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’s of

That Office Girl A Humorous Look at the Many Faces of Corporate America


Authored and Illustrated By Pia Bertone-Gross and Matt Rossini







’s of

We dedicate this book to corporate America.

That Office Girl A Humorous Look at the Many Faces of Corporate America

The better we are able to understand ourselves and communicate with others, the more successful we will be; business or personal. It is with this thought in mind that we, the representatives, have created these characters. Some are through personal experiences and some are stories of others; however, they all reflect how life is centered on human interactions. Our thanks to those who openhandedly contributed: Mike Barretti, Judi Lech, Brad Rossini, Seth BertoneGross, Silver Street Media, and many more... Without their help, That Girl would not have been possible.

In memory of James Bertone-Gross October 28, 1944-April 13, 2011 He made more contributions than he will ever know.

Copyright © 2012 abcenterprizes

We dedicate this book to corporate America.

Written and Illustrated by Pia Bertone-Gross and Matt Rossini All Rights Reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, distributed, or transmitted in any form or by any means, including photocopying, recording, or other electronic or mechanical methods, without the prior written permission of the publisher, except in the case of brief quotations embodied in critical reviews and certain other noncommercial uses permitted by copyright law. For permission requests, write to the publisher, addressed “Attention: Permissions Coordinator,” at the following email address: Ordering Information: Quantity sales. Special discounts are available on quantity purchases by corporations, associations, and others. For details, contact the publisher at the email address above. Printed in the United States of America by Bridgeport National Bindery Inc., in cooperation with Silver Street Media and abcenterprizes. For more information, formats, and future editions, please visit:

The better we are able to understand ourselves and communicate with others, the more successful we will be; business or personal. It is with this thought in mind that we, the representatives, have created these characters. Some are through personal experiences and some are stories of others; however, they all reflect how life is centered on human interactions. Our thanks to those who openhandedly contributed: Judi Lech, Pete Janke, Joe Massery, and many more... Without their help, That Office Girl would not have been possible.

In memory of James Bertone-Gross October 28, 1944-April 13, 2011 He made more contributions than he will ever know.



The ABC’s of That Office Girl is an in-your-face communications guide to dealing with “that girl” at work. Featuring eye-popping imagery and a blunt personality, it’s sure to engage and evoke emotion out of even the shortest attention spans. With a familiar ABC’s format and frame-by-frame methodology, the use of 26 distinct adjectives are drawn on to attach the word to that guy, forcing us to stop, reflect, and address how to properly handle the unique characters of this world and to prevent them from ruining our day... or our business!

This book is not intended to be a fix-all solution to the challenges we face in dealing with difficult people. It is simply an opinon, created with the intent to directly bring to light our irrational behaviors. Prior to engaging in the implementation of said strategies, it is suggested the reader review the following: 1. Look in the mirror 2. Put yourself in that guy’s shoes. If they fit, you may be looking in the mirror ;-) 3. Ask questions before passing judgement.

In order to achieve a blueprint for success, That Office Girl is formatted by providing: Clear Definitions First Impressions Lasting Impressions Elements of Memory Recall and Recognition Supportive Character Illustrations Bulleted Identifiable Characteristics Game Plan of Helpful Tips Bite Size Content Blunt Personality








* * * Hautain /(jăk´tan`sŷ)/ Proud; Arrogant


FIRST IMPRESSION: “She probably just needs a little recognition for her efforts” we say to an associate. Figuring the company may not properly acknowledge their employees efforts, our gut tells us the poor thing just needs a little credit. LASTING IMPRESSION:


Correction….she’s looking for more than a little credit, she wants all the credit. It may be human nature to be more interested in talking about our own lives than that of others’, but this hautain creature steps way over that line. Nailing a new plague to her “wall of fame” every Monday morning, she’ll pull every passerby into her office to share her most recent story of self achievement. Top three words in her vocabulary are me, myself and I. Living and loving her life in the third person, new acquaintances leave conversations with her assuming they just heard a heroic tail about one of her friends that shares the same first name. Her smug looks of superiority disgust you. Instead of wanting to wipe the look off her face you find yoruself wanting to punch it off.


can be our be change st sale s in th speopl ideas e way Often e, espe an times, yo cially th w formal d plans an u conduct ized pl busines hen it com e Bumptious d es to meetin ans w put them s. Hav us! M ill help in gs. M e ake ak interp to erad writing. Fo her docum retatio e the requ ent he rcing icate iremen n will her to r the sit he r le ts pathet uation. ave th ic post submit e crac cr ystal clea r, k in th uring e door anything le in ft open for he r to m to anipul procee ate d way, m with cautio Now th n at is coul busines ch her up and stand cl d real with a ea s cons possib capabl r. Hardene ly backfire, ultant d to ge so ly e adve that fo tti her ch a manager rsar y. cuses ar w This m ng her pairing ades. A cock ith clear au on workpla ay be thor ce be su . Li havior a popcor ke getting re Dick in th ity that ca or n put ready n, stoc e offic an to e, coul k som watch d be th end to e refre shmen an action movie e perfect ts, and , po she m enjoy ay be the sh p some dissua ow! to ge ded fro t her m way. Tr record By reco y havi her rants an ed vo ng so rd d rave ice sli arguin meone s abou ing meetin ghtly. g with gs, t why Th audio/ hersel for th she ne e com video f. If no ere’s a go eds pany od ch t, use savvy for pr on ance th ocess she w alter the improv how meetin e recordin ill end g emen t. This gs are cond for a traini up ng uc should call he ted as an op exercise r on th portun e carp ity et.


Coache clubs lis peewee sp or ke the y’re f ts teams an Intimid uture d Olympia debate like sh ates co-wor ns e’s pla k ying a ers to side Growlin game of with he pulling g lion staIN s D urvivo r N into h tues IG er driv welcomIZe ZY r you wh eway en













* * *

Expects supplies ttips for loaning o coworke company rs office Has been trail to found E.O.B. by her car following Toilet pa a paper Attempt per that wers to write off e t a m m pon purcha as “busin ade during se ess” expe nses” company retreatss



Don’t let one underweight loaf sell the whole office short. Start an office money jar. Every time someone addresses a problem, without a solution, they must contribute to the pot. Once Deloris no longer has money to buy tissues, hopefully she’ll get the hint.


* * *

Subscribes to the Daily Obit Times Often has such a long face, horses are jealous

Sorry is sorry every sorry other sorry

word sorry out sorry of sorry her She wants sorry mouth a tip? Leave pee in the her one- “D shower. Yo ea ur feet wil l turn yellow r Isabel, Don’t .”


To those who believe there is no such thing as “luck”, Deloris is your case-in-point. If you’re willing to take on the challenge, suggest that, although she could not choose her own name, she does have the power to change her actions.


Convince her she has a lot more to offer- Put her in charge of the office coffee run. Sending her out to Dunkin Donuts, will at least give the office an hour of daily bliss.


Suzi is at her second home Let’s begin without her...


Addled /(AD-duhld)/ DEFINITION:

Indicating a confused or muddled state


Right off the bat, we assume she must be the company workhorse. Why else would she be so overloaded with paperwork and visibly flustered by the simplest of tasks? Our heart goes out to her as we offer assistance, “It looks as if you have a lot on your plate; let me know if I can help in any way.”

