1. The Hot Young One: No matter which office I’ve temped at, there was always that one, young hot guy that I couldn’t help but fantasize about banging on the conference table. He probably only stands out because he’s the one person in the office you’d even remotely consider attractive. The longer you’re there, the better he’ll look. You’ll find yourself being attracted to the strangest things about him, like how his butt looks in a pair of khakis, or how well he speaks on the phone with clients. Hey, everyone needs a little distraction in the office don’t they? Play it cool, even though it’s hard not to get tongue-tied when he asks you basic questions.
2. The Patriarchal Patronizing Man: He won’t take you seriously because you’re young and fresh out of college, so he assumes you’re an airhead. No matter what you do for him, it won’t be done in the right way. He has standards, and he’ll never expect you to meet them. He talks down to you rather than to you. He’ll make sure you know that you are nowhere close to being equals. Smiling back at you will probably make him feel weak, so instead he wears a constant scowl. Just keep smiling at him and be overly polite. It’ll drive him crazy while making him look like an even bigger d-bag.
3. The Sweetheart: This is usually the only old guy left in the office, or a warm middle-aged woman who has never been married. They will check in on you, ask how you are in the most genuine way. Always give you the biggest of smiles, call you by your name whenever they say good-morning. If the P.P.M. (refer above) is making your day shitty because of his belittling comments and refusal to loosen up, the sweetheart will always make you feel better and worthy. They’ll tell you not to worry about it, and that there are donuts in the kitchen.
4. The Girl Who Came Before You: She was in your shoes probably a year or two ago. Usually, rather than relating to you and making you feel comfortable, she’ll be a put-offish bitch. She’ll show off how much she knows, how much further along in the game she is compared to you. She won’t cut you a break or be polite. She’ll have permanent resting bitch face. Of course until the other employees giver her some attention. She will obnoxiously flirt with the hot young one, to the point where it is no longer coy or cute but just straight unprofessional. She’ll think you are young and stupid and incapable, coming to the office just to try and show her up. Kill that bitch with kindness.
5. The Free-Spirit: This person will dress however they want, despite the dress code. And no one will say anything to them about it. They will wear fun, colorful clothing. They will wear loud jewelry and pungent perfume even though both are deeply frowned upon in the office (normally). They will laugh a little too loud at the P.P.M. and treat him like their equal. Don’t be surprised when he actually jokes back with this person. The free-spirit is the only one the P.P.M. will be tolerant of, because everyone is. They will probably curse when it’s inappropriate but no one will bat an eyelash because it is what’s expected from them. There is something about the free-spirit that puts everyone a little more at ease, and makes it feel less like a stuffy office.
6. The Nerd: It’s hard not to pity the nerd, because he seems like he’s still stuck in high school. You expect some jock in a varsity jacket to appear out of nowhere and give him a wedgie as he’s pushing up his glasses and nervously going over some numbers with your boss. Your jaw will drop when you find out he’s married, and then you’ll immediately feel bad afterwards for assuming he wasn’t. Nerds deserve love too. Although he may be well into his 30s, he will still be timid around women, and wary of boisterous men. He will be there before 9am, and leave well after everyone else. Befriend the nerd. He’ll help you out when your computer crashes, or when you have a project you just can’t figure out.
7. Dr. Jekyll & Mr. Hyde: Most of the time, this is the person I first meet when I start temping at an office. It will be the sweetest lady you’ve ever met. She will make sure you are comfortable and certain with what you will be doing there. She will check in on you every day for the first week with a cheery smile. She will be understanding if you ever have to leave early. But then suddenly you’ll see it. The other side of her. You’ll overhear her on her phone reaming someone out due to a simple miscommunication. She’ll mumble under her breath how everyone in the office is a “fucking idiot”. She’ll hit the copy machine so much out of frustration you will get worried she’ll pull an Office Space and destroy it in a field somewhere one day. Keep her at an arm’s length, and always try to be on her good side.
8. The One Who Clicks: Despite the fact that your reality might be shaken a bit after meeting the people that really reside in an office setting, you will always manage to find the one person who you really click with. They most likely will be a recent college grad too, and the two of you will get along in the most relieving way. Just when you thought P.P.M. and Mr. Hyde were too much to handle, this is the person that will make you want to stay. You can roll your eyes to them behind P.P.M.’s back, whine to them about all the work you were assigned at the last minute by Jekyll (or Hyde), and stare at the hot one’s butt in khakis in front of them without feeling judged. This person will always listen and feel the same way. You finally won’t be alone in an office surrounded by people who are more experienced (and intimidating) than you. You will finally be at ease with working in the real world.