Cubicle Characters

Corporate offices are a collection of misfit toys. While each office person is unique, I’ve developed archetypal “office personas” according to dominant traits and behaviors in the workplace. Now…introducing your Cubicle Characters Starting 5! At Point Guard, from ITT Technical Institute, standing 5 feet 7 inches short…

The Sports Guy

“How about that win last night? Can you believe Tom Brady’s third quarter touchdown pass?”, “Dude, my fantasy team is crushing it – I’m taking home the trophy this year”, “I kicked for the cycle last night in my kickball league. AND I made a one-handed diving catch in center field while holding a brewski in my other hand.” The Sports Guy’s life revolves around watching and playing sports. When he isn’t holed up in his man cave watching football for an entire weekend, he participates in recreational kickball, softball, and volleyball at the local park. The Sports Guy was an above-average high school athlete, but excelled in the intramural circuit at his small college. He’s still trying to prove to himself that he’s a sports aficionado and is under the strange delusion that his athletic abilities have yet to peak. The Sports Guy is usually single, unshaven, and in his mid to late twenties…with a beer belly.


After years of slugging through muddy waters and up the corporate ladder, Moneybags finally reached the promised land: the highly coveted corner office. The few, the proud, the partners. As a reward for his toils, Moneybags received a plaque, a view overlooking the city, and a stake in the company. Now that Moneybags has reached the highest heights, he barks orders from his throne. Moneybags trolls around the office, feigning interest in his employees, while not-so-secretly focused exclusively on “productivity, business development, and revenue generation.” He asks a young employee: “How are you doing, buddy?” Before the plebe can respond, Moneybags cuts him off and asks why he hasn’t sent the final report yet. Rumors that the stern boss was playful and lighthearted in his younger days make you scratch your head and wonder: what happened to this guy? Maybe the corporate machine suppressed his childlike soul? Maybe his pursuit of material wealth caused him to lose sight of what’s really important? Maybe he thinks it’s his role to be a boring old adult? More money(bags), more problems…

The Busybody

Skilled at eavesdropping and making something out of nothing, The Busybody keeps an eye out for juicy office gossip that no one else really cares about. She is always the first to know who gets fired, promoted, demoted, dumped, etc. The Busybody’s attraction to trivial affairs stems from years of boredom at the office. Day after day, she answers phone calls and schedules meetings for her boss, Moneybags. You can’t fault her for pursuing some form of escapism. Unfortunately, she channels her pent up energy towards meddling in the cube farm. The Busybody usually has a few minions that aspire to be the queen bee someday. Minions are foot soldiers who march around conducting office recon. If someone you don’t know very well seems unusually interested in your personal or professional affairs, chances are he/she is a minion collecting data for the queen bee. Don’t fall for the trap. The honeycomb may look sweet, but you’ll be swarmed the second you step into the hive.

The Yes Man

It’s 10:00PM and the newly initiated law graduate is slaving away in his cubicle. He regrets agreeing to five major projects with concurrent deadlines and wonders why he keeps doing this to himself. Simple answer young fella: because you are The Yes Man. The Yes Man has established a reputation for being the go-to-guy for any and every assignment. He envies his peers who have enough of a backbone to say no to an assignment on occasion. They value their work-life balance and draw the line when their boundaries are being tested. The Yes-Man is working towards a bigger purpose: a higher salary and corner office. But at what cost? The grind doesn’t stop once you reach the top of the ladder, Yes Man. You’re always going to be answering to somebody. Give yourself a break and say no to Moneybags every once in a while. Take a night off and go spend time with your friends and family.

The Underachiever

Naturally intelligent, personable enough to be well-liked, and privileged since birth. The Underachiever was gifted with the fortunate combination of talent and opportunity. But he insists on complacency and is content going through the motions. The Underachiever makes a habit out of shirking his professional responsibilities. He does just enough to not get fired, while pissing off his colleagues by not shouldering a fair load. The Underachiever arrives to work late, leaves early, and takes several smoke breaks during the day. In many ways, The Underachiever is the antithesis of The Yes Man. The Underachiever aspires to be elsewhere – probably playing video games, attending a comic con festival, or watching the entire series of Silicon Valley on Netflix for the umpteenth time. He often daydreams of making a change – like quitting his job to be a fulltime couch potato – but never gets beyond daydreaming. The Underachiever’s peers oscillate between hostile resentment and humorous acceptance of their colleague’s vexing habits. Ultimately, The Underachiever’s consistent unreliability leads his office mates to shake their heads and say: “That’s just The Underachiever being The Underachiever. So lovable, yet so frustrating.” He gets a free pass…until he’s finally fired or quits to become a professional video gamer.

Remember, these are just the Starting 5 on the Cubicle Characters All-Star Squad. There are several noteworthy reserves that haven’t been discussed yet. Believe it or not, the reality is even more ridiculous than described above. At the end of the day, the people you work with are what make your job fun and rewarding – quirks and all. Cheers to The Sports Guy, The Underachiever, and everyone in between. Keep doing your thing!


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