In the second instalment of the series, we hear from some more of the people you typically meet at work — and some you may want to avoid.
Zoe, the intern
“Mum! Are you busy? I just need to share some news!
You know Alex? The marketing manager I’m meant to report to? Well, this morning, he asked me to compile a database of guests to the launch party and get soya lattes for the team, including Jack — the male intern — who was helping the top people prepare a pitch.
I can’t afford to work my way up slowly, Mum — things are different now. I’ll be 30 in eight years. If you want me to leave home by then, I need to get noticed.
The noise? A blender.
I AM at work! They keep making smoothies. Apparently, if you’re building a wellness-tech company you have to live the brand. I’ve been at the office since 7.30am. Got to look keen!
Jack was already at his desk when I got here. Yes, I did pack the sandwiches, thanks for not adding avocado this time. I actually hate it.
Alex was still smarting over my Instagram post of him eating a McDonald’s — hashtag: meat-too. But then he was called into THE big boss’s office and came out acting really nice to me. Why? Because, Mum, and this is why I called. I sorta went over Alex’s head and pitched a new feature for the app — a hydration counter! It displays the results through a urine-coloured chart. Yes, I suppose you could look in the toilet. But our customers are time-starved professionals.
’ll be working on the hydration counter for free, but it’s great exposure. Don’t wait for me for dinner. I’m off to meet Sam, my friend with a PhD. He’s going to tell me about working for Deliveroo. I can fit it around the other stuff and hopefully make some cash.”
Brian, the final salary pension member
“Yes, that seat’s free. Be my guest. What did you go for? Chilli con carne? Again! I think they were serving that when I joined 35 years ago. It’s probably the same batch.
Yes, I heard that a few of the young ones — well, I say, young, I guess they must be in their 40s by now — were taking the voluntary redundancy package.
No, not worth my while, mate. I’ve still got one sprog in private school and then as long as they’re paying into my pension, I might as well stick it out. You aren’t final salary? That surprises me, I thought we were about the same age — children of the ’60s and all that. Well, poor you. I think the defined contribution bunch got shafted, frankly, but what can you do? It’s every man for himself.
You’ve got to go? OK, no problem. I guess you’ll need to work until you’re 70, so you’d better get on. My only worry is that the whole thing goes belly-up, Carillion-style, before I start cashing in. If the company doesn’t last longer than I last at the company, my retirement plans are shot. Still, so far so good. Anyway, I think I’ll have another coffee and see you in the team meeting at three. The cookies there are always good. Toodle-pip!”
Work Tribes will appear fortnightly. Please share your examples of favourite types of co-workers (or those you can’t stand*) in the Comments online. *Anonymised, please.
Get alerts on Office life when a new story is published