Ten Types of Shitty Coworkers and How to Not Murder Them


Working is the weirdest. Unless you are very, very lucky, you—being a person—just have to make money, no matter what. And in order to make money, you have to do things for other people, with other people, whether you want to do those things or not. And all those other people are just arbitrarily selected strangers who are doing things to make money, because they have to, like you, which means that there’s really nothing that binds you all together except for happenstance and location and a base level of employability. And then you’re just trapped in a building with them! EVERY DAY. UNTIL YOU DIE. WHY DO WE DO THIS.

I work from home now, which means that my only “coworkers” are 1) laundry mountain, 2) the old coffee grounds moldering in the bottom of the French press, and 3) my boyfriend practicing the trumpet five inches from my earball while I’m trying to write about abortions or whatever. It is lonely. I haven’t worked in an actual office—the kind with strangers—for a couple of years, because my job before this was at a weekly newspaper staffed entirely with hilarious perverts. But I remember. I will always remember. There’s a certain, beautiful camaraderie that only exists between strangers imprisoned together in drab office parks with a bunch of fucking nightmare humans. You sniff out the only other reasonable people in the building and you cling to them, fiercely. Like a barnacle. Like a barnacle who really can’t fucking stand to hear Dale from Accounting quote Charlie Sheen one more fucking time. “Free bagel day? WINNING!”

Office workers are true warriors.

This article on LinkedIn yesterday details one kind of terrible coworker, the Underminer: that dickhead who steals your ideas, distracts you from your work, tries to make you look bad in front of your boss, and then turns around and pretends to be your friend. That got us thinking about other types of unbearable coworkers, and how to cope when you’re forced to cohabitate with them for 40 hours a week. Here are ten types of shitty coworkers and how to deal with them—in gifs, of course, because gifs are the best medicine. Enjoy, and leave your own in the comments.

1. The Comedian

I mean, Dave Chappelle is okay, but he’s no 37-year-old white guy doing Dave Chappelle, amirite!? Hey, remember that thing that someone said in a movie one time? Wait for it…wait for it…wait for it…wait for it…wait for iiiiiiit…waaaaaaait…wait for iiiiiiiiiiiit…


How to deal:

2. The Nutritionist

This includes but is not limited to: the condescending vegan, the vegan who is nice but silently judges, the woman who is always on a diet, the other woman who is always on a diet, the two women who are always on diets talking about their diets, the dude who keeps a crockpot of Costco meatballs simmering at his desk at all times and shorts out your space heater and makes fun of you for eating carrots because “carrots are for pussies,” and the lady who side-eyes you when you eat a second stress-cupcake because you can’t deal with all the fucking side-eye.

How to deal:

3. The Candyman

Fucking hell. There’s nothing worse than the office candy bowl. It seems awesome at first, because work is shitty, and candy is great! Hooray for candy! But then you realize that you’re just eating candy every goddamn day, which starts to feel pretty gross after a while. Like, what positive effect is a fun-size Three Musketeers going to have on your life. Honestly. Plus, that candy’s not free! The lady with the candy bowl on her desk acts like it’s free, but the price is that you have to have a conversation with her every time you want some candy. And then sometimes you get there and the candy is GONE—just when you got accustomed to having candy on demand whenever you finish with a shithead customer—and then you have to do this cool-customer bluff-move like you came over just to talk to the candy lady because you like her and not because you were using her for her candy! But you’re fucking lying! Basically the candy lady turns you into a bad person. You should resent her for it forever.

How to deal:

4. The Poop-Shamer

If we see each other in the bathroom, don’t avert your goddamn eyes like I’m some scorned widow who’s going to taint you for life just by crossing your path in the dirty-room. Look at me! It’s okay! We’re grownups, and poop comes out of us! Just because you have paralyzing poop-shame doesn’t mean you get to take me down with you. I am a proud, powerful woman and my poops are an extension of my being that I celebrate, eyes UP, like small brown Willendorfs that carry my sacred feminine glory all the way to the ancient sea where they rejoin Gaia and nourish her children. So look at me, weirdo.

How to deal:

5. The Lingerer

If you have nothing work-related to say to me, GET THE FUCK AWAY FROM MY DESK. We are not talking about electronic music. We are not talking about flax seed. We are not talking about Paleo diets. We are not talking about your kid’s grades. We are not talking about affirmative action. We are not talking about Building 7. Yes, I have heard about that thing where all the bees are disappearing. Yes, I have read that “crazy” sorority girl e-mail. Yes, I have heard about how you’re “afraid of clowns.” Dude, we rode the elevator together one time. I am not eating a fucking Cup-O-Noodle with you.

How to deal:

6. The Space Invader

If you don’t get your shit off of my desk I’m throwing your entire family in the garbage.

How to deal:

7. The Pick-Up Artist

This guy banged a lot of chicks last night. Like a lot. He is probably wearing a hat.

How to deal:

8. The Over-Sharer

This person wants all the dudes in the office to feel her boobs because she got a new bra yesterday to cheer herself up after her abortion.

How to deal:

9. The Cheapskate

If Randall’s dad dies and we all “chip in” for flowers, you need to fucking CHIP IN FOR THE FLOWERS. That doesn’t mean two dollars and a Rite Aid receipt with a Zzzquil coupon on the back—it means, like, ten dollars. Minimum. An ordinary amount of dollars. Also, pay me back for your goddamn sandwich order, you barbarian. I’m not your mom. (Also, I will keep that Zzzquil coupon. Thank you.)

How to deal:

10. The General Shithead

Comes in late, leaves early, makes loud personal calls, always has like 50 Zappos tabs open and nothing else, plans their wedding at work, invites you to their wedding (UGH), steals other people’s yogurt out of the communal refrigerator, lets their own moldy garbage food fill up the communal refrigerator, pounces on all the best vacation days, always has a “stomach ache,” always has a worse stomach ache than you when you actually do have a stomach ache, takes the cubicle by the window and then sits facing away from the window, pops their gum, paints their fucking goddamn nails at their fucking goddamn desk, talks to you.

How to deal:

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