Jo Hoare | Contributing Writer | Wednesday, 19 August 2015

5 People You\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\'ll Meet At Your New Job

5 People You'll Meet At Your New Temp Job

The Debrief: Whether you're trying to cobble together some extra summer holiday funds or you're entering temp work to 'tide you over' until you land your dream job, here are 5 people you're definitely meet at your new temp job...

Maybe you’re a student and you’d really rather avoid hypothermia/rickets/having to exist entirely on dinners bought for you by horrific Tinder men this winter term, you’re going to have to make some money before you go back to university. Or maybe you’ve just graduated and you’re about to enter the murky world of day rates and short-term contracts before you finally land that dream job (ha!). 

Either way, if you’re about to sign your life away on a temp job, then good luck: it will be awful (unless it’s always been your dream to date process date entry for a mid-grade medical supplies ad. If that’s the case, then good for you, you need read no further). But there are ways to make it slightly less unbearable – here are the sterotypes you’ll definitely meet, and how to cope with them... 

The Nu-Perv

5 People You'll Meet At Your New Job

Because news of that new fangled sexism has even found its way to places minus high-speed broadband, leering predators with egg-stained ties saying, ‘While you’re down there,’ every time you reach to retrieve something from the floor or cupping your buttocks as you stand at the photocopier (going paperless was a considerable blow for the old-school perv) are largely something of the past, but that doesn’t mean the perv has disappeared from the workplace, simply that he or she has had to find more ingenious ways to get their kicks. 

They know they can’t get away with a full on fondle, but that side boob graze in the lift, or hand on the small of the back are no accident, and over the course of a week or two build up to a significant deposit in the wank bank.

Deal with them: Pretend you’ve got a terribly contagious skin condition and scratch like mad anytime they are within a two metre radius of you

The Lifer

5 People You'll Meet At Your New Job

Presumably still labouring under the assumption that a gold carriage clock is round the corner (ask your dad), the lifer is unaware that the days of big retirement payouts are long gone and the closest they’ll get to a commemoration of their 40 plus years at the same company will be a whip round in the office, culminating in the presentation of the second cheapest bottle of whisky from the shop across the road and a card with generic wishes of good luck and one saying ‘It’s a boy!’ from someone in marketing who thought it was a card for Claire’s new baby. 

Deal with them: Don’t even try. They will never speak to you, considering anyone that hasn’t been there for 70% of their adult life a ridiculous newcomer.  Just put your earphones in when they hark on about the good old days when you could create a fug of B&H round your desk, pinch a bottom, and call a spade a spade without anyone ‘making a fuss’.

The Illness Martyr

5 People You'll Meet At Your New Job

You might think the most annoying thing about workplace illness would be a colleague who deserves her own case study in The Lancet by developing illnesses that specifically occur on Monday mornings but you’d be wrong. The sickie offender pales in comparison to the lesser known illness martyr. The most overwhelming accomplishment in their life is that they haven’t had a day off sick in 13 years, a fact they’ll constantly remind you of  whilst beating their chest and looking around for a medal. What that doesn’t take into account is the amount of days they’ve dragged themselves in in various states of flu/norovirus/dysentery and how they’ll be covering the desks/kitchen/you in various particles of vomit/mucus/faecal matter, thus rendering you sick as hell. Brilliant

Deal with them: Ignore, ignore, ignore. Do not comment on the whimper after every phlegm filled hack or self pitying groan after 347th nose blow of the day. Any comment at all is the IM’s perfect gateway into a diatribe about how they’re too busy to go home.

If this doesn’t work then the talking down approach is both effective and fun. Your cough? Well you did just eat your lunch very quickly, probably went down the wrong way. Temperature? Yeah it is hot in here – I think the air con is broken. You’ve just regurgitated a lung? Lucky you’ve got two, then. Pretty soon they’ll have worked themselves up into a rage induce coronary, and even an IM’s got to take a day or two off for that.

The Fit For Work AKA The One Everyone Fancies

5 People You'll Meet At Your New Job

If there’s one thing boredom leads to it’s inappropriate office crushes. No, we don’t mean inappropriate in a ‘they’re the boss and old enough to be your dad’ way, we mean inappropriate in a way that you  wouldn’t look at them twice if you hadn’t been staring at nothing but a broken photocopier and Amy’s comedy calender of babies dressed up as plants for three weeks and were slowly going out of your mind. Just like if you worked in Greggs you’d slowly  develop a baked goods version of  Stockholm syndrome, believing a tuna cob to be a fine delicacy and wolfing one down at every opportunity, when starved of visual stimuli you may suddenly believe that just because Darren in accounts manages to shower every other day and has a haircut that doesn’t look like he got it from a sheep shearer, or Kim in HR isn’t quite as old as your mum and, in certain lights (ie none), has an air of Kim Cattrall about her, that they deserve to see you sans your pants. 

Deal with them: Remember that 99% of the time their attractiveness will be nothing but a mirage, created in your poor, tortured mind (the other 1% covers actually meeting someone you genuinely like in the workplace, which we’ve heard that  PDAI – pre dating app invention –  was actually a pretty common way to get together). If you still think they are genuinely fit, as opposed to merely FFW, then you’re going to need the following ticklist:

Have you ever seen them stand up? Many’s the office crush ruined by a pop sock here or a shiny brown loafer. 

Have you ever seen them in out of work clothes? Aside from their week-day polyester suiting, their wardrobe could consist entirely of hiking wear/Nazi replica costumes.

Have at least two of your non-work friends seen them in real life, and do they agree with you on their level of fitness?

The Office: A Survival Guide by Jo Hoare is out now

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Tags: Work it, Working Girls