Snooki. Oh, goodness, what can I say about Snooki? She was hired to be the department manager, but I have never met anyone who was so completely unqualified to do her job. She would come into work in the mornings, after being out the night before, and pronounce to all and sundry, "I feel like ass...!" A class act, she was not. We could hear the clickety clack of her stiletto heels as she clomped down the hallway, and her artificially enhanced bosoms entered the room five minutes before she did. She was so completely incompetent, she had no idea what any of us did. Not a clue. But if the folks in our department came up with an idea or suggestion that streamlined any of the processes, Snooki immediately stole it and took credit for it. She was mean and nasty, and she took great delight in calling people into her office and haranguing them solely for the purpose of asserting her authority. She was responsible for several people jumping ship, and when Snooki finally announced she was leaving, someone hung a calendar in the break room and counted down the days with a big red X. She's gone, baby, gone, but the echoes of her incompetence still reverberate throughout the office.
Psycho nurse. One of my particular favourites was the overwrought nurse manager. Man, she was psycho. She was the type of person who enjoyed stirring up trouble between people or groups of people. And she was good at it. Watching her manoeuvre was like watching a virtuoso play a Stradivarius. It was a work of art. But, when folks had finally figured out her game, she would cry foul and carry on like a mad woman. She once sent several of the administration staff an e-mail that was three pages of incoherent ranting and abusive name-calling. It was one of the most bizarre things I had ever seen. When the staff complained to the human resources department, the psycho nurse was forced to formally apologize with both a verbal and written apology, in the presence of the Director, in the human resources boardroom. Psycho nurse left shortly after that, and she has had eight jobs since then. Our understanding is she can't stay in one place for very long. Wherever she is now, they're welcome to her.
The gossip. One of the most dangerous people in the workplace is the gossip. Gossips don't discriminate -- whether it's the truth, or a lie made up out of whole cloth -- they're happy to pass it on. And if it's a particularly slow day, they're not opposed to making something up themselves. I have been at both sides of the gossip's mischief, and it's particularly unpleasant. We have a gossip at work who is always standing in someone's doorway, whispering something confidential -- about someone else. The sole purpose of the gossip is to make other folks look bad so the gossip can look good. If they can cozy up to a director or a manager, and whisper something the manager should know, they think they look as if they are being conscientious. Of course, anyone in a management position who knows their stuff (that rules out Snooki) pays no attention to the gossip. But the harm is done, nonetheless. Our office gossip retired a few years ago, but because of short-staffing, she keeps coming back. Yesterday she whispered to me that the people on the other side of the office are using our water. From our taps! Can you imagine? *sigh*
The black widow spider. Oh, dear. What can I say? She was a manager for many years, and several of her staff members died of cancer or heart disease -- in their 40s. The black widow spider was one of the most angry people I have ever met in my life. I still have nightmares about her. She yelled, she threw things, she slammed doors and she swore. She always wore black with never a hint of colour, and she sat in her
The shrieking giraffe. She came to us as a temp. At first she was very pleasant, albeit slightly high strung. She she was over six feet tall, skinny, and she called everyone "love" or "baby" or "honey" or "doll face". It made everyone extremely uncomfortable, but in truth the shrieking giraffe hated us all -- well, all except for the gossip. She loved the gossip. The gossip could be useful to her. The shrieking giraffe really was the temp from h*ll. About 20 years ago there was a movie called The Temp with Timothy Hutton and Lara Flynn Boyle. Have you seen it? The shrieking giraffe made Lara Flynn Boyle appear sweet. Trust me, there is no shark or piranha hungrier than a temp. The shrieking giraffe's modus operandi was to tell jokes. And then she would shriek with laughter. It was scary. When Snooki left, the shrieking giraffe was transferred to another department on another floor, and occasionally I can hear the shrieking laughter drifting through the hallways, and when I do, I hide. She still scares me.
Those are just a few of the more "colourful" folks that have drifted in and out of our office. Common things being common, you have probably known a few people like these as well. We endure them. But, as quickly as they arrive, they leave. Thank goodness.