LASTING IMPRESSION: There’s a lot on her plate for a reason—she never completes anything. Shuffling paperwork like a poker dealer, this addled body loses focus at the sight of a squirrel. Jumping from one task to the next, with no sense of priority, she misses important deadlines and neglects to provide clear explanations for the progress of each project. We try to keep a clear head when communicating with her, but her chaotic thinking, intricate labyrinth of obscurity, and puzzling presenta¬tions leave us more baffled with each interaction. After just a few minutes of dizzying contact, we often find ourselves taking a personal timeout to get some fresh air so we are not infected with her muddled musing.




Addled Ali may actually be an effective contributor if you limit her workload and keep her focused on one task at a time. She is not disciplined, so provide structure. Set up a clear schedule of activities so her objectives are defined and deadlines are met. There is potential there; harness and rein it in.


* * *

Causes a networ ash when ever starts up her cokmpcr uter in the mornshine g Enjoys vacation Bermuda triangleing in the Brings into work w organi zation that she never lene arns how to use devices

Sometimes getting things cleaned up and orderly is all it takes. Left to her own devices, Adele is a chaos creator. Take control of her physical environment by implementing paperless procedures. Remove unnecessary filing cabinets, desk drawers and any other objects that can help breed clutter and confusion. It sounds like a childish step to take, but it can make a world of difference.


Without a narrowed scope, an addled mind will transform even the simplest assignment into endless possibilities and options. Provide clear and concise directions. Do not leave anything open to interpretation. By providing structure and defined variables, you will be able to take control and set necessary boundaries for her.

Bumptious /(BUMP-shus)/ DEFINITION:

Presumptuously, obtusely, and often noisily self-assertive; pushy, forward, or cocky.

FIRST IMPRESSION: “Holy cow, what a spine on that girl!” we say to ourselves. Blown away by her physical demeanor and verbally aggressive tone throughout the meeting, we immediately admire her passion and ability to lead with the chin. LASTING IMPRESSION:

Admiration quickly turns into complete and utter disdain for this bumptious bitch. Like a two year old throwing a temper tantrum, she will whine, scream, and even revert to stomping and jumping up and down to get her way. Her episodes around the office take on a mystical form as her legend grows into the supernatural. Coworkers speak of steam bellowing from her ears, her eyes turning blood red, and her teeth growing into fangs. In the end, everyone eventually yields to her wishes to avoid further sparring with this vicious vixen.





Oftentimes, Bumptious Betty types can be our best salespeople, especially when they turn on us! Make changes in the way you conduct business. Have her document ideas and plans and put them in writing. Forcing her to comply with a formalized procedure will help to eradicate Betty’s pathetic posturing in meetings. Make the requirements crystal clear; anything left open to interpretation will leave a crack in the door for her to manipulate the situation.


* * *

Coaches peewee orts team s and debate clubs as sp if th ey ar e future Olympians and Presidents Intimidates coworkers to side her as if she’s playing a with game of “Survivor” Has growling lio atues to welco you as you pull ninst to her driveway me

Now, this could really backfire, so proceed with caution and stand clear. Betty, already hardened to get her way, should be matched up with a capable adversary. This may be a business consultant that focuses on workplace behavior or possibly a manager with clear authority that can put an end to her diatribes. Cocksure Dick in the office—see That Guy--could be the perfect merger. Like preparing yourself for an action movie, pop some popcorn, stock some refreshments, and enjoy the show!


By recording meetings, she may be dissuaded from her outbursts about why she needs to get her way. Try having someone audio/video-savvy alter the recorded voice slightly so that she assumes it’s not her. There’s a good chance Betty will end up arguing with herself. If not, use the recording as an opportunity for process improvement training exercises on how meetings are conducted. This should call her on the carpet.

Chippy /(CHIP-ee)/ DEFINITION:

Aggressively belligerent; marked by much fighting


FIRST IMPRESSION: "Looks like we’ve got a feisty one on our hands,” we think to ourselves. Ringside, our brain churns as we witness this chippy character give one jab after the next, sales call after sales call. We think, “She must close so many deals. Boy, am I glad she’s on my team!” LASTING IMPRESSION:

Coming back to consciousness, there’s only one thing that is clear: Although this chippy girl is part of the same company, it doesn’t necessarily mean she’s in our corner. She is not exactly the knock-out we were hoping for. Happening faster than a Dagger GT Supercar on steroids, what we thought was paying her a compliment blew up in our face. Realizing how silly it was to even attempt to land a flattering remark in the vicinity of someone who lives to fight, we give ourself an internal pep talk: “Okay, since no one else is willing to do anything about this girl, I will. I’m not going to jump on the bandwagon and fall through the ropes either. I have twenty seconds to get back in there and on my feet before she basks in her glory yet again.”




Playing it safe is sometimes the best route with Chippy Chyna. Of course, it is good to keep a competitive environment, but, when the final bell rings, a 10-10/can’t-pick-winner clinch, will save you from having an all out hair-pulling throw-down.


* * *

Practices up uts on her wa y to the ladiesperc room Is partial to candy canes Does her best to avoid DQ

Transparent is the new black. Try baring it all. Oftentimes, anger is channeled through bitter resentment. There is a good chance Chyna has not dealt with challenges from her past. Though a dated method, showing your vulnerabilities to her is a proven resolution that can help Chyna battle her Chippy within so she doesn’t spread her Chippy without.


Chippy Chyna is easily distracted. Don’t be afraid to showboat a little by creating a flashy environment to keep her busy. With her attention elsewhere, now is the best time to address her direct contributions. She won’t even know that it’s coming and you’ll be positioned for a perfect bum’s rush.

Dolorous /(DOH-luh-ruhs)/ DEFINITION:

Causing, marked by, or expressing misery or grief

FIRST IMPRESSION: Visual cues kick in immediately as we think to ourselves, “Wow, she is look’n’ pretty rough. Maybe she’s feeling under the weather. ” Her slumped posture and painful facial expressions are so abrasive that our natural physical reaction is to mirror her appearance so as to empathize and console this faint woman. We acknowledge having our off-days, too--happens to the best of us and the rest of us. LASTING IMPRESSION: Is this girl’s off-day every day? Suddenly, we catch ourselves falling into the same slump and lethargic demeanor. Day after day, problem after problem, she slugs into the office. Any attempt to bring energy into a room is quickly swept away by the essence of misery which remains. With scattered and missed attempts to shoot overused tissues into the rubbish, and sweater pockets teeming with those having a few extra blows, we easily recognize her attention-getting techniques. It’s certainly not a simple irony that she picks up pace for oncoming passersby. Inevitably, the new employee or unassuming visitor will fall victim, only to get sucked into this girl’s cheerless web of desolation.





Do not let one underweight loaf sell the whole office short. Start an office money jar. Every time someone addresses a problem without a solution attached, that person must contribute to the pot. Once Dolorous Daloris no longer has money to buy tissues, she should get the hint.


* * *

Finding a hundred dollars wo enough to make Dolorous Doloruld not be es delighted Has such a long face, even horses are jealous Sorry is, sorry, every, sorry, other, sorry, word, sorry, ou t, sorry, her sorry mouth sorry, of,

To those who believe there is no such thing as “luck,” Daloris is your case-in-point. If you’re willing to take on the challenge, suggest that although she could not choose her own name, she does have the power to change her actions.


Convince her she has a lot more to offer. Put her in charge of the office coffee run. Sending her out to Dunkin Donuts will at least give the office an hour of daily relief.

