You might be making your coworkers uncomfortable if…

(See also Grumpy Coworker)

  • you ask your black coworkers why their people are always trying to keep the white man down.
  • you openly discuss your menstrual cycle. If someone points out the fact that you’re a man, bring them up on sexual harassment charges.
  • you push your desk away from any direct sunlight because “it burns so bad.”
  • you wear all black and sacrifice small animals to the paper shredder gods.
  • you when in a crowded bathroom, stare directly at the person using the next urinal. If he turns to look at you, brand him a homosexual and threaten to tell his children.
  • you wear a rain bonnet because you’ve never trusted the filthy bastards that design fire sprinklers.
  • you walk up to peoples’ desks, look at pictures of their children and ask them who the hell they think they are, procreating.
  • you answer the phone, “I am the angel of the death. The hour of reckoning is upon us. How may I help you?”
  • you fall asleep at your desk. Wake up screaming, “GOOSE, I CAN’T REACH THE EJECTION HANDLE!!! EJECT, EJECT, EJECT!!!”
  • you demand special treatment because you suffer from post traumatic stress disorder as a result of years of measuring fish while serving in the coast guard.
  • you enter the company day care center, look at the children and announce, “One of your parent’s was just killed in a horrible accident.” Turn around and leave.
  • turn your cubicle into a fort. Install a secret entrance and post a “Girls Have Cooties” sign.
  • ask a coworker if you can borrow their left shoe.
  • start a nasty rumor about your boss having an affair with the janitor just to see how much the story changes by the time it gets back to you.
  • during meetings, flatulate loudly, fan it toward your coworkers and ask them to guess what you had for breakfast.
  • you set up Star Wars action figures around your desk and sit around making Darth Vader breathing noises… Occasionally, you mumble something about crushing the rebellion and take out a group of action figures with a toy light saber.

Coffee personalities of the cubicle dweller

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“Who moved my coffee” – Scurries in and out of the break room every five minutes to see if coffee has been made yet.  Moves quickly to avoid being identified as someone who has seen the empty coffee pots and yet not made a pot of coffee.  Related to The person with a phobia of making coffee.

The person with a phobia of making coffee – Leaves 2+ nearly empty pots on active burners after getting coffee, before 9am.  If the coffee maker is already in such a state, will discreetly duck into the bathroom or wait 5 minutes for someone else to make a pot or two.  Sometimes will turn off the burners or pull the filter basket out to “save energy” or hint that someone needs to make coffee.

The busy bee coffee maker – The opposite of the “phobia” person.  Feels compelled to always ensure that all pots are full of fresh coffee.  Will occasionally dump out a 1/2 pot that looks “old” to make this happen.

The dependent decaf drinker – As any dependent coffee drinker, drags self to the coffee maker, desperate for that morning boost, and grabs the DECAF pot.

The cheery decaf drinker – Acts about as cheery as someone who’s had a quad shot of espresso for the first time and walks up for a refill of decaf.

The half and half drinker – Probably uses coffee as an excuse for his half and half habit.  Frozen coffee drinks at major chain stores are usually darker.

The burn off drinker – will drink the mostly evaporated sludge at the bottom of the pot. Sources are unclear whether this is a preference or laziness.

The “save energy because it’s after 10am” coffee drinker – Sometimes this is a cover for a phobia of making coffee.  Other times, this is a reincarnation of your parents or grandparents who chased you around the house turning off everything you turned on.
The 3pm coffee maker – Sometimes gets offended that a bulk of the office population stops drinking coffee after lunch and grumbles about having to make coffee.  Other times, it’s a simple conditioned response from years of drinking coffee at coffee houses after 9 pm.

The tea drinker – Sends coffee drinkers in a panic when lining up for the last cup of coffee, only to use the hot water spout to make tea.

The oatmeal eater who uses a coffee mug – Same effect as the tea drinker, although the motivation seems a little more sinister.

The overpowering flavored coffee brewer – Brews coffee that taints the flavor of every pot brewed the remainder of the day, as well as tainting the air in 5,000 square feet of office space.

