The List of Coworker Nicknames: Part II

The Magician: Often seen in the company of The Wizard. An Indian IT stalwart. He could give you a technical explanation you could never hope to understand, but somehow he would make IT issues go away. A rare talent at the office since he solved more problems than he created. If you find anyone along these lines where you work, buy him lunch regularly, try to become his pal, and treat him like royalty. Because he is. IT royalty.

Napoleon: Stood at an unimpressive 5’7″ on tiptoes. What he lacked in height he made up for in arrogance and condescension. Rarely made eye contact with anyone below his level―on the corporate ladder not height since he rarely encountered men shorter than him. The textbook definition of the Napoleon Complex. Routinely blew off anyone not on his team or not above him in perceived corporate status. You could have helped resolve an issue for him one day and the next day he would walk past you ignoring you as if you didn’t exist. Voted ‘Least Likeable Employee’ at the firm every one of his five years there. Has since moved on to annoy, frustrate, and talk down to colleagues at another company. Possibly a closet homosexual.

Naps: Took regular afternoon naps at her desk with her head on the keyboard while waiting for certain end-of-day files to be loaded into the system. Otherwise a diligent, committed employee who rarely socialized with her coworkers and was all business all the time―except when napping.

Puppet Master: Sat in the corner of the department’s open floor plan pulling everyone’s strings in a Machiavellian fashion. A proponent of direct confrontation and routinely challenging his subordinates. Known for a no-nonsense approach and calling people out in front of everyone else. No one knew how he had managed to get so high up in the firm except by his uncanny schmoozing abilities and excellent timing. A straight-shooting manager type born to put people in their place and stomp on their dreams. When not busting balls, a likeable, nice guy, but you did not want to ever get on his bad side.

Scope: Derives from the word ‘periscope’ and applied due to his habit of raising his head above his monitors when surveying the office scene as a submarine about to surface would do. A nice, tall, kind Indian man who was not afraid to shove his crotch in another man’s face when questioning his work. What one would call a close talker. One first heard his quick, but heavy steps before feeling his midsection uncomfortably close to one’s face. A highly intelligent man destined for greater things, but resigned to his role due to the difficult job market for finance professionals.

Shadow: Like your shadow, he was always around even when you didn’t know it. A clinically-diagnosed workaholic married to his job who saw his wife and kids mainly on the weekends. First in the office and often the last one out. Climbed his way up the greasy corporate ladder through sheer hard work and dedication. A fair and highly competent manager who would have made a nicer version of the Puppet Master. Known for tracking what his subordinates were viewing on their monitors and for an aversion to direct eye contact. His surveillance skills are the envy of the NSA and the bane of would-be jihadists and Russian spies. Would have made a stellar counter-intelligence officer in another life if financial operations had not come calling after college.

The Show: Every office has one or should have one. Pure adolescent entertainment fresh out of college. Neighbor and pal of Stunner before their inevitable falling out. No email was too irrelevant to share with anyone within earshot or too unimportant to get worked up over. Frequently busted out rants at random people and was known to mumble to himself. Took regular smoke breaks to cool his temper and calm down. Perfected the sport of binge drinking till blacking out. Copyright holder of the term ‘G2G’―as in ‘good to go’―which was his signature email response to urgent issues. An all-around funny and fun guy who made for an amusing neighbor.

Stunner: Had the baddest swagger in the office despite having a below average IQ and consistently sitting in the bottom quintile for performance. Took frequent long lunch breaks in his car in the parking garage to smoke weed. Known for staring blankly at his computer monitor for half hour straight. If he had been any worse with women, he would have been brought up on sexual harassment charges, but since that was next to impossible his attempts at flirting mainly elicited dumbfounded and awkward reactions from the ladies in the office. Excelled at repetitive tasks involving clicking Microsoft Excel macro buttons and sitting at the lowest setting his Herman Miller chair permitted despite his six-foot plus height. Finally terminated when the 2008 financial crisis could be claimed as an excuse by management to clear out the deadwood at the firm.

Tight End: She was built like a small tight end on the local college football team. Her favorite line after answering her call was “What’s up, buttercup?” Dated at least 25% of six-figure earning men at the firm and ended up marrying the fruitiest guy―but with strong long-term career prospects―she could dominate for life. Recognized from a distance due to impressive figure and expert use of pushup bras. If her email was not answered in a timely fashion―which by her standard was in under three minutes―she would come down to your desk, make a grand entrance, and proceed to make a scene and steal the limelight for the next 20 minutes. An expert schmoozer who never hesitated to use her feminine assets―especially her looks―to advance her career. Always plotting to take the job above hers. The type that bears watching and whose good side it pays to be on since she could make things quite unpleasant if she didn’t get her way.

The Wizard: Usually traveled in the company of The Magician. The mastermind behind the firm’s in-house software application that had more versions than a rainbow has colors. He kept it real and would speak to a lowly accountant in the same way as he would to the head of the business unit.

*You can find Part I by clicking here.

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