Exigent /(EK-si-jent)/ DEFINITION:

Requiring a great deal; demanding more than is reasonable

FIRST IMPRESSION: Although we feel her demands are a bit excessive, we think to ourselves, “Well, she really leaves no stone unturned; she’s a real stickler for detail.” We figure, “What’s the harm in a little added attention? It can’t hurt, right?” LASTING IMPRESSION: Talk about going overboard—she’s completely lost at sea! With mass emails, she proceeds as if there’s a five alarm fire, calling on every resource in the company to address the most mundane projects. As our “New Message from Erica” alert pops up on our screen, we simultaneously receive a phone call asking, “Did you read my email?” Only moments later, she walks into our office. Left with no other choice but to stop what we are doing, she proceeds to work her way behind our desk, requesting to call up information on our computer, frequently reaching over us to do it herself. She takes control until her needs are met and somehow she gets away with it time and time again!




Be upfront with Exigent Erica about your personal space. By properly positioning your desk, furniture, and yourself, you can fortify against her attempts to gain access to you and your possessions. Beyond physical boundaries, set some guidelines with her concerning your resources. Let her know that she’s not the only one with work to accomplish and deadlines to be met.


* * *

Will ask on Monday ing why you didn respond to her emailsmorn on Sunday night ’t Requires a personal food restaurant ized server at a fast Expects her oil ch ged and tires rotated when gettan in g ga s at a full service gas station

If you give an inch, she’ll go for an extra mile. It’s vital to stand your ground. Let her know that her demands are unreasonable and she needs to control herself. Take simple steps when dealing with her; don’t react to her beck and call. Chances are she’ll run off in search of her next prey and be less likely to approach you again.


Let’s see how “Little Miss Needy” reacts to performing a little charity work by assigning her to a community service project at work. Introducing her to those who are less fortunate could very well cause her to reflect and pacify her demanding ways. All she may need is a little perspective to change her ways. If it doesn’t work, at least you attempted to pay it forward.

Fatuous /(FACH-oo-uhs)/ DEFINITION:

Smugly, complacently, and unconsciously foolish and inane; displaying clear lack of intelligence, stupid; without reality, illusory

FIRST IMPRESSION: Struggling to hold back hysterical laughter, we feel a real sense of sympathy knowing that she is just blatantly ill informed about the matter at hand. We lean over to an associate and say, “Someone should inform her of the situation to salvage her from any further embarrassment.” LASTING IMPRESSION: Blown away by her utter stupidity, our compassion eventually turns into indifference. She’s a real dolt. After being informed that the company is having layoffs, she’ll lean into the office of a cuts casualty saying something like, “Cleaning up your office? I just love organizing all my stuff. Have fun!” She’s been overheard on the phone endorsing a competitor’s products to current and potential customers, explaining that she buys from them all the time.




ACTION PLAN KEEP IT SIMPLE STUPID (KISS): Although keeping it simple should be the goal across all business practices, for Fatuous Faith it needs to take on a more literal meaning. Dumbing things down for her should help prevent a lot of painstaking predicaments, and, more importantly, costly mistakes for your business. Do not concern yourself with insulting her intelligence due to the level of detail you provide; it’s needed.


* * *

Says to a pros we get your busipenectssiv.eI cugustesomer, “Hope it to stay in business.” s we need Volunteers to help clean up and shows up with a feat the books and other various cleaning prher duster oducts Has cats

The idea that you have to make special arrangements to keep Faith out of site during customer visits may seem preposterous. However, if it prevents a potentially humiliating experience with a valued customer, you may find yourself going to great lengths to obstruct her from having any interaction that could sour a contract.


Whatever you do, do not put your professional evolution in Faith’s hands. Relying on Faith is like playing a game of Russian roulette. You may be better off taking a chance at putting a gun to your head; your odds of survival may actually improve. As they say, faith without works . . . .

Glozing /(GLOHZ-ing)/ DEFINITION:

Deceitfully flattering, insincere; prone to specious talk

FIRST IMPRESSION: As we overhear her complimenting the boss about this and that as they enter the room, we think to ourselves, “Boy, she has a lot of nice things to say.” Her actions speak even louder than words as we view this individual hustling ahead of the boss, placing his prepared beverage of choice on the conference table as the meeting is about to begin. Figuring she must be his executive assistant, we suppose that it must simply be her job to be at his beck and call. LASTING IMPRESSION:

In short order, we see right through her machinations. Greeting us with the most insincere hugs and leading questions, we can almost feel the force of a dagger being thrust into our back. Spinning an intricate web of lies, she looks to wile her prey, intending to feed off their efforts for her own personal satisfaction and career aspirations. We are not paranoid about her seemingly tight-knit relation to the boss, rather just keenly aware of what she’s pulling. Going beyond a little brownnosing, she manages to get her whole face where the sun don’t shine, wearing it with ghastly pride and covering up the stench with cut-rate perfume. The result: a real shitty situation.




Glozing Gloria relies on deception and misdirection, so the best way to head off her cunning attempts to corner you is to clearly state the facts. By writing up summaries of activities and contributions, you can bring to light her attempts to steal the limelight. Let sun shine on what’s going on and expose her evil pilfering.


* * *

Starts a sentence, more ofte not, with, “You can trust men than .” Plays poker on weekends to strengthen her “communicati on skills” Has been spotted literally st ealing candy from a baby

: Call her out on her brownnosing. Let her know that her puckering up to management is pathetic and not going to be tolerated. There is a good chance that everyone else is getting sore from her offerings of free colonoscopies anyway. In all likelihood, they will appreciate you watching out for their flipsides.


Now, this could get a little awkward and possibly uncomfortable for some. Go on the offensive! In implementing a most aggressive hug strategy, you’ll put her back on her heels. Coworkers will probably know right off the bat that you’re cutting her suckling and will get a good chuckle at your clever ruse.

Hautain /(haw-TAYN)/ DEFINITION: Proud; arrogant

FIRST IMPRESSION: “She probably just needs a little recognition for her efforts,” we say to an associate as this individual goes on about her contribution. Figuring the company may not properly acknowledge their employees’ efforts, our gut tells us the poor thing just needs a little applause. LASTING IMPRESSION:

Skip the ovation and go straight to jeering. Although it may be human nature to be more interested in talking about our own lives than that of others, this hautain creature prances right over the line. Nailing a new plaque to her “wall of fame” every Monday morning, she’ll pull every passerby into her office to share her most recent story of self triumph. Despite the fact that the top three words in her vocabulary are me, myself and I, she loves telling her life stories in the third person, so new acquaintances leave conversations with her assuming they just heard a heroic tale about one of her friends who happens to share the same first name. Her smug looks of superiority disgust you. Rather than wanting to wipe the look off her face, you find yourself wanting to punch it off.





If Hautain Hanna likes awards so much, offer her the added responsibility of putting that oh-so-giving nature of hers to good use. Encouraging her to acknowledge coworkers’ achievements can show her how giving is often just as rewarding, if not more, than receiving.


* * *

Has been foun ering into the ladies’room mirror, recitindg pe ph ra se s fr om the Seven Dwarves (Hint: No Snow White and t those of Snow White or the dwarves) Believes she is “ ” Refusing to trust that they had “broken the mold,” her parent s go t st er ili ze tubes twice just to be sure d, tying the .

Stress to her the drawback of simultaneously having “the world at her fingertips” and “feet on the ground”: She’ll likely be viewed as a 4-legged creature, what many may refer to as a certain female canine variety. Remind her that no one is perfect, and no one expects her to be.


Yes, negative reinforcement and public reprimanding are generally frowned upon. However, when faced with the extreme case, sometimes the only way to ground Hautain Hanna is to make her feel human like everyone else. With a little research, finding some of Hanna’s efforts that were not so fruitful can bring to light for her how those negative experiences helped her move toward all of her positive achievements.

