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The Most Interesting and Annoying Co-Workers You’ll Ever Meet in the Workplace October 15, 2008

Posted by dapinoyemployee in Da Pinoy Employee, Working with Bosses and Officemates.
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Your office, factory or plant is like a primeval soup where stuff is thrown in to evolve and become.  If you’ve never worked in an office before, you’ll be amazed at how different and colorful the work environment can be, thanks to the people who populate the office space.  If you’re a true-blooded Pinoy worker, then you must have known some of them.  To all of you who have suffered in some degree at the hands of a bad officemate, here are the most interesting and irritating people you’ll ever meet in your professional life:

The Powertripping Clerk
There is nothing worse in the world than the Powertripping Clerk.  This is the one who has so little authority that he/she takes revenge by creating an aura of impenetrability and invincibility around him/her.  Ask for a pen (office supply, ‘to ha Dapat you get it for free.) and he/she will say, ‘O, ubos na ‘yung ni-requisition mo?  Bago lang ‘yun a.’  Never mind that the pen was given to you 8 months ago. 

Ask if they could monitor your calls because you have to go to the bathroom, they’ll say, ‘Hindi ko trabaho yan, no’ .  Basta, they’re difficult to deal with and they want you to kowtow to their wishes, never mind that you don’t answer to them. 

The Powertripping Clerk is the corporate version of the high school bully.  In fact, they’re probably the high school bully who never grew up or snapped out of it.

The Relative
This is the guy who was hired because he or she knew the boss, thanks to six degrees of Kevin Bacon.  You know, the guy who works in some job with a vague job description because the boss is married to his sister or because the president dated his cousin twice removed? 

For some reason, this guy will think that whatever power and authority the boss has happened to rub off on him.  He’ll spy on you, take note of your every move, correct everything you say and do.  He’ll even stand behind the boss during meetings and echo the last three or four words your boss says. 

But on the good side, this guy is quite useful if you could get him to speak for you.  You’ll get the invites to the boss’ ballroom parties, learn of any corporate maneuvers first hand and even get a bottle of wine for Christmas from the big man himself.  This is the guy who will be the reason the boss even knows your first name.  Use with caution, though.  The trick can backfire.  If you get close to the Relative, you do so at the risk of your self-respect.

The Show Off
This one comes in all forms, puedeng clerk, supervisor, manager, assistant, etc.  He knows something no one else knows or more precisely, just wants you to think that he does.  It doesn’t matter whether it’s a program, a keyboard shortcut, a filing cabinet, the right keys to the drawer that has the Pilot pens or maybe just the password to his own computer.  This guy makes a good show of it.

Let’s say you have a problem with some files on your PC and need to retrieve them.  If the Show Off happens to be an IT staff, he will strut over to your desk, check out your computer and chastise you for being so careless. 

If he’s a premium-blend Show Off, he won’t even sit on a chair while he tries to fix your files.  He will bend over your keyboard and type away, never mind that he has to keep this uncomfortable position during the next 3 hours or so when he tries to prove he can do the job. 

Some hours later, words you never knew existed will come pouring out of his mouth as his way of explaining what happened, what you did wrong and what he so gallantly did to fix. 

So what, you say?  Ganun talaga ‘yun.  But wait.  The Show Off is different.  There are certain things you can do on your own that the Show Off could have taught you readily but since he doesn’t want to outlive his usefulness, he won’t let you know.  He will leave you in the dark even if he could have simply told you what you should have done to save him (and you) the time and effort the next time the same problem comes up. 

If there’s a keyboard shortcut you can use, he will try to keep it from you by blocking your line of vision with his torso as he types on your keyboard.  And when he’s done, he will not leave you without reprimanding you again, just to remind you that he knows something you don’t.

The Hard Worker
This one not only rains on your parade, he/she poops on it, too.  Sorry if I seem too harsh but I personally dislike this type.  Anyway, you’ll get to know this guy a week or two after your first day at work, just when you’ve gained enough confidence, earned a few friends and built enough lakas ng loob to use your 15-minute break and have afternoon coffee in the canteen. 

So you’re sitting there, enjoying your cup of single-serve instant coffee and this guy/gal happens to pass by.  Because you’re new, you smile or wave and say to him shyly, ‘Coffee tayo.’  The guy smiles back but says, ‘Sige.  Busy e.  Buti ka pa.  Pakape-kape…’  This will occur several more times in the future.

So then a year passes and some non-working holiday comes along and you’ve earned one vacation leave credit.  So you decide to go on a break for the Lenten season or for the weekend, whichever.  You think, ‘I’ll be gone Friday, Saturday and Sunday and just use up my vacation leave credit for one day (Friday)’, granted that you work Mon to Fri lang.  Of course you’re excited and so are your office buddies who are going with you.  Because gossip has a way of going where no wiretapping device has ever gone before, other people get wind of your plans.

