are pretending to speak on it.
The Recent Graduate
How to identify: Either has long hair, worn loose or sometimes braided and beaded or has shaved head. Occasional dreadlocks. Wears Indian style outfits in natural fibres, crochet waistcoats and small hats with flowers on. Wears boots in winter, pumps or thongs in summer. Accessories wooden, chunky beads, long windchime earrings.
Location: NGOs, Academic institutions, Advertising but currently infiltrating into corporate environments.
Lunchtime: Beansprouts, green tea – soya products in recyclable containers.
Sick leave: Knows their entitlement and uses it responsibly.
Annual Leave: Knows their entitlement, takes family responsibility leave and never accrues leaves.
Currently reading: In Praise of Slow or The Complete Guide to Office Ergonomics
Hobbies: Runs marathons, Grows vegetables, Conservation – supports Green Peace.
Starts every sentence with……: “Do you know that….” Or “That is so toxic.”
The phone: Switches it off when having lunch, after hours and weekends
You may think they only work where you work ......don't kid yourself - they are everywhere!