Indign /(in-DYN)/ DEFINITION:

Undeserving, unworthy; unbecoming; disgraceful

FIRST IMPRESSION: Assuming her coworkers’ snickers and scowls during the bonus presentation is their huff of some personal vendetta, we decide to curtail our clapping. Our inner monologue says, “You better stay out of this mess!”

’t Tipping isn ows just for c

LASTING IMPRESSION: There is no vendetta, but there is a vacancy at the office. Her career is vacant—all the lights are burnt out and there’s absolutely nobody home. Contributing nothing, literally nothing, to the company’s success, she enjoys a free ride to a weekly paycheck. If assigned an account together, we pretty much know we’ll be carrying her dead weight. Rather than waste even a single breath, you flat-out tell her, “Don’t do anything. I’ll take care of it.” Left to woes, our resentment grows for this hollow soul, existing purely as another miracle of mismanagement.




Put the proof in it-- 80 proof. Take her out for a good 1-on-1 conversation. It’s amazing what can surface over a few cocktails. There is a good chance Indign Izzy simply has not yet found her passion. You may be able to pick up a few hints as to where she may not only be apt to do some work, but maybe even take initiative to do more than just pan for change.


* * *

Expects tips fo ning company office supplies to coworkrerloa s Has been found E.O.B. by follo trail to her car - Toilet pa wing a paper per Attempts to wr e off ta mpon purchases that were madeitdu ri ng co mp any retreats as “business expenses”

“Izzy, why do you think you should receive money for items the business pays for to create a more productive work environment, things meant to be shared around the office? Don’t you realize you are hindering the team’s progress?” Remind her that, even though you don‘t endorse it, of course, if she’s looking for places to save money and make write-offs, that is what taxes are for.


She wants a tip? Leave her one: “Dear Isabel, don’t pee in the shower. Your feet will turn yellow.”

Janiform /(JAN-uh-form)/ DEFINITION:

Two-faced; having contrasting characteristics

FIRST IMPRESSION: : Perplexed by her cold demeanor in the meeting, we wonder if she is the same person we were so warmly greeted by in the front lobby. We find ourselves sympathizing with her and instead placing blame on the company, muttering under our breath, “They must have a poor culture to make something so sweet turn so sour.” LASTING IMPRESSION: With borderline bipolar disorder, this lady has more highs and lows than a school yard seesaw. Unlike the oscillation that brings so much joy to so many innocent faces, she brings unyielding and unwarranted vengeance on her coworkers. In blissful highs, she provides a false delight to her pending victims by offering a soothing smile and a helpful hand. With a blink of an eye, her alter ego boots out “Little Miss Sweet Pea” and she turns into a nasty, ruthless adversary. Don’t be mistaken by her constantly changing moods, for she is rotten to the core and the pretty face is just a façade.




If you’ve become worn down with unfruitful positive attempts, at least enjoy your time with Janiform Janet. Once you’ve become aware of her weakness, use it. Try dropping such lines during lunch as, “You know what they say, an apple a day. . . .” Or, when there is talk about what you did for the weekend, express it in terms such as, “Oh, I went apple picking. It was so much fun! Then we drank apple cider while making apple pie after eating apple dumplings. I can’t wait to have the leftover pork chops and applesauce for lunch today. I love the fall season, don’t you, Janet? . . . Janet?” (Chances are she’s retreated.)

* * *

Avoids apples kryptonite as if they were her Loves to hate roller coasters Has never worn the same pa ir of shoes twice


You’ve seen the sides this janiform character is capable of. Try to focus on the positive by encouraging a lifestyle conducive to keeping her in the center of the seesaw. Express to her how great it is when she--insert positive attitude expressed and work accomplished here--and relate to her by expressing how, for you, keeping a routine evolving around a healthy lifestyle of nutrition and exercise helps you stay level and productive. Small encouragements can work over time.


Just don’t drop it.

Kenspeckle /(KEN-spek-ul)/ DEFINITION:

Easily seen or recognized; distinctive, conspicuous

FIRST IMPRESSION: ”Boy, it’s great to see someone believing in the company she works for so much. It’s kind of inspiring to have a superstar around like that.” A real Brand Ambassador, not only do we often see her sporting all the latest company gear, but since when do we have a company flag? LASTING IMPRESSION:

As kenspeckle as a cock on a church broach, this girl takes company loyalty to a whole new level. We wonder if she has always been like this since day-1, or if it has been a sort of evolutionary process in which she’s morphed into a walking ad campaign. As we view the queen of company gewgaws and tchotchkes in action, we sarcastically relay to an associate, “Gee, I wonder if magenta is her favorite color. Does she own anything without some sort of corporate signature?” You do your best to avoid being chosen to join the team of coworker bobbleheads she’s acquired over the years.





Willing to pretty much sell her body for the company, Kenspeckle Krissy will always go the extra marathon to promote the brand, so why not take advantage of it? Most people would rather be caught dead having to sport some sort of custom or promotional suit, but not this little diva. Deck her out in a corporate custom suit and have her parade around tradeshow events. She will draw more attention than a super bowl streaker.


* * *

Tattooed the company logo on her lower back Made a Mt Rushmore paperw the faces of company corporeight from ate officers Is reprimanded every six mo throwing unsanctioned compannths for y outings

Channel her enthusiasm by allowing her to help formulate your corporate branding and the implementation to the rest of your team. Even though she’s pretty much already a walking billboard, have her delve deeper into the development of the brand strategy and positioning. Make sure you regulate her activities or she may become further possessed with corporate craze.

EXCESSIVE CELEBRATION REMUNERATION: Although most of us have lives outside of work, some of us do not. Giving Krissy some extra credit work may provide a valuable resource for your business. Sending her to charity events and networking conferences will give her an outlet for unbridled devotion to the corporate seal.

Latrant /(LA-trant)/ DEFINITION:

Constantly complaining; barking.


”Hmm, maybe I actually did something to deserve her onslaught towards me. Perhaps it was something I was supposed to do but wasn’t aware of?” Initially, we find ourselves looking inward to see, if perhaps, we missed something and are in fact at fault.

LASTING IMPRESSION: After a thorough self-analyzing, we realize the problem isn’t us. No quicker than we come to grasp that, she’s back up in our grill without a moment to spare. “Who’s responsible for this? Why don’t I have that report in my inbox? Why is the sky blue?” With a brisk jump backwards and an eyebrow raise, you think, “Geez, my dog gets tired of barking at the mailman faster than this latrant person.” Choking back our laughter as we imagine a girl during her terrible 2’s getting all worked up at even the most extraneous and random matters, we do our best to let her tantrums roll off our skin of wax shielding.




: Don’t accept the invitation. Ever notice how when one dog starts to bark, it spreads like wildfire? Soon the whole neighborhood is barking, oftentimes up the wrong tree. Lucy will try to instigate, almost begging for you to join her. Don’t fuel the fire by replying with defensive remarks that tell her what her problem is. We all know she’s the one with issues so try and focus on the solution. Do keep in mind that those who constantly bitch and moan are great at finding reasons why not to find a solution. Steel yourself to be met with resistance, possibly coming in the form of, “Yeah, but . . .” or “I know, but . . . .”

* * *

Wouldn’t name “I Love Lucy” favorite TV show if she ha as her d one Believes to every action ther equally negative reaction e is an Doesn’t get along with Fait h


Don’t be apprehensive about getting other people involved. In fact, take the initiative. The more ears that can hear her false, accusatory remarks, the better the chances are for you to take the attention off you as an individual and on to the big picture. This should redirect the focus to the real root of the problem: Latrant Lucy.


