Career

10 Types of Co-Workers That Are The Absolute Worst

We spend two thousand hours a year with our colleagues and some of them are totally rubbish. Here’s a handy guide, in no particular order, to the personality types that turn work life into Chinese water torture.

1 / 10

#1 The Martyr

The Martyr works late and is constantly run off their feet, yet they still find the time to stop by your desk and complain about how busy they are. This person sighs dramatically at regular intervals, with the resigned air of a true hero who is used to cleaning up other people’s messes, because of course that is all they do. Whether or not they say it explicitly, The Martyr believes the entire business would grind to a halt without them. This literally never happens.

2 / 10

#2 The Title Holder

A rare but astonishing breed, The PhD title holder is a person who uses the prefix ‘Dr’ and the suffix ‘PhD’ in their email signature when their field of academic study has no relationship to their job. If you’re a customer relationship manager with a PhD in Russian Literature, you might want to keep it to yourself.

On the flip side, The MBA title holder has completed a relevant field of study and wants everyone to know about it. You might work in a business, but The MBA is a master of business, so in some respects this person thinks they are actually your master.

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3 / 10

#3 The Dish Nazi

We are adults, right? And we should be responsible for washing our own coffee mug. Yes, it’s ideal if people also dry their mug and return it to the cupboard, along with the plates, forks and breadboard they used to make lunch. But when The Dish Nazi starts writing passive aggressive signs and threatening dishwashing-related consequences, they make a mockery of our freedom.

4 / 10

#4 The Megaphone

There are two breeds of Megaphone. The Accidental Megaphone does not understand the difference between normal conversational volume and shouting. Their honking phone voice and snort-laughs are like tiny woodpeckers to the brain, but fundamentally their crimes are unintentional.

The Intentional Megaphone is a person who speaks loudly because they believe their conversations, whether or not they are work related, are fascinating to all. They sit on the phone to their friends all day, reliving Friday night thrills at obnoxious volume or offering some half-baked opinion on Islamic fundamentalism, oblivious to the fact that everyone in the office is quietly wishing them dead.

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5 / 10

#5 The Clockwatcher

If you are a person who routinely arrives at work late or takes long lunches, The Clockwatcher is your mortal enemy. They don’t comment or outright condemn, they simply glance at you as you arrive, then glance up at the clock.

6 / 10

#6 The Reprobate

Seriously though, how hard is it to get to work on time? Take a look around. Everybody else has managed it.

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7 / 10

#8 The Social Club Enthusiast

Genuine camaraderie among workmates is both desirable and possible. The problem with work-based social clubs is that they are an ersatz community model that repels people, rather than bringing them together. The pay-to-play element isn’t helpful, but the real issue is that no one likes to have organised play dates with their colleagues – it demeans the legitimate enjoyment we get from not being at work. The Social Club Enthusiast did not get this memo. A pathologically uncool personality type, their jolly email invites always seem a bit hysterical.

8 / 10

#8 The Toilet Talker

Again, a collegiate environment at work is a good thing – it’s nice to exchange casual pleasantries with your office mates, even better if their non-work related conversation is genuinely interesting to you. But there is a line, and it runs across the bathroom door. The Toilet Talker offends all standards of decency by taking that little chat in the corridor into the “secret business” room and keeps merrily twittering along over the cubicle wall while you wait for them to stop, clenching your nether muscles in abject horror.

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9 / 10

#9 The Luddite

The Luddite has yet to master the dark art of attaching documents to emails. They can never find the USB port, in fact they don’t know what a flash drive is. They do not Internet – they can barely type – and constantly lean on their workmates for help with the most basic elements of computer literacy. Respect where respect is due: The Luddite probably has loads of experience and many useful Iron Age skills. But damned if they can print a Word document.

10 / 10

#10 The Useless MF

Without a doubt, the most annoying type of co-worker is the one that is terrible at their job. How did The Useless MF even get their job in the first place? Why are they allowed to lie back while everyone else drags their dead weight towards the common goal? Why are they so incompetent? Why do they repeat their mistakes? And sweet baby Jesus, how on Earth is this Useless MF on a higher salary than me? 


Simone Ubaldi is a ghostwriter, music journalist, film critic and has co-authored four books, including memoirs of Bon Scott and Mark ‘Chopper’ Read.

Lead image: The Office