Here for the Money: There are different reasons we end up in the places we work. It’s a journey to the next big thing for some, while for others, that job is everything. These reasons always shape the type of employee one becomes.
Often, Ugandans will speak about their bosses, rarely do they do a self-introspection on their workmates. Birds of a feather flock together, and that is the case with Ugandan employees. They do exist in certain social groupings. If you read carefully, you ought to find a circle or two of your own belonging. But first, a disclaimer, this piece doesn’t in anyway speak to this humble writer’s workmates, any similarities should be treated as coincidental happenings.
Fashionistas, aka models
We’ve all worked with those workmates that are nothing but fashionistas. There’s nothing much to speak about their work output, but you can trust them on one thing, rocking the fashion runway from Monday to Friday. If there’s a themed party, they will leave no stone unturned while bringing this theme to life. They are bold, they are pioneers and they are the ones who unveil the latest fashion trends.
All-talk but no work
For some reason, this class of employees has mastered all the corporate lingo. They are the kings and queens of abbreviating everything. They have figured out ways of sounding smart in meetings. It’s all about asking those basic questions such as; “will this scale?” If things begin to hit up, they have a way out of it, simply suggest to take things offline. These kind survive on words such as ‘synergy’, ‘bandwidth’ or ‘touch base.’ Some turn out to be performers, but one should be careful of the ones that push all the talk with zero output. But then again, they learned the trick, as long as you appear to be working, soon enough, everyone believes you’re working.
The basic minimum
These are the type that have decided to do the basic minimum to keep them at the job. They will report at 8am, at 1pm, they will be in the cafeteria and 5pm will certainly find them exiting the workplace. They are not trying to get the next promotion, they are just not interested. All they want to do is come to work, offer a service and get out. You won’t interest them in after-work bonding sessions. They just don’t care about all these things, they want to stick to the terms and conditions of their contracts.
Although this category is the least populated of all, it’s one worth cheering. There’s that special class of employees that will do anything to see the company succeed. They push everything beyond the extra mile. They detest leaving unfinished business, they would rather work late into the night just to close up any of their pending actions. They are usually the first in, and the last out. They don’t whine, they don’t complain, they simply give their best. If you’re a fan of George Orwell, they’re the “Boxers” of their Animal farms.
The team player
They may not get the recognition, they will probably never take home any award but everyone silently knows they are the glue that holds the team together. They will put their own priorities aside if that’s what it takes for their team to succeed. Team players just find the joy in helping their team mates. It’s not about the part, it’s about the whole in their world.
The new overzealous employee
He or she is out to make a difference in the shortest time possible. If a door has been opening out, they will embark on a project to have it open inside. They will change for the sake of change. If it means shifting all meetings to the weekends, they will do that. The new overzealous employee could also be the young graduate that’s out to revolutionise the work environment. Problem is, two years later, the system will beat them into submission.
This class deserves special recognition. Because no one understands them. Worse still, they don’t understand their own self. They are on top of every viral social media trend. They will be the first ones to download the Face App and show the older folks how to do it. You can delay their salary, on condition that you pay their monthly data subscription. They love life, even though life rarely loves them back. They have the passion, the energy, and the digital aptitudes. Their worst days at work are when IT experiences network downtimes. Otherwise, they are always fired up to give their best to the craziest of tasks.
The religious freak
Every workplace has that one person that takes their religion a little too serious. If they’re Catholics, they will buy the biggest rosary, they will always share some wonder stories about different apparitions. If they’re upcoming Buddhists, they won’t stop praising the beauty about looking inwards, meditation and yoga. They rarely get into arguments, but if you want to see the worst in them, dare to attack their religious freedoms. They will defend these to death.
The niche groups
Some groups are too niche. These include the coffee addicts, the employees that just can’t get enough of coffee. You have the headphone punks, they just can’t work without headphones. Then you have the gossip masters, they’re updated about everyone’s life. Then you have the health freaks, they’re always inventing some new diet, some new exercise regime. You can’t also leave out the messy desk chaps. What about the busy bees? The ones who’ve made it a point to always be busy or rather, to always be preoccupied.
You also have that special group of employees whose computers never run out of technical difficulties. They always can’t print, their computer is crashing or they just can’t connect to the Internet. These belong to the same class as those that just will never keep time. They’re always late to everything. Finally you have the whiners, the ones that just have something to whine about every day, only if their rants came with actionable solutions.