The many faces of people at work

The work world is full of many types of people, some are more suited to deal with a noisy and competitive environment, and some are not. There are co workers you like, and others you want to see rolled up in a carpet and tossed off a bridge. Some are good mentors, and others will look out only for themselves and yet others are good company men. Here are a few types of people I have worked with and how to deal with them.

The Mentor;

Genuinely wants to help you learn and progress your career. I have found this type to be pretty rare, most people at this level of management are only out for themselves (see company man ). They will help you get the resources you need to do your job, and will drop what they are working on to help you for a few minutes. They are high achievers and really like to share their achievements with you, and help you do the same thing. The mentor has a stake in the company and really believes in people. They will not tolerate laziness and give the slackers fair warning and will get rid of the people that don’t pull their own weight. The mentor is good for the company, and good for the people. He will challenge you and keep you on your toes. He brings up the level of everyone. If you find one, learn as much as you can from them.

The Company Man:

This guy is only out for himself and the company, and will bulldoze what ever is in his way to get things done. Will take out people who slow him down, does not help others achieve, and will surround himself with yes men, and will knock down the level of anyone around him. The company man appears very confident, but on the inside he is full of fear, fear that someone will come along and knock him off his pedestal, and he will do everything he can to keep himself alone in the high tower. Don’t trust them, and don’t get personal.

The person who knows they wont get fired:

If you have ever worked a union gig, or a place with shareholders you know who I am talking about. They whine and complain, and do just the bare minimum to get by. They know its difficult to get fired and will exploit the shit out of it. They don’t pull their weight, and try to make everyone else miserable. Others have to pick up the slack for them.


Similar to The person who knows they wont get fired, but they have some sort of inn with the boss or higher ups. Maybe their Mom is in management at another location or their uncle is upper management. They name drop a lot and are always on the defense. They are usually useless and they only reason they got the job is because they are related somehow, they most likely could not land a job or cut it anywhere their “mommy” hasn’t pulled strings for them. Let them burn themselves down.

The Narcissist:

One of the worst people you can run into. They are smart, conning and very manipulative. Its all about them, they will bring everyone down to their level, and tear down concrete walls to make sure that everyone knows that the world revolves around them. They are never wrong, and will never admit fault. Watch out for the narcs, and avoid them at all costs. If they are really smart, and most of the ones I have ran into are, they can be hard to spot at first, but eventually their true colors will come out. Eventually will burn themselves to the ground and look for a new job. If you are a threat to them, they will try to take you out.

The introvert:

The one who gets things done behind the scenes. They will do an amazing job, but you will never know how they did it. Always at their desk working on something, usually with headphones on or the door closed. Leave them alone and let them work, they will come to you if they need something. Quiet and outspoken , but never underestimate an introvert !

The needy co worker:

The person who is always roaming around looking for some poor soul to listen to their problems. Their work ethic can be good or bad, as they are usually combined with one of the other types. When they walk by, pretend you have to go to the bathroom for an hour.

The fall guy:

The person you blame when the shit hits the fan. Also known as FNG.

The short timer:

Just there for a little bit to earn a few bucks then skips town. Bad attitude, and just there for a check.

The gray wolf:

Does what ever he/she wants to and gets the job done, usually very good at their job. They are good to have around, but don’t expect them to be much of a team player, as they do jobs best when working, alone similar to the Introvert. Wont take part in gossip or politics, wont follow the rules, they just want to do their job and go home.

Golden Handcuffs:

Been at the same job for years on end, makes a ton of money, but hates the job. Hence the golden handcuffs, usually just winding down the clock till retirement. They want to leave, but wont take a pay cut, making themselves miserable. They might whine and complain, but they will diligently do their work.

The guy who refuses to change:

Stuck in their ways since 1986. Refuses to change and adapt, holds onto old technologies and ways of doing things. Hates change period. When they are forced to change, they will sink or swim. If they refuse to change, they are shown the door.

The straight shooter:

Does their job, doesn’t whine, complain, bs, blame anyone, follows the rules to a T. Does what the boss says, no more, no less. Does their job and goes home.

The endless dreamer:

The one who is always coming up with crazy and impractical ideas, often flighty. Sometimes comes up with a good idea, and when its good, its good. Often the fall guy, they have a hard time following rules , and often get into trouble when doing one of their crazy ideas, loves attention. They can do a really good job if they put their mind to it, but their head is often in the clouds. They usually are cheap entertainment, as long as they are not putting anyone in danger.

The Diva:

This applies to guys and gals ! The perpetual complainer, whiner and moaner. But most of them do their job well, they just have to complain about every little thing over and over and over. Nothing is perfect in their world.