Inspired by Ben Thomas’ suggestions:

The procedural purist – Scolds anyone who takes from the pot early or uses the hot water tap on the coffee maker while coffee is brewing.

The accidental barista – Knows that a coffee house would brew at at least twice the coffee-to-water ratio that the pre-measured packs imply, and thusly, uses two packs of coffee per brew.

Some additional late additions

The soup mug coffee drinker – Drinks coffee out of a coffee mug [see Campbell’s Soup Mug].  While this serving size is no different than the 16-20 oz coffee tumbler, the clear advantage to this soup mug is the larger exposed surface area to aid in rapid cooling [as opposed to a tumbler which might be expected to keep the coffee warm for a longer period before the coffee is consumed].

The soda drinker – avoids the coffee area altogether, but sometimes stashes a cold soda in the refrigerator, and therefore, has to navigate the herd of people waiting for the coffee.  Shakes head in amazement at such a dependency on a nasty brown liquid whilst scampering off with own artificially colored/flavored/carbonated water.

The coffee punter – sees an empty pot, sets it on top of the coffee maker to say, “Hey, someone needs to make coffee.”  Walks off.

The absent-minded coffee maker – sees an empty pot on the second burner and a half-full pot on the brewing burner, makes a fresh pot of coffee with the half-full pot underneath. Everything near the coffee maker ends up with a permanent coffee coloring and/or smell.

Hot potato status update meeting game

Object of the game:  Don’t be caught giving your status update when the potato goes off.

Rules of the game:

  1. A different person starts the status meeting every week.
  2. The random “Hot Potato” timer starts when the first person begins his or her update.
  3. When an update is complete, the person picks a random person to hand/toss the “hot potato” to.
  4. Repeat giving updates and handing off the potato until updates are complete or the hot potato goes off.
  5. If the potato goes off during your update, you must buy coffee and donuts/bagels/etc. for the entire team the next morning.
  6. If the entire meeting goes off without the potato going off, the manager buys the food.
  7. Interrupting an update means that you get to hold the potato next, or if you’ve gone already, until the person giving the update is finished talking.

Types of Meetings

Meeting before the meeting – A select group of people, usually from the same team, decide what the “correct outcome” of the main meeting is supposed to be. When the main meeting comes, the co-conspirators stick to their guns about what must be done.

Meeting after the meeting – Often, the people who were run over by the pre-meeting decision will have a meeting afterward to discuss what just hit them. Especially true when the main meeting involved a large vendor.

Meeting just to make sure we keep having this meeting – An agenda-less meeting that occurs during the only available weekly time slot on the calendars of all participants, so everyone shows up and fakes it through the meeting aimlessly until the time is up.

The mutually ignored meeting – Sometimes coincides with the “meeting just to make sure we keep having this meeting.”  Usually, however, this meeting has a more organized structure.  Everyone participates in the meeting by speaking in turn, yet no one actually hears anything that the other participants are saying.  Often coincides with the “project status meeting”.

Pep Rally Meeting – These meetings are supposed to replicate the glory days of the tech boom, complete with an enthusiastic leader leading the cheering.  These can be fun if the overall culture of the company fits.  They can also be the source of YouTube videos.

Sub-Meeting – A complete side discussion that starts by distracting major participants in the main meeting, and eventually overtakes the main meeting purpose, either by acoustics or by importance.

“Party” Meeting – This may be a special occasion to recognize a milestone birthday, anniversary, retirement, etc., and is often characterized by a lot of standing around in odd clusters of people.  People from each of these clusters take turns migrating to the focus of the party to say a good word, and then drift back to their clusters or to their desks.  Social aptitude generally determines how long a person has to wait to for a turn.

Project “status” meeting – A regular project “update” meeting where everyone gives an “everything’s okay” status, regardless of what part of the project is crashing and burning.

Virtual Meeting – A remote meeting that everyone dials into and immediately mutes, proceeding to spent their time more productively, such as by watching Sportscenter or playing ping-pong.

Meeting to teach someone how to run a meeting – This is generally a status-type meeting where a less-experienced team member learns how to start a meeting, stick to an agenda, and write down and assign “action items”.