Hard Worker then passes by your desk and then casually asks, ‘Oy, I heard you’re going on a vacation.’  And you say, ‘Oo.  Excited nga ako, e.’  

Dahil nga hard worker si Hard Worker, he says, ‘Buti pa kayo.  Pabaka-bakasyon lang.‘  Not wanting to make him feel bad, you say, ‘Ba’t di ka rin mag-leave?‘  He answers, (you guessed it) ‘Busy e.‘  And then he says again, ‘Buti pa kayo…’

The Old Bronco
This is the guy who goes so far back, your company building was probably just a parking lot when he began working there.  Heck, maybe even way back when it was still a grassy plain the dogs went to to relieve themselves.  This guy is an institution because he is as old as the institution and he gets respect for it, regardless of what his job is. 

Nothing wrong with that – there are many people who still work for the same company where they landed their first job.  But this is the Old Bronco.  He’s different because he’s always right and he seems to be caught in a time warp where somebody pulled the plug. 

Someone tries to implement a new way of answering the phone and he says, ‘Ay, hindi naman ganyan dati.  Nung sawali* pa lang itong office, ganito na kami sumagot sa phone.  Bakit pa babaguhin?’ 

The boss tries to change the way the employees look with a new uniform, the Old Bronco says, ‘What for?  Gastos lang ‘yan.  Dati, nung dahon pa lang ang gamit namin, wala namang problema.’

If this guy doesn’t frustrate you, you’re made of stone.

The Best Friend
Ah, yes.  The Best Friend.  He or she may either be qualified for his particular job or not at all.  Why is he/she the best friend?  Because she is bosom buddies with the boss’ wife or kabit so you better watch out, you better not misbehave because she will tell on you, make sumbong to the boss’ wife or kabit and you will lose your job. 

The Best Friend is always privy to office movements and developments.  They show off the box of chocolates na tira nung friend nila (‘Galing ‘to kay boss), tag along when the boss goes on vacation with the other best friend (‘Ang saya!  We had our very own private yacht!’) and will even drop hints about future employee sackings, 99.99% of which don’t come to pass. 

The Best Friend is somebody who demands your respect and attention, even if they don’t deserve it.  And they are not shy about warning you to be careful when dealing with them (‘Subukan mo lang.  Baka masisante ka.’ ) –even if they don’t have any authority to talk like they do.

The Little Bossing
This one holds the power in her hand as symbolized by her Secretarial/Exec. Assistant/Assistant job title.  Her main man is THE man, so you better be good to her. 

Type on the keyboard too hard and she’ll tell you to go easy, mahal ‘yan, magagalit si boss.  Laugh a little bit louder and she’ll shush you, saying, nandito si boss.

Keep your drawers locked and she’ll tell you you shouldn’t, sabi ni boss (the boss said)  I should take a look in there.  Keep the password to your computer secret and she’ll tell you the boss wants to know (even if he doesn’t give a damn about your security efforts. 

This type is in the same class as the relative, in that she will spy on you and correct your every move.

The Hanger-on
This guy is not really an employee but for some reason, he spends more time in your office than the other legitimate employees.  He sits on someone’s table, asks to use the phone on your desk, eats at the pantry, jokes with everyone (including you if he’s nice) and stays on until overtime is nearly over.  Why is he at the office in the first place?  Wala lang.  Hanger-on nga, e.

The Expert
This guy knows so much, you’re actually wondering why he doesn’t have his own website that would rival EHow.com and Wikipedia for all the information he has in his head.  The Expert knows how to run the company better than the president/owner/manager.  During those times when you’re in the pantry or hanging out at the water cooler during break time, he will tell everybody what a bad job the management is doing and that the best steps and procedures to do are those that he himself has come up with. 

He has everything planned for the company – from the marketing and HR strategies to the production schedule to the folding of the newspapers to the right color of paper clips to use.  This guy sounds so convincing that in spite your better judgment, you find yourself nodding your head in agreement. 

So then you tell him, ‘The employee meeting is tomorrow.  Why don’t you tell the boss what you said just now?  He might find it useful’ (no sarcasm there.  Na-convince ka nga, e).  And with wide-eyes and determined voice, he says, ‘Talaga!  I will tell the boss.  Just you wait and see.’

The meeting day comes… and then goes.  The Expert?  He sits in the corner, nodding at everything your boss said, sometimes even forcibly.  So you wonder where all that disgust and disagreement with the management all went.  Or maybe he just changed his mind?  But a little less than 24 hours later, he starts badmouthing the management again, starting at how badly the employee meeting went. 

And so the cycle begins one more time…

The Mr.
This guy will tell you how to do your job because your job happens to be the same job his wife has or had.  He will tell you how to write the memo, where to sign on the dotted line, even what policies to implement, never mind that those policies are not included in your company’s handbook or are not appropriate to your company.  Wala lang.  His wife works in the same job, e kaya you should do as his wife does and that’s reason enough for him.

