By Renee Robbins published
You may be wondering why I've called this meeting. Wondering why I included you, why I included the person next to you who you can't even, and the person next to her who doesn't even go here. You are also probably curious as to why no one brought donuts.
I did this to save your lives.
You are all driving your coworkers crazy. Not adorable, quirky crazy–the other kind. You are here because you are that coworker. I'm sorry to have to tell you, but someone had to do it.
You have to change, immediately, or I can't guarantee your safety as a part of this organization. I've brought this list of character summaries for your convenience. It's hand-written because the copier was jammed. Now is the time for unflinching self-analysis.
1. The Technology Nuisance
Your credo is "What's the worst that could happen?" because you will find a way to make it a reality. You are the person who breaks the copier while changing the toner—and tells no one. The person who clicks "don't save" because you weren't sure. And you always reply-all. You cold-transfer phone calls to the wrong department because you never learned how to conference call. If you do not seek help, you will be crushed under the vending machine when you try to free your stuck Baby Ruth by shaking it just a little because what's the worst that could happen?
2. The Food Forager
No one believes you anymore when you say you forgot to bring food to the meeting where everyone is bringing food. No one thinks it's funny that you brought a single-serving bag of Cheezy Poofs from the vending machine. Everyone sees you sneak over and get a double serving of Kevin's amazing homemade lasagna when you brought a two-liter of off-brand cola. FYI, it was your turn to bring the donuts.
3. The Instigator
You clearly do not have enough to do. When you are not perched on your neighbor's desk, loudly speculating that Sarah didn't get into more trouble for calling in sick again last week because we all know she's the favorite, you are letting it slip that you overheard a "higher-up" say that Andrea isn't his first choice as project lead and isn't that unprofessional? You are stirring the pot of misery for entertainment, and you will eventually have to lick the spoon.
4. The Homebody
There is no way to sugar coat this, okay? Stop flossing your teeth at your desk. And leave your shoes on. Brush your hair in the bathroom. Flush. Take your leftover tuna salad sandwich home with you. You don't live inside your cubicle.
5. The Survivalist
You are the only one who knows how to do your job. And that's fine with you because it makes you tough to fire. Surprise! It also makes it tough for you to go on vacation or call in sick, and it makes it a nightmare for the rest of us left to answer your phone. Train a backup. Seriously.
6. The Latecomer
I saved this one until now because you just now arrived, didn't you? We are all late sometimes. We get it. Yes, there's traffic and annoying phone calls and parenthood. We try not to notice. But when you show up late every single day, take a few minutes extra at lunch and then have to leave early with no notice, we start to wonder why the schedule only applies to everyone else.
7. Patient Zero
There is nothing noble about coming to work (and god forbid bragging about it) looking like something that we might have to take out with a crossbow. You and your germs need to stay home.
8. The "Secret" Office Romance
Everyone knows. Yes. Everyone.
9. The Straight-Shooter
You've been in this job a long time. We know, we know—you were here when the rest of us were still in kindergarten. When music was still worth listening to and no one had smartphones. We know. Because you tell us all the time. You are frequently seen smiling to yourself when you hear corporate buzzwords. You also roll your eyes a lot. You are also the person we're going to turn to when we need someone to tell someone else to stop being annoying.
Sorry about that.
Renee Robbins is a mother of two, daughter of one, caretaker of four, trying to achieve a balance of principle and practice without shouting obscenities at too many people. She believes that a moment of clarity and a moment of sheer, unmitigated bull can look exactly the same, and tries to be as forthright as possible on her blog, That Shameless Hussy. She is a proud member of The Sisterwives Blog, as well as a frequent contributor to The Original Bunker Punks. Please follow her on Facebook and Twitter.
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