15 Most Annoying Corporate Characters.
by Jennifer Sey
The question isn't whether or not we act like annoying jerks at work sometimes. If we're completely honest with ourselves, we all do – men, women, vice presidents, assistants. The question is: which kind of annoying jerk are we at work? The following may seem a bit snarky. But I am an equal opportunity mocker here, making fun of myself as much as any other person that has sent me over the edge within the bowels of the corporate machine. So while you may be offended, I'd contend that this is well informed by 15 years of research. And while the observations may seem stereotypical, they also happen to be true.
I've identified one annoying character for approximately every year I've been working in the corporate tedium many of us call “real life”. They are in no particular order.
1. The Market Research jerk. PRETENSIONS: consumer data, the blackberry holster. AFFECTATION: Speaks about Proctor and Gamble as if this personal care products company were led by brilliant inventors as renowned and history making as Jonas Salk or Alexander Graham Bell. As in: “Look at what those geniuses at Proctor have done with Old Spice! Through rigorous quantitative consumer research, they unearthed the consumers' unmet needs; and through innovation delivered body wash. Brilliant!” (As if consumers in the 1st world have ANY unmet needs.) SELF-PERCEPTION: they are cultural anthropologists rather than data nerds.
2. The Creative Director jerk (found most often in advertising agencies). PRETENTIONS: a bong tucked away in the corner of his office. A pool table in the common area because one needs to relax to come up with groundbreaking new ideas to market beer. Or mini vans. Or boot cut jeans. Uses the word 'creative' as a noun, as in “I'm a creative.” Is never on time, smells like patchouli and generally hasn't matured past sophomore year in college. IN A FEW YEARS WILL BE: in rehab and divorced.
3. The Misogynist jerk. PRETENSIONS: thinks he's ok with women who have kids in the workplace but says things like: “You're not having any more children are you?” or “Maybe we should market these [insert noun here] to women in such a way that attacks their deep psychological problems around their hatred of their bodies or fear of being bad mothers.” IN A FEW YEARS WILL BE: a senior executive jerk.
4. The Woman Hating Woman jerk. CROSS TO BEAR: having fought for one of the few slots allowed to women in top tier MBA schools a few years back, she's still fighting other women in the workplace for the handful of senior executive slots reserved for women. PRETENSION: Never had children therefore believes herself to be more dedicated to her career than women who did. IN A FEW YEARS WILL BE: pregnant with sperm bank triplets at 47.