Background

Have you ever had the embarrassing moment when that delinquent coworker you were in the middle of chewing out to your work pals just happens to pass by and overhear your rant? Or maybe this useless imbecile’s one ally overhears your tirade and passes along the bullet points of your fury? I know a few of us have been there one time or another. The solution to avoiding this awkward and potentially career-damaging situation is to assign your coworkers nicknames with the help of your work crew.

Quality nicknames usually appear in a flash of brilliance, but it takes months of getting to know the target coworkers and bosses to find suitable and fitting monikers for everyone. When you invent nicknames with your work buddies it will increase camaraderie and strengthen the bond among your office posse.

Never forgetting your duty to the shareholders or the owners of your firm, it is worth noting that nicknames are unambiguous and will speed up communication among colleagues leading to a more efficient office environment. There won’t be confusion anymore about which of the four Jennifers from Human Resources called you to investigate the most recent complaint lodged against you. With office workers increasingly likely to have their emails and IM chats monitored, it is in your best interest to develop your own set of handles for the people you deal with on a regular basis in the office.

The List of Coworker Nicknames: Part I

Boots: When it was time to turn up her feminine charms for an important meeting or a performance review, the high black leather boots would make an appearance and you knew she meant business. Became intimate with the head of her business unit for career advancement purposes. Never received that promotion and left the firm without telling anyone. One day she simply disappeared into that good night. Human Resources has yet to track her down and her current whereabouts are unknown.

Butterfly: Started working on a side sales business while―and sometimes during―his full-time job. Regularly harassed his coworkers by soliciting them for his new business, whose logo included a butterfly. Hence his nickname. Annoyingly pushy, talentless, and impatient when it came to sales as well as other areas of his life. Was in his corporate role for so long that he could do his work in half a day leaving plenty of time for his sales venture and options trading. Left the firm to pursue his sales dreams. Last seen accosting a former coworker, who was out to dinner with friends, while out prospecting for new clients.

Chips: Mathematics genius drafted out of retirement to improve the firm’s image in the minds of its major clients in the area of risk mitigation. Notorious for being the first and next-to-last to show up any time free food or leftovers were placed out in the office. Had a particular love of chips. His salary was north of $1 million per year, but he never once treated us peons to any food. He never met a quant PhD he didn’t hire and instituted a strict caste system in the business unit between quants and non-quants (i.e. the expendable, nonessential corporate cogs). Interesting travel stories if you could ever get him to converse with you.

Chops: Exemplified the stereotypical, clumsy, awkward-looking Jewish guy from the east coast. Could have been a regular on Seinfeld had he been born two decades earlier. Named after his legendary overbite that you could see around the corner. An absolute failure with women though not for a lack of trying. Witnessing his futile and clumsy attempts at smoothness and seduction on his latest victim made everyone in the vicinity conspicuously uncomfortable. Sharp as a tack and driven in his work. His financial success will eventually allow him to propagate his genetics. Known for his regular post-lunch, under-the-breath belches that could be heard down the hall. Aspired to be the finance version of Ben Stiller.

Flutters: When you saw him coming towards you is when you looked around for the nearest emergency exit. If the windows could be opened you would have been climbing out and jumping to save your skin. The deliverer of bad news and worse problems. He was the right hand of a key department head and threw out his boss’s name for leverage at every opportune moment. Known for nervously and awkwardly batting (i.e. fluttering) his eyelids at you when the situation was deemed dire by him yet you failed to grasp the severity of the moment. Routinely expected you to drop all your work to appease his fragile ego and prioritize his work needs over yours. Nothing more than a spineless, glorified pencil-pushing bureaucrat. Ideal for a supervisor role in any of the many worthless government agencies dotting the nation.

Fully Loaded: Became notorious for yelling out “Fully loaded” every afternoon without fail for many years upon loading his analytics files into the system. A brown-nosing buffoon and snarky weasel who thought he was destined for greater things in life. Severely lacked self-awareness. Known for staring at random members of other teams when he was eavesdropping or wanted something. Expert at attempting awkward office chit-chat that rarely went anywhere. After many years of sucking up, he was promoted out of the department and beyond his abilities.

GC: Gold Coast. The nickname for Ghana, which is where this legend hails from. A soft-spoken, quiet, smooth talking ladies’ man who didn’t have a mean bone in his body. He made the females swoon without ever trying and always knew where Chelsea FC was in the English Premier League standings. A true gentleman and an fervent adherent of José Mourinho.

La Vida Loca: A wealthy Brazilian playboy well into his middle age with a beautiful wife at least two decades younger and two Porsches. He was the dictionary definition of mellow. Cool as a cucumber and with enough Brazilian style and flair fit for three lesser men with some left over for a fourth. Recognized by the colorful pants he regularly sported and the occasional popped polo collar that on him looked as natural as the color blue on the sky. Not particularly known as a morning person and rarely seen arriving at the office before 10 a.m. One of the few employees at the firm there because he wanted to be, rather than because he needed the money.

Legs: She was perfectly positioned―and proportioned―in her role as a client relationship associate. God gave her the perfect pair of legs and she used them to her advantage in and out of the office. Her skirts were expertly measured and tailored to come within the nearest millimeter of inappropriateness, but without ever crossing the line. Many a gentleman regularly lost himself daydreaming about her impeccable gams and the value of lost man-hours were conservatively estimated to be in the six figures during her brief tenure at the firm.

*You can find Part II by clicking here.

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