By ignoring Lucy, you’ll soon appreciate that she can blather all by herself. Consider getting her a little stuffed puppy so she has something to point her barks at during the performance.

Malapert /(MAL-uh-purt)/ DEFINITION:

Saucy; impudently bold or forward; amusingly forward and flippant.


“Finally, someone in corporate America who is bona fide.” Recalling the last company we worked for, run with a toxic wrath and instilling fear in anyone who even considered speaking one’s opinion, we enthusiastically await our chance to be heard and possibly even affect change in this new culture.

LASTING IMPRESSION: Perhaps a bit too “real,” this malapert character has zero filters, including no compassion for others’ feelings. We realize that this is business and at a certain point feelings are pushed aside for the bottom line. However, she simply knows no limits. She consults others not to empower them to take ownership of situations, but rather so she can deliver blunt criticism, focusing too much on the current undertaking at the expense of broader interpersonal issues. The more stress we’re under for a deadline, the more impudent she becomes, exposing further her malapert nature. Still, we’re left wondering, “Maybe I’m just too sensitive.”




Lacking self control once she has inserted her foot in her mouth, Malapert Missy is like a virulent disease. Pull the reins in before someone wakes up with a horse’s head in her bed. Her uncanny ability to have an untimely statement will ruin a meeting or, quite possibly, the closing of a big contract. If you have to, bring an extra shoe.


* * *

Makes on as Assumptive Clsosoue t of the Requests sp first date erm count on the Manages to verse her own review onto her bossrean d de cl ar es the size of her own raise.

Embrace Missy. Be honest with yourself, there are enough glozing, nefarious, and questuary individuals in every organization. As long as she is backed with the knowledge and experience to support her statements, she could be just what the doctor ordered. Just pay close attention to regulate her dosage.


: “Missy, I know you appreciate honesty, so honestly, stop being so honest.”


Timid or cowardly; whimpish


As she meekly slugs into the meeting and slumps into the seat farthest from the presenter, you think, “The poor thing. She must not be feeling well today. She’s probably trying to be nice and not get everyone else sick. Someone should suggest she go home and get some R&R today.”


As the meeting concludes and members disperse, we notice a slight stir in the back of the room. By a hair's breadth, we are able to decipher what appears to be a pair of beady little pupils peering over a set of spectacles, observing. Upon feeling our eyes in her direction, she emits something of a sputter, immediately followed by brash movements in an attempt to grab anything that looks even somewhat relevant to the topic at hand. Realizing it’s the timorous woman viewed at the meeting’s start, you attempt to approach and introduce yourself, thinking, “Well, maybe she just doesn’t know anyone. I’ll try to make her feel comfortable.” After a long five seconds of standing directly in front of her and watching her pretend to be preoccupied in her reading, you simply say, “Hello.” Faster than a kid hearing the closing bell on the last day of school before summer vacation, she bolts out of the room. You’re left standing with your hand extended and without a reciprocated shake.




Much as with our little aquatic friend the turtle, one of the best ways to get Nesh Nicole to stick her head out of her shell is to leave her alone. Too much pressure, in most cases, will simply push her to recede further. However, when there is a sincere interest outside the shell, she can become very captivated and involved. Drop subtle hints about projects you’re involved in, paying close attention for slight perks or subtle sparks of the eye. You may be astonished at just how much Nicole can come out of her shell once involved in a project that appeals to her passions.


* * *

Widely known around the of “paperclip in your chain of fice as the, command” Can be found after hours in ground comic book shops part undericipating in roll-playing games Has a pet turtle named ramb o

Although, in most cases, a nesh character is harmless, it’s possible that she can snap if pushed too far. Tread lightly. Observe, just as she does. Once you have a clear understanding for how she operates in different situations, you will be in a better position to maneuver her accordingly.


You may notice, when in the vicinity of a charming linguist, Nicole seems to be hypnotized by the pleasant vibrations and movement of those that are fluent in speech and body language. Adaptable creatures, we humans tend to become like those with whom we surround ourselves. With a capable and willing third party, you may be surprised at Nicole’s conversion.

This is an ugly color

This word is too long

Officious /(uh-FISH-uhs)/ DEFINITION:

Objectionably aggressive in offering one's unrequested and unwanted services, help, or advice; meddlesome You shouldn’t

use this word

FIRST IMPRESSION: “Your presentation seems kind of flat, drawn out, and boring. The text was way too small and it was a little ADD—no order, just a mess.” As feedback is being given on a coworker’s presentation, we think to ourselves, “Okay, maybe that‘s a little harsh, but, nevertheless, it’s nice to have such an open culture where people feel free to offer their opinions and help others improve.” We actually look forward to our turn to get some honest thoughts.

You need to do something with this. There’s no order

You need to make this bigger

LASTING IMPRESSION: What you thought was constructive criticism soon turns into destructive condemnation. Pointing out a whole lot of wrong and offering very little on the solution side, Olivia, who made a seemingly valuable point, continues to barrage her coworker with one problem after the next. “You know, you really shouldn’t use that color in a power point. Your spacing is all weird and messy. That page looks empty. It shouldn’t be that long.” Left standing You shouldn’t a re without a justification as to why the suggestions were made or how to make it use ripped a is better with possible alternatives, we witness our coworker being rushed like a paper Th ks loo pty quarterback on the 3rd down right in front of the goal line. em

You shouldn’t make this faded

This is redundant



We’re sorry, this image is currently too busy telling someone how it should be ta ken


Accept the fact, like it or not, that Officious Olivia does more good than bad and is a valuable asset to your team. Let her have her opinion; then do what you want anyway. A general rule of thumb is if she leaves room for her critique to be criticized, it’s constructive.


* * *

Believes “meddles e” refers to “she who has maom ny medals” Plasters various Ivy League School bumper stickers on th e ba ck vehicle for all to see when of her off her kids at preschool she drops Loves Burger King

If you feel as if Olivia is judging your every move and critiquing your every decision, have a little fun with her. Try Googling “top recipes for cannibals” or “how to get rid of an unknown rash.” Strategically leave the browser up on your desktop for your expected daily dose of Olivia’s “Advice Hour.”


Next time Olivia starts telling you what you should or should not do, address it. Let her know that we all have opinions and they’re all different. That’s because people are different. Until she walks in your shoes, she is not in the position to tell you what’s best for you. Make it clear to her that, although you respect her opinion and acknowledge the value of pointing out areas of opportunity, if she is going to offer her opinion, at least offer solutions with it. You are an individual and if you put up with people “shoulding” all over you, pretty soon you’ll be at the bottom of a big pile of shit.

Palavering /(puh-LAHV-ur-ing)/ DEFINITION:

Chattering idly, babbling

FIRST IMPRESSION: “Either she had way too much coffee, is really stressed out, or is damn efficient!” we think to ourselves. Witnessing this girl talking on her desk phone, while texting on her cell phone, and sending an email on her computer, we lean over to a coworker and sarcastically ask, “Do you think she can simultaneously make shadow puppets?” LASTING IMPRESSION: ”Yes.” It’s rumored that she has in fact been spotted amusing herself among the shadows of dusk when she suspected that everyone had left for the evening. With this girl, there is no one answer, but rather an over-detailed description, resulting in an essay-like response for a seemingly uncomplicated question. Responding to our polite comment on how lovely her perfume smells, she barely skips a breath before proceeding to divulge every detail, as insignificant as they may be, of her morning leading up to the present moment in time. Shocked and amazed, we listen as she subjects us to her babble: She dreamt her alarm clock went off, then it went off, then she pressed snooze, then she got up, even though she still didn’t want to get up, then she took 17 steps to the bathroom, she took a shower for 7 minutes while listening to the voices in her head telling her her schedule for the day, but then she remembered she had to pick up coffee for the boss on the way in, so she had to run the dog, rather than walk him, which made her all sweaty, and resulted in her having to put on a fresh coat of perfume. Breathe!




