Shop People, Office People - BMW Luxury Touring Community
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post #1 of 3 Old Dec 16th, 2009, 12:22 pm Thread Starter
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Shop People, Office People

After working most of my adult life in a shop environment, about nine years ago I transitioned to an office job. Overall, the personalities were very different from what I was used to, but certain traits were still evident. I bet you know someone that fits a few of these descriptions; I know I fit more than one.

Social Butterfly-
At ease in any conversation. They move easily from cubicle to cubicle, or between break room discussions. The social aspects of the job are more important than the work itself; it'll get done. You can be sure that any meeting facilitated by a Social Butterfly will start sometime after the "what did you do last weekend" conversation runs its course. There is no way to rebuff this person without becoming the topic of their next discussion.

Doesn't matter what the situation, this guy has been there and done that. He's been where you're going on vacation, had your medical procedure and coincidentally just finished remodeling his spare bathroom. What do you need to know? Watched Acapulco cliff diving over the weekend? Hell, he jumped off that rock back in the late eighties while on spring break. At the very least him and his buddies used to jump out of a tree into the ditch behind the 7-Eleven so..."that's not that hard".

Laid back and funny; nothing really upsets him. Norm! can take it and dish it out with the best of them. Prefers to laugh with you, but will laugh at you when you start to take yourself too seriously. Almost everybody loves this guy, but don't expect to get much out of him. He's pacing himself.

Paper Thin Man-
Wears his heart on his sleeve. The most innocuous comment may set him off, leaving everyone around them looking at each other with the WTF face. Has a way of sucking the life out of the place; the antithesis of Norm!. Do not let Paper Thin Man drink coffee.

The Practical Joker-
Thrives in a shop environment. Ink on your sunglasses, a thin layer of Vaseline on your phone, paper assholes in cup tied to your locker or office door...given enough time he going to pull them all on somebody. Should you lose a hubcap, expect him to show up Monday with an identical one he picked up cheap over the weekend because he "needed to stop by the salvage yard anyway ". Check the other side of your car before you pay him. If your doors were unlocked, expect the wipers and radio to be full blast too.

Do not get in a war with this guy. Try as you might, you will never be able to one-up him. He's as resourceful as he is devious, and just likeable enough to get away with it.

Man Eaters-
Short skirts and high heels, they prowl the office space. They're a little older, just a little weathered, but still exude sexuality. These ladies are forward and all business; they do not play games. They know what they want and how to get it. Very adept at separating the men from the boys, and could easily separate the boys from any man. Be careful when dealing with a Man Eater on anything beyond a professional level.

The Door Mat-
This person (generally a man) seems to be a magnet for abuse, but really doesn't care. Laughs along with the crowd not the least bit bothered by being the butt of the joke, again. I watch a Door Mat very closely for changes in behavior.

Rumor Guy-
This guy isn't always guy at all....Rumor Guy is the authoritative source for all things yet to be confirmed. What Rumor Guy doesn't know, he wants to know. So 'n so got walked out, layoffs are coming, the boss is banging the secretary...Rumor Guy has the dirt, or is after it. BUT, the whole story isn't necessary for Rumor Guy. Give him just enough plausibility for a good rumor and he's off and running. Caveats everything with, "well, that's what I heard". Problem is he's right enough of the time to lend some credibility to all but the most outlandish claims.

Rumor Guy is like a child’s toy for Norm! or the Practical Joker; just wind him up and watch him go...

The Instigator-
This person seemingly can't go more than a couple days without starting or at least flaming some kind of discontent. They thrive on chaos; knowing they caused it is icing on the cake. Think of Rumor Guy, with malice.

The Drama Queen-
When this one is upset, everyone needs to know about it. The Drama Queen doesn't need a real crisis, every little perceived slight will be blown out of proportion and eventually evolve into...pseudo crisis. Pseudo crisis can simply fade away, but more likely will simmer until the Drama Queen finds a suitable host real crisis to attach it to. It's the circle of life for these folks. Most extreme examples are related to the Paper Thin Man, and are the easiest of prey for the Instigator.

The Weasel-
Looks to benefit from every situation and believes there is always an advantage to be gained. They usually operate with complete disregard for other people although they're not above using someone else as leverage to get what they want. Knowledge being power, this person likes to be "on top of things". Often, but not always related to the Social Butterfly or Rumor Guy.

The Ear-
Too polite for their own good, this poor person has become the sounding board for everyone else's troubles. Inherently sympathetic, an Ear doesn't necessarily dislike these bitch/therapy sessions, but won't chase the information like The Rumor Guy would. If your work area is lucky, The Ear will be adept at pseudo crisis management somewhat mitigating the Drama Queen's impact.

The Ear usually has a sense of decorum and "keeps it in the vault", but things aren't always as they seem. Be very wary of a Weasel posing as The Ear.

Marathon Man-
You can't end a conversation with this person. Should you get to the point of telling him/her to let you get back to what you were doing, you can expect something along the lines of, 'Man, you seem tense. Something bothering you?" Many Social Butterflies are Marathoners.

The Good Ol' Boy / Redneck-
Don't laugh, this one is a valuable resource in any shop or office. Not afraid to get dirty, not afraid of hard work, and will trim the fat out of your process if you let him. He'll help you move or fix your car when your "friends" won't, and he has a killer recipe for pork butt. Probably one of the nicest guys you'll ever meet; very down to earth. Don't cross him though, once you're on his bad side there's no more venison meatloaf for you.

Dave Hoogerland

'08 Triumph Tiger 1050 ABS
'02 K1200LTC "The Silver Snoopy" (gone but not forgotten)
'08 Can-Am Spyder "???"

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post #2 of 3 Old Dec 16th, 2009, 1:08 pm
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Re: Shop People, Office People

That was great. I have known all on the list. And am more than one personality myself.

Your post comes at a good time. I just yesterday received an invitation to a reunion of a company that I used to work for in 1980-1988 before I started my business. I looked on the list of who's attending and it seems many of the personalities of your above list will be there. Sounds like fun stuff to me. And it's in Vegas on March 13th and 14th where my son from CA can come visit for the weekend. I'M CURRENTLY IN EXILE IN ME AND IT'S 19 DEGREES OUT RIGHT NOW AT 2:05 PM

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post #3 of 3 Old Dec 16th, 2009, 2:44 pm Thread Starter
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Re: Shop People, Office People

I gotta say, I do miss working around the shop guys. You can question a shop guy's parentage and he'll immediately tell you how good your mother is in bed, and then ask if you're going to the cafeteria for lunch. Some of these office folks will drop into a fetal position if you say hello with too much bass in your voice. Two different worlds

Dave Hoogerland

'08 Triumph Tiger 1050 ABS
'02 K1200LTC "The Silver Snoopy" (gone but not forgotten)
'08 Can-Am Spyder "???"

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