Working and Career

Working and Career

Brandon Smith

Trolls, Princesses And Other Scary Co-Workers

By Brandon SmithPosted October 31, 2013 11:53am (EDT)
(Photo Courtesy of Marian Beck via Flickr.)

(Photo Courtesy of Marian Beck via Flickr.)


This post is purely an ode to many of the creative and on-point scary co-worker ideas I’ve received this month. Well done, readers, well done. I’m sufficiently frightened. I think this Halloween, I’m working out of my home office with all the lights on. ‘Course it doesn’t take much to freak me out. This is a guy who used to get uncomfortable simply by hearing the theme song to the American TV show “Unsolved Mysteries.” I didn’t even have to watch the show. The theme song was plenty. Pathetic.

Your Scary Co-workers


Without further ado, this is your list of workplace monsters and scary co-workers (in no particular order):

The Office Troll – Grumpy and grotesque, this keeper of the “road” makes you pay a toll before you are permitted to pass. As one reader noted, they “wait to take your ideas after you’ve paid your toll to cross through their department.” Not only do you have to pay the toll, but you are fleeced as you pass. Nastiness. Welcome to the joys of office politics.

The Princess – I gotta be honest. This one took me by surprise. After all, what’s scary about a princess? But the more I thought about it, I realized it makes total sense. There is a fine line between princess and diva. The Diva is not pretty. They throw temper tantrums at a moment’s notice. They storm out of meetings in dramatic fashion. They are delicate, unstable and narcissistic. Woo… The only way to survive an office princess / diva is to make them the center of your workplace universe. Princess usually tend to reside in “small business” kingdoms, but I’ve seen them in non-profits, universities, retail and hospitality. Oh, and don’t be confused. Princesses can be men just as easily as they can be women.

The Faceless Co-worker – I received this description from a reader and thought it was spot-on. So much so, I’m gonna let it stand on its own. No need to mess it up with my commentary. “The metaphorically Blind, Deaf, Speechless (and likely touchless and smell-less) co-worker – without eyes, ears, nose, tongue or fingers. Why? A divorce lawyer learns quickly that the opposite of love is not hate, it’s indifference. (Love and hate are close--going back and forth and erupting in emotion.) This monster ‘hates’ you by ignoring you--doesn’t see or hear or ask anything about you. [It] is simply indifferent to you and ignores you--the workplace equivalent of the high school football quarterback or prom queen who doesn’t see anything but themselves in the mirror.” I’ve seen this co-worker just about everywhere. Scary.

Again, well done, folks, well done. Ya make my job easy.

Happy Halloween!

Next Month’s Dysfunction: Death by Meetings. You won’t want to miss this nasty, pervasive dysfunction, unless of course you don’t ever go to meetings. If that’s you and you truly never attend any meetings whatsoever, you likely live in a cave. In which case, I recommend you take a shower, shave, invest in some new clothes and try socializing once and a while. It will do you some good.

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