In order to prevent Palavering Paige from knocking down your door, set up an elaborate system of red tape that she’ll first have to work her way through. Putting more people and paperwork in place will at least preoccupy Paige. But, like even the best Band-Aid, tape is just a temporary patch. Eventually, Paige will peck her way down the path to your place.


* * *

Tells you everything you don’ t want to know about nothing Is so longwinded that tr ees uproot themselves Is the last standing memb er of her debate team

So Paige talks a little bit too much, well, way too much. If you are someone who works well with white noise, why not let her go on with her incessant chatter and pretend she’s the repetitive whooshes of your dishwasher in the background.


If she manages to pick her way through all the tape you’ve set, make a decision and accept the consequences—either you can deal with her or you can’t. Though difficult, calling it quits may be necessary. Your biggest challenge is yet to come—getting the words in edgewise.

Questuary /(KWES-choo-air-ee)/ DEFINITION:

Interested in, or undertaken for, monetary gain or profit as sole aim.

FIRST IMPRESSION: Rattling off the numbers incessantly during the meeting, we jump to a quick conclusion that she must be the company’s bookkeeper or financial planner. Although we notice the eye rolling of her coworkers, we say to ourselves, “Well, every business needs a solid bean counter; she’s probably just reminding everyone of the financial implications along the way.” Recognizing her on-the-ball assessment of dollars and cents on each item discussed, we shoot her a quick nod of approval to let her know we appreciate her contributions. LASTING IMPRESSION: Okay, honestly, when is enough, enough? Learning shortly after our first encounter that she is not in corporate finance, we realize that she is just simply obsessed with money. She loves the smell of it, the color of it, and rumors tell us she’s even been caught talking to it, saying, “Oh my little green friends, I love you so much.” Everything to her is about the bottom line and how it will affect her pocketbook. She reacts to discussion about company expenses like the company’s investments are attacks on her personal financial wellbeing. It’s not that she’s cheap, just willing to kill for a profit--literary kill.





Although it may not be a very constructive idea, it sure as hell will be a lot of fun. Plan a coordinated effort with your coworkers. After an expensive, nonexpensed dinner, act as if you forgot your wallets. Following a prolonged discussion of excuses, with Questuary Queenie squirming in her chair and her face overwhelmed with anxiety of having to pay the entire bill herself, call her out, “Gotcha! You didn’t really think we’d do that to you, did you? We know it would kill you!” She will probably just thank you for acknowledging her fears about financial security.


* * *

Not-for-profit is not for he r Once dove into a fountain at to catch a quarter a blind the mall child was making a wish on Enjoys long walk the beach – with a metal detectors–onrefe rring to it as multitasking

If possible, take Queenie into the wild where money means nothing. Force her to carry her own weight and be responsible for another person’s wellbeing. Teaching her a lesson about the frailty of man in Mother Nature’s hand may help her understand that money doesn’t always rule the world.


: To her, the whole concept creeps to the edge of insanity, regardless of whether it’s real life financial decisions or just playing a game. Play with her head and her piggy bank. Force her into making decisions that may jeopardize her own financial gains but improve the health of your organization and that of the customers you serve. Remind her that she’s not the only one who stands to lose everything based on a specific course of action.

Rantipole /(RAN-ti-pohl)/ DEFINITION:

Wild and reckless; disorderly


Our first encounter with this girl was about as uncomfortable a situation as one could possibly imagine. We say to ourselves, “Her lashing out must be tied to some sort of negativity that has penetrated the company. What a shame! I’m sure she’s a nice girl outside the office.”


IMPRESSION: On second thought, we’re pretty sure this witch, more appropriately this bitch, would perhaps eat her young. She’s nasty. Talk about highflying, this girl is shooting for the moon. Like a true predator, she stalks her prey and, with the slightest provocation, is ready to pounce on coworkers, associates and even customers. Left perplexed by her seamless ability to pick a fight over anything and everything, we find ourselves Googling the symptoms of someone who is rabid and how to prepare if unexpected contact occurs.




It is imperative that you and your coworkers flock together in order to protect yourselves against her attacks. By implementing a safety in numbers tactic, you will significantly reduce the risk of predation. With your life in the hands of your coworkers, you should develop an elaborate set of warning signs, hand signals, and verbal commands to alert each other when Rantipole Rebecca is loose and on the prowl.


* * *

Talks about things constant ly crawling up her as s Was charged wi inciting a riot during a companth y retreat Fights with hers the mirror saying, “What thele fheinll ar e you looking at?”

There’s got to be something back there. Unearthing her past may help pull some skeletons out of her closet. Skeletons are pretty creepy, so make sure you are properly prepared to receive some gruesome details. This could backfire. Make sure you are not in any situation that could cause you physical harm.


She can’t help herself, so use that to your advantage. Everyone is sick of her fireworks. Trigger one of her monumental explosions at an opportune time. Maybe there is a manager she has not yet met and you can set her off in that person’s presence. Exposing Rebecca’s malicious tirades to the proper decision makers may just get her the pink slip that you and your coworkers sincerely believe she deserves.

Salacious /(suh-LAY-shuhs)/ DEFINITION:

Indecently erotic; suggestive of, or tending to, moral looseness.

FIRST IMPRESSION: ”Her bust is busting out of her blouse!” we remark in a low voice. Assuming she is not aware of how much skin is being shared with the world, we imagine a close associate will let her know to button up during a break. LASTING IMPRESSION: Requests to button up may lead to a further unraveling of events and articles of clothing. She really gives new meaning to the phrase “putting yourself out there.” Wearing featherweight dresses, like Miss Monroe, she looks for even the slightest gusts of airflow to capture her clothing. This hallway harlot works the corners looking for prospective Johns and probably every other Tom, Dick and Harry, too. All too often, we can easily overhear her calling out to Dick from across the office, “Ohhh, Dick”.




Talk to your coworkers about getting some tips on how to steer clear of her bustier. She craves attention, so don’t give it to her. Avoiding physical contact altogether is a recipe for success.


* * *

Doesn’t vote, yet joined a campaign strictly to poll dapolitical nce Offers her pens and pencils touting them as “the only into others, in the office without teet struments h marks” Refers to Dick’s “My second home” office as

Make her lead Human Resources’ information efforts on sexual harassment policies. There is a whole body of evidence of her indiscretions, so bring it center stage by having her give presentations on inappropriate dress and speech. Call her out on her salacious sensations by reminding her of policy violations. Beware: This opens the door for her good cop/bad cop routine. Don’t fall prey.

QUEEN CHECKMATE IN FOUR MOVES: It’s one of the fastest

moves to a checkmate, and, luckily, it can be applied to checking Salacious Susie. It takes a queen to bury this diva. Find a callous adversary, someone with thick skin that can handle all the extra skin.

Treacly /(TREE-klee)/ DEFINITION:

Cloyingly sweet or sentimental; too pleasant or kind; expressing feelings of love in a false way


“What a breath of fresh air! It’s great to have a cheerful coworker who seems legitimately happy to see me,” we think to ourselves. She asks, "How are you?" and actually wants to know. Sure, the smiley face she paints on bad news is a little weird sometimes, but, hey, maybe she just doesn't want to upset us. She'll give us the real story later, we guess.