The Griper
This one dislikes anything good that happens to his or her officemates, including you — and she feels it strongly.  This is the one who finds everything in the company as faulty, hardly working, ineffective, inefficient, even stupid.  The Griper sees only the bad things, he/she could actually be the only one in this universe to find the needle in a haystack the size of Greenland. 

You get a promotion, he/she raises her eyebrows.  You get a raise, he/she complains.  Bakit nga naman mas mataas sweldo mo sa kanya e mas nauna sya sa yong na-hire?  If the Griper had a hand on things, he/she will have a higher salary than the newly-hired AVP,  never mind that he/she is working on a lower salary level and that if you looked closely, he/she may even be overpaid for his/her job. 

You rise, he/she feels bad.  You fall, he/she rejoices.  Be careful of the Griper because this is the one who has a tendency to stab you in the back and sell you to the slaughterhouse… with glee.  The Griper is also the type of officemate who becomes a saboteur, so don’t say you didn’t get warned.

The Money-Face
This one is always on the lookout to make a fast buck or some extra cash out of any opportunity that presents itself within the office.  A salesman comes in selling pens and he will be right in there negotiating like the middleman that he is not.  He will negotiate with an office supply company for a cut on every order from your company and he will raise hell if someone volunteers a cheaper supplier.  He will charge the basurero a fee for picking up the old newspapers even if the boss said to give them away free. 

And he’s angry at his fellow money-face.  In fact, he will be the first one to throw the first stone.  Hindi pa na-satisfy, he will even throw the second.  Grabeh.

The Amorseko**
The Amorseko is a corporate/company clinger.  This guy is probably the reincarnation of the captain of the Titanic or every other captain who went down with his ship. 

The Amorseko loves his job, he loves the office building, he loves the photocopying machine, he loves everything!  Sometimes, the feeling is even genuine.  The Amorseko will lecture you if you accidentally slam the door (‘Dahan-dahan naman… ano ba’ng kasalanan ng kumpanya sa yo?), use too much coffee (‘Konti-konti lang.  Magastos.  Cost-cutting tayo.”), charge your cellfone in the office (‘Gastos sa kuryente ng office yan, a.‘).  In terms of malasakit, the Amorseko is tops. 

Oy, kwidaw ka sa Amorseko.  If the boat does sink, they will bring you down with them.

The Apocalyptic Apostle
I love St. John and the Book of Revelations happens to be one of my favorite books in the Bible but the term apocalyptic apostle is just so appropriate that I had to use it.  This is the co-employee who speaks of fire and brimstone on a daily basis.  In his/her world, there is always an impending resignation, a retrenchment, a firing or even a closure.  Everyone who ever goes absent is always applying for another job and every cost-cutting activity means a department is closing up.  If you eat lunch with this person, you not only lose your appetite, you’ll seriously have a few sleepless nights with some nightmares thrown in.

The Celebrity
The Celebrity is anybody in your office who believes in their heart that the world revolves around them.  Power fails and they’ll say, ‘Ano ba yan?  Ba’t nila ginagawa ‘to sa akin?‘  The secretary forgets to book the transport for that day’s trip for an inter-company visit and they’ll say, ‘Why is she doing this to me?  May tampo ba siya sa akin?’  Never mind that the Celebrity is not the only one inconvenienced by the slip. 

At an office party or employee gathering where everyone chips in and helps out, the Celebrity keeps their hands clean, waiting in the wings to be served, looking over everyone who’s busy doing their part and warming their asses on a seat.  They won’t help out, not even to put the beers in the chiller or make tuhog the barbecue kasi they are celebrities nga e and they believe they deserve special treatment, kahit na hindi

When faced by the celebrity, just remember: di ka nila ka-level and don’t you forget it.

The Snitch
The Snitch is a dangerous person.  They spy on everyone and will sell out if they see that it could be advantageous to their cause.  They are snitches because they listen in on people and then tell other people about it.  They’re more than gossipmongers because they have a built-in filter for information. 

Out of everything they hear and read, they will pick only those that they believe upper management will like – who has a grudge against the company, who’s likely to leave, which departments have some sort of internal misunderstanding, who’s spearheading the creation of a union, who’s hiring the department manager, etc. 

The Snitch is a sad, desperate sipsip at heart and he will tell on you if he thinks he can use the information to make himself look better, more loyal and reliable to the management.

*sawali is a type of locally available material commonly used for construction work in the Philippines, usually as a wall or ceiling.

** amorseko is a type of grass/weed in the Philippines that has tiny round bulbs that act like Velcro.  The clingy stuff will stick to your pants, skirts and socks if you happen to pass by. 



1. Peter Quinn - October 15, 2008

Hi. I am a long time reader. I wanted to say that I like your blog and the layout.

Peter Quinn

2. dapinoyemployee - October 21, 2008

Hi Peter,

Thanks for dropping by. I did change the layout — colors and all and wasn’t too sure about it at first. Glad to know someone actually follows this blog and isn’t afraid to say so. 🙂

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