that guy

January 25, 2007 § Leave a comment


I’m sure every office has That Guy in one form or another. Ours drives me nuts.

He’s about my age, though he acts sixteen and looks much older. He’s a sales guy, so he makes a lot more than me and has a much loftier title despite not a lot of experience in the field. (Well, okay, he does have a pilot’s license, and I would never, ever want to be a sales guy so I suppose I shouldn’t begrudge him that.) That isn’t why he makes me crazy, though.

If you listen to him for just a little while you’ll learn that he has lived a very sheltered life (don’t say that, though — he’ll deny it!). He grew up wealthy in San Francisco, went to a small, private quasi-religious high school and a connected small, private quasi-religious liberal arts college, both of which took over for his parents (parents’ help?) so that he has never really had to do anything for himself. Plain and simple, the boy has never had to think about anyone but himself, never had to learn certain social mores.

Exhibit A: personal hygiene. He has been known to cut his fingernails at my desk with my scissors, leaving the nails on my floor. And me? Too appalled to say anything, so I’m sure he’ll do it again. Just two days ago another co-worker told me he was washing his mucky, infected eyes out over the kitchen sink, which was full of the dishes we all eat out of. So now, despite repeated washings, if I want coffee in a non-disposable cup I think of That Guy’s pink eye. Yum.

Exhibit B: personal boundaries. For a while he asked me to translate emails written in Spanish from a Columbian woman he had met on a business trip. That was fine, even a little fun (and yes, I gave him the real translation despite the devil on my shoulder). Then he started asking me my advice on personal relationships (my answers were short & followed by a quick departure), and before I knew it he was interrupting my conversations with other employees to whine about his personal issues, making everyone tremendously uncomfortable. Another time he asked me if I would like him to take me up on a twilight flight to see the city. He had asked the same question of others in the office, but sleazy nonetheless.

Exhibit C: personal responsibility. He is the kind of person who literally cannot put paper in a binder by himself, so he demands help from those he considers to be below him. He’s not nice about it, either; he will ask me to do something, then stand over my shoulder while I do it, not paying attention or trying to learn how to do it, just watching and making nasty critiques. No concept of the looming deadline being his problem and the fact that I was helping him; in his mind it was obviously my fault that the proposal had to be assembled at the last minute, since I was the one assembling it. When he started, he would ask “do we have a fax machine?”, “do we have a stapler?” in all seriousness, as though he genuinely did not think I kept them around and couldn’t be bothered to look for them. Now that he knows we do have these items, he still comes to my desk, grabs things and then leaves the items strewn about (poor guy, you’re right — it would be soooooooo rough to move the stapler sixteen inches to the spot you picked it up from — just leave it there, I’ll get it).

Exhibit D: personal scale. Despite making a really generous salary (and not just for someone his age, either), he insists on having the company pay for everything he possibly can. If he wants coffee he will try to meet a client or coworker at the Bux so he can expense it (yes, we’re talking $3, people; I make half of what he does and I buy my own coffee, thanks). If we are doing an all-office coffee run, he is without fail the one person who requests a pastry in addition to his coffee (Does he get a pastry? Not when I’m doing the run.). I have heard him spend hours of company time on the phone trying to get tiny service charges removed from his airline tickets, and bother valuable business contacts for something this trivial. If he is late with an expense report, he demands that the office manager credit him for the couple dollars of interest he accrues.

One of these days This Girl’s gonna go monkey house on That Guy.


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