LASTING IMPRESSION: A honey-covered sugar cube dipped in SWEET’N LOW–empty calories. . . . We are pretty sure she must be hiding something. After all, no one can be that happy that often, but we can never tell. When the stakes are low, we shrug it off and walk away with a forced smile or a roll of the eyes. When stakes are a little sweeter, we confront her, but instead of getting the straight scoop, our challenge is met with a grinningly mocking smile and batting lashes saying, "I'm sorry . . . are we having a bad day?" We used to think she was clueless, but we have learned that the bigger the title, the broader her smile. LET’S FACE IT, TRINA IS THAT GIRL...



You catch more flies with honey than with vinegar, but this honey needs her coffee spiked with vinegar. Losing the smile for a few seconds might give you a window to test her ability to be sincere.


* * *

Still rocks hair bands and cla be a decendant of the Kenn ims to edys Believes good is the enemy of perfect Laughs at your lame jokes

Resist your overwhelming urge to strangle her, and, instead, engage her in a serious discussion of how the attitude she projects might be sending confusing messages. Be kind, though, after all, there may actually be gold in her heart. If she fails to appreciate your point, give into your initial strangle urge.


Deep down, you want to believe in Treacly Trina's sincerity. A genuine positive attitude would sure be refreshing, but this is business and you’ve got to know the truth. Let’s face it, we all want someone in our lives that will tell us when our butt looks big in those jeans. So, if she tells you the sun will come out tomorrow, before you bet your bottom dollar, check it out on the weather channel.

Umbrageous /(uhm-BRAY-juhs)/ DEFINITION:

Easily offended; irritable.


Witnessing her storm out of the room over a little constructive criticism, we imagine she’s dealing with some sort of personal crisis or overwhelming workplace stress. “Oh, my, the poor thing! I wonder what’s going on?” we comment to an associate.

LASTING IMPRESSION: Amazed by her fragile disposition, we tip toe around her, trying not to trigger any accusatory claims of ridicule. Feeling as though everyone is out to get her, she trusts no one and takes nothing for face value. Every little discussion about assigning responsibility for a product or service issue is handled like a giant inquisition, as she insistently repeats, “But it’s not my fault, right?”





If you choose to go down this road, do not be surprised if you get to hear some potentially traumatic stuff. Who knows what made Umbrageous Uma so defensive? If you can unearth the source of her internal strife, be proud of your yeoman like efforts. If there’s nothing down that route, then at least you tried. Now you can move on without concerning yourself with her fragile feelings.

CREATE A CULTURAL EXPERIENCE: A change of culture around the

* * *

Sticks and ston ll break her bo and words will aleswawi ys hurt her nes Oozes paranoia Has inspired other women to suggest she grow a pair.

office may be just what the doctor ordered. Investing time in team building exercises may help to work the nervous disposition out of her. You may have flashbacks to preschool experiences, but if she graduates, it will be well worth your time.

GIVE HER A TASTE OF THE TASTELESS: This could back-fire big time,

so be prepared for a spectacle of epic proportions. Take her to a comedy show where the comedian’s main shtick is to rip the audience to pieces. She will either be humbled by some really offensive words or she will crumble in concern. Sit Uma in the front row if you want a real primetime event!

Vacuous /(VAK-yoo-uhs)/ DEFINITION:

Lacking in thought or intelligence, stupid; mindless; inane

FIRST IMPRESSION: “Sometimes I get stumped, too. Happens to the best of us,” we say to ourselves. It can be difficult to come up with an immediate solution for every problem. We suppose that she must take her time to develop well thought out approaches to problems and that she aspires to offer up revolutionary solutions. LASTING IMPRESSION: Well, we weren’t totally incorrect in what we assumed; there is a donkey among us. Puzzled by her complete lack of intelligence, we wonder how she is able to survive in this world. Let’s face it, if she was a character in a low budget horror film, she would be the first to die, walking right into the killer’s hands. Sadly, when people need a break from their work, they go to her, knowing she’s on a permanent mental hiatus. When she is asked to give something a little bit of thought, she will typically reply with the question, “How little do you want?”




There is no suspense in her mind, so leave nothing open to interpretation. She needs the dots connected and you probably have to connect the first few for her to ensure she really gets it. She can be a real asset; with clear direction, she will follow your instructions to a tee. This experience may even be an opportunity to improve your own communication skills. Without clear directions, she’s paralyzed.


* * *

Believes books for dummies ar e for smart people Doesn’t understand someon has difficult clearing his mie who nd Wears a rain jacket into brainstorming sessions

Square pegs do not fit in round holes, so don’t force it. Stop thinking you can somehow open her mind so that she will think for herself one day. Many physicians dealing with the clinically insane have cracked themselves up thinking they were making progress with patients that have incurable psychological conditions. Don’t make the same mistake. Remember, the world needs ditch diggers, too. If everyone was a rocket scientist, there would be no one left on earth. We would all be living up by the moon, asking ourselves, “Is it really that much better up here?”


Sometimes we tend to over think things, making them more complicated than necessary. Utilize Vacuous Vicki for a fresh, oversimplified opinion. When that doesn’t work, ask a child.

Wriggly /(RIG-lee)/ DEFINITION:

Worming one's way into or out of a situation; insinuating or extricating oneself by sly or subtle means; shifty.


Given the high pressure situation, we were not surprised to look up and see that she was no longer in the room. We say to ourselves, “She must have run off to the powder room or needed a little break from the intensity of the situation.” When we excuse ourselves from the proceedings, we see her car is no longer in the parking lot, so we assume there must have been some sort of emergency calling her away from the office. We pray everything is all right.

LASTING IMPRESSION: Everything is all right, all right. Somehow she weasels her way in and out of situations like an illusionist. In circumstances where the likelihood is that she’ll benefit, she will magically appear from out of the woodwork, Houdini-like. When it’s bonus time, she’s there. When it’s time for praise, she’s there. On the other hand, as soon as the going gets rough, she gets the hell going. Finding ourself maneuvered into a situation which make us look foolish, we turn toward where she was sitting and say, “I believe Wan . . . duh . . . . Where’d she go?” Accept responsibility? Gone. Tough project? Vanished. “Does she think she gets a free pass from the past?” After faltering on several projects, we watch with utter astonishment at how she seems to place herself back in the middle of things, with no apology or explanation, thinking everyone overlooks her shortcomings. The fox is back to raid the hen house! LET’S FACE IT, WANDA IS THAT GIRL ...



Keep her front and center and do not let her out of your site. She is uncanny at not accepting, taking, or sharing responsibility, so put it on her shoulders and make sure all of her work is measured and transparent. Do not let her get away without reporting her accomplishments. They are usually few and far between so expose them.


* * *

Somehow knows yo entire schedule, but isn’t your seur cretary Nicknamed “Tae around the officeKwon Wanda”, Updated her Rela onship stat us on Facebook to “In atire la ti on ship with David Copperfield””

(Maybe make a sign for the visual learners.) Wandering her way through life, Wriggly Wanda is always wondering what her next scheme will be. She will look for the slightest opening to work her way into situations, so make it known that she’s not always welcome. Send out meeting notices that clearly state who is scheduled to attend and try to schedule meetings during times you know she will not be around. By all means, put up a private sign and lock her out of offices. Remind her that she is not needed, nor welcome, in a meeting she tries to butt her butt into. Ask her questions like, “Don’t you have something important to do?”


