These office people


These office people

Published: Fri 21 Jun 2019, 12:00 AM

Last updated: Fri 21 Jun 2019, 2:00 AM

Have you met these people? If you work in an office or any semi-functional hierarchy, the odds are you have and are probably slotted into one of these categories by your colleagues. Of course, they will not tell you, but no one is looking, you can be honest and see if this is you we are speaking about.

THE DELAY TACTICIAN: Go to counter 4. Doesn't even look up, thinks he is doing you a major favour by even speaking. Sorry, you have not filled form CX III, cannot be cleared, come Monday. Your cheque has gone for processing, what is it, a piece of cheese. As needed as a bent nail. They are just so cussed this lot, they go out of their way not to be helpful as if this was the only mission in their lives. to make your life harder.

THE ASSESSOR: We are looking into the matter. Always looking into the matter, never concluding it. After that, we will make a feasibility study on the need for the requisitioned material and then get back to you. Could be next summer if you are lucky. But it has been three weeks since the application was made. These things take time. They cannot be hurried. Yes, thank you very much.

ALL THE ERRAND BOY: No problem, sir, I can take the children for tennis or madam for shopping, oh, your watch has stopped, give it to me, I will get it repaired, do you want me to check on the details for your private party, I can get you a good deal, the hotel manager is a friend of mine. Always available almost replaces his genuine work with running these errands.

THE SYCOPHANT: Pretty much related, he laughs loudest at chief's jokes, is always scuttling and scurrying and pulling chairs and opening doors and spending his life bowing and scraping like a windshield wiper. Thing is that many such snivellers make a successful career of brownnosing their way up the ladder.

THE OFFICE GOSSIP: By some curious chemistry, he is the first to know who is being promoted, sacked, sent on the foreign trip, being sidelined, in favour, out of favour. As dangerous as a stinging ray, he literally enthralls the staff with his inside knowledge of what will happen to whom. How he comes to know is still much of a mystery to most but this tribe thrives.

THE BUCKPASSER: 'Not my department' are the lyrics of his song. It never is his department or his problem or his responsibility and he masters the art of passing it on, often tagging on enough jargon to fog the issue. He will say, I thought the DG (Ops) was to initiate it with the DyRM (Purch) and forward it to the Regional CPR (Sales), so where does my section fit into it, if we had known we'd have done it. You look at him in awe because lying comes to him so naturally and he does it so well that if it wasn't so insidious, you could almost admire him.

THE PUNTER: 'No one told me' is this fellow's plaintive cry. I didn't know, if only we functioned on systems, this would not happen, in fact, I am going to raise a stink about being left out; my team had some very good inputs, if only someone had thought to ask us. He is always the victim, the martyr who was done down by the others, never the one who messed up.
THE PROTECTOR: Sorry, not in our brief, we don't do this sort of thing, not our job, doesn't come under us, why not try R and D, we can't take the responsibility, yes, I know we are the same company, but I am not authorised to make any decision outside my area.

THE BOSSMAN YESMAN: I cannot say or do anything till the boss returns. We have to get his okay first, yes, for everything, even casual leave, too bad if you think it's crazy; that's my job and that's the way I do it, if he doesn't give the okay, the file doesn't move. But we need the clearance, it is important. Sorry, not my problem. Never is.

THE PROCRASTINATOR: Come back next week, call us on Wednesday, sorry, not ready yet, it is in the pipeline, we are waiting for a clearance from Finance, no, I cannot give you a sure date, we are doing our best, there are things to do, you know.

THE HINDSIGHT CHAMPION: I had a feeling it wouldn't work, I warned you all but no one would listen. You never warned anyone and now because it has gone wrong, you are passing judgment. But I did, I said, we could be in trouble if it goes wrong. You call that a warning? But he loves to shoot from other people's shoulders and let them bear the brunt.

MR BUSY BUSY: He always gives the impression of being harried and overworked, which is why he does nothing, just keeps swirling paper about and dashing off half memos and unfinished letters and his desk is cluttered and he has perfected the art of froth largely because there is no substance and you will see him dashing about briskly, looking so important and yet, the end result is a high fat cypher. He will even come in on holidays, hoping the boss will recognise his sincerity.

By Bikram Vohra

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