Setting some elaborate booby traps is a good way to expose her and bust her for who she is. Yes, again, get your mind out of the gutter. By exposing her, we bring to light her scheming and deceiving. Lock doors and set alarms to trap her in one of her infamous escapes. By bringing her childish attempts to worm her way out of situations to the forefront, you will be able to show everyone that she really is pathetic and paltry.

“Xanthippic” /(zan-TIP-ik)/ DEFINITION:

Ill-tempered; scolding; quarrelsome


“Somebody woke up on the wrong side of the bed,” we mutter under our breath. As she shoots us a vicious, vile look, we decide to do nothing to agitate her any further. We remind ourselves that we all have our days and this one must not be one of her better ones, so we cut her a break for her wicked behavior. It happens to the best of us.

LASTING IMPRESSION: Earnestly believing there has never been a good day in her life, we really grow to abhor this wretched soul. Sensing that her attitude can be contagious, we do our best to avoid her like the plague. The borderline masochists of the office confront her for their daily abuse. Taking their lashings like willing prisoners, they allow her to walk all over them without consequence. With blackout rages over the slightest agitations, like a paper jam or a late delivery, she makes the office environment a most unpleasant place to be. For the sake of your coworkers’ safety and unless you are prepared to unleash her inner demon, do not utter the words, “Don’t you think you’re overreacting just a little?” Come to find out, for this girl even the right side of the bed is the wrong side of the bed. LET’S FACE IT, XYLIA IS THAT GIRL...




Arrange for her to be around others with the same contemptible demeanor; she will most likely be drawn to them like a fly on manure. Once she realizes that she is in the company of others who have bad attitudes, she may feel right at home. However, this is when you make your move. Point out to Human Resources the need for anger management classes so that employees may refocus their energies in a supportive way toward positive, productive solutions. Then let the professional go to work. You’ve made a huge contribution just putting Xylia in the right hands. If change is catalyzed or she leaves the company, your coworkers will be indebted to you forever for helping to slay the dragon.

* * *

Shows up at the co mpany Halloween party still dresse d in explaining to people shher work clothes, e’s a witch Named her dog Bitch – Like dog, like owner Was born in the Year of the Dragon

DING, DING, DING!: It’s time to take this beastly bitch for a heavyweight championship 12-round bout. Someone has to stand up to her and put an end to her outbursts. This fight is not going to be for the faint of heart. Be ready to pull off the gloves and fight dirty. If you’re not up for the fight, find someone who is.

DID YOU EVER KNOW THAT YOUR MY HERO?: You could be everything management wishes

they could be. ChaYou could be everything that management wishes they could be. Chances are, even they are afraid to deal with “Xanthippic” Xylia. Rather than properly confronting her, they allow outbursts and deflect responsibility. For the good of the company and for your own self-preservation, force management to do their job.

Yokelish /(YOH-kuhl-ish)/ DEFINITION:

Lacking in refinement or grace; uncouth

FIRST IMPRESSION: “Oh, look at the poor thing; she must be going through some sort of identity crisis. Is she trying a new hairstylist? Maybe her wardrobe is an attempt to pull off a new retro look or something,” we say to an associate. Imagining ourselves in her shoes, we think of how mortified we might be, possibly even counting down the minutes to the end of the day like a space shuttle launch. Catching ourselves being a little judgmental, we think “Well, I guess it’s good she’s her own person and doesn‘t care what others think.” LASTING IMPRESSION: On our next encounter, we spot her out of the corner of an eye and swear we are experiencing déjà vu. We do a quick doubletake and our inner voice screams, “She can’t be serious--the same clothes and the same look. What the hell is wrong with her?” Astonished by her physical appearance, we feel a tractor beam pulling us towards her to initiate a conversation. One quick conversation with her tells you everything you need to know. She was most likely raised by wolves. With a colorful vocabulary and complete lack of social couth, our yokelish acquaintance is sure to disgust everyone with whom she comes in contact.




Chip in and get her a nonrefundable makeover. If it’s refundable, she’ll cash it in and hit the flea market as if she just won the lottery. Let the stylists and makeup artists know that they are going to be dealing with a real charity case. Time the makeover so you can reintroduce her to society at a company event. If her coworkers applaud her new look, hopefully that will be enough to encourage her to make it a permanent change.

* * *

Refers to her arm as “the stirrer” for the company punchbowl Mocks coworkers getting a ma saying,“Oh honey, I just fi ni-pedi, and clip my claws on sales le my bunions calls.” Asks coworkers her rash, stating, “Do youtothlooinkk at I sh ould worry about the puss?”

PLAY KEEP AWAY: Keep Yokelish Yessica away from customers. If critical accounts find themselves downwind from this foul female, they may decide to take their money and run. It’s almost as if there is some glitch in the matrix. Nobody else within the organization behaves as crudely or as crassly. Do your best to steer her away from the possibility of interacting with clients or you can kiss your contracts goodbye. SHAPE UP OR SHIP OUT:

Read her the riot act about how she must change her behaviors and language. Make a clear list of words and expressions that will no longer be tolerated around the office. The list of behaviors may read like a nursery school list, which is okay since she needs to know the simple do’s and don’ts. Break it to her softly, though, she is most likely a product of her environment and is just naïve to the ways of the civilized world.

Zetetic /(ze-Te-tik)/ DEFINITION:

Proceeding by inquiry; investigating; skeptical.


“I must be having one of those days when I feel as if I’ve done so much, yet nothing got accomplished,” we think to ourselves. Having been placed on a project at a conference with a team that includes this zetetic girl, we convince ourselves that it was a day well spent on preparatory work and that the groundwork is covered, so that tomorrow will breed action and results.

LASTING IMPRESSION: Stepping back from the situation, we review in our mind what actually just happened. There was a lot of talk, even more questioning, and whole lot of doubting. But did we actually have direction, or are we still standing at the crossroad to nowhere? A little too late, we conclude it was the latter. Overanalyzing the minutest details and hampering the team’s every move with question after question, many of which were totally irrelevant, we wish that we had just burst out saying, ”Honestly, no one cares how the color of the booth directly relates to your skin color, or that you have great difficulty finding the right color shirt to wear to prevent your face from looking washed out. We’re not selling makeup, we’re selling software. Besides, we plan on forgetting you back in the hotel room anyway. Just sit down and shut up so that we can get something accomplished.” She’s the case in point why Quality Control is “encouraged” to work from home. LET’S FACE IT, ZEENA IS THAT GIRL ...



Chances are her motives are driven by times of yore. To truly understand why Zetetic Zeena is the way she is, delving into her past may uncover that she has a track record of jumping to conclusions, taking uncalculated risks, or putting trust in someone that ended up screwing her over. Understandably, she doesn’t want to F-up again, so she over analyzes every move. Realize that, in many cases, a zetetic individual has the potential to make important contributions. Failure makes such a person want success even more. Building a relationship honed in on trust can help Zeena become more comfortable with you, eventually leading to a seat on your bandwagon to belief city.


* * *

Subscribes to Skeptic Magazi ne Doesn’t trust her own instin cts Has a “vacation home” off the grid

If you feel your viewpoint in the discussion on a work project is worth defending, stand your ground. In many cases, once confronted, Zeena will end up agreeing. Be aware, however, that this approach could lead to a stalemate and a whole lot of wasted time.


Place her out of the way when necessary. Zeena can be a real asset, but when it’s clear too much time is being spent in limbo, remove her from the equation. Allocate her analytical mind to tasks involving a clear-cut game plan with unambiguous results and precise deadlines. The less strategic thinking involved, the better for the zetetic character.

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The ABC's of That Office Girl  

A humorous look at the many faces of corporate America

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