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Collegial crisis management

The office is not only a workplace, but also a meeting place for all kinds of people. Whether you like it or not. With a bit of luck, friendships can be made here, but some characters you should probably avoid. To prepare you properly for these messes, we have characterized the most important types for you here.

The octopus

This kind of person is convinced that multitasking works, and at the same time is the best counterexample. The phone is clamped between the shoulder and the ear, emails are answered with the right hand, while the left is used to signal to the colleague that it will probably take at least another 5 minutes until having lunch together. Nobody in the office really knows what the motivation for this stress is. But the whole thing looks impressive in any case: Sometimes you get the feeling that this person would grow new arms if five to seven tasks were tackled in parallel. After lunch at the latest, the mistakes that inevitably happen due to lack of attention during the morning multitasking also have to be ironed out. This person tries a lot and fails at everything. From 1 p.m. on, blinking becomes more and more frantic. From 3 p.m. on, you shouldn't get in the octopus's way. He is obviously under pressure and no one can say exactly when he will explode. But on the other hand, at 4 p.m. all the tasks are done. Time for a power nap on the train home.


The order fanatic

This person has been better than you at school, in everything. And it will stay that way. While you start the day with the slowest walk in the world towards the coffee machine, the fanatic has already answered all your mails. You've already forgotten what you had for breakfast yesterday. This person knows what meeting she'll have at 10:45 a.m. on Tuesday, three weeks from now. Sometimes you are unsure whether the fanatic might have autistic traits. But you mustn't think about that too loudly, it's not proper. But it is a bit strange that all the highlighters are sorted by color and are lying on the table at identical distances from each other. If you share an office with this person, you don't really need a clock anymore. Because the clock has been totally out of service. The pencil now sets the pace, crossing another item off the to-do list every 15 minutes - even more precisely than any atomic clock could. And while you look around disoriented and don't know exactly what to do next, this person is already running to the next meeting and renegotiating the salary for the second time in the quarter. But wait a minute. Is that a particularly large cookie crumb on your belly? Jackpot.


The delegator

The Delegator is often a supervisor, but sometimes it's just a colleague who always manages to cleverly push their tasks on you. When it comes to distributing tasks after a meeting, this person quickly takes the initiative. With the help of apparent flattery, this person always manages to avoid real work: "Well, Katrin, you are so eloquent, so it would probably be best if you write to the customers. And Tobias is so mathematically gifted, he's the best at calculating prices. And no one knows Photoshop as well as Frederik. He puts the catalog together in no time at all. That's it, isn't it? That's great. Good meeting. See you tomorrow." Grinning self-satisfied, the delegator rises from the meeting table, shakes hands and sits down again at his own desk 5 meters away. Picking his nose, he looks out the window and considers leaving earlier today.


The dormant stone

The resting stone is often a bit more experienced and often sits in the IT department. This person used to be an octopus, but years ago he had an insight that should motivate all his future actions: There will always be tasks and they will always be urgent for someone. No matter how loudly the boss screams, no matter how sadly the working student howls: Tomorrow is still another day. Accordingly, an infinite number of tasks are stuck at this station. When you venture into the office of the dormant stone and try to get a process rolling by humiliating begging, you have the rare chance to catch a glimpse of a unique natural spectacle. The stone has not moved for so long that nature has been able to reclaim piece by piece in this part of the office. The left hand and the entire keyboard are overgrown with moss. A young blackbird family has built a nest in its hair. A quiet brook ripples through the room and shy deer grazes in the background. When you accidentally step on a twig as you enter, the animals startle and flee. You only hear the soothing stream flowing, while the stone takes 30 minutes, at a snail's pace, to turn its gaze from the screen to you. You wait hopefully for the right moment to present your problem. But as the stone's gaze moves millimeter by millimeter toward you, it brushes the clock on the wall: "Oh... it's already 5 p.m..." You look at the clock for a second to check, but by the time you look back, he's gone. Irritated, you look around, but see no one. As you look out the window at the street 5 stories below you, you can just see the stone getting on the bus that stops in front of your office every day at 5:01 pm.


The choleric beast

The choleric beast would have a fight with his reflection, no question about it. It's not as if there are certain issues that must be avoided to prevent the Beast from throwing a tantrum. Rather, anger is an enduring trait of the being. Most mornings, you'll find this person in the kitchen. "Nobody in this fucking office puts their fucking dishes in the fucking dishwasher!" Angry groans and the sound of shattering tableware being thundered into the dishwasher with a running start let you know you'd better get your coffee later. It's best to regard the beast as a landmine and avoid him all day. This becomes much more difficult once you start working together on a project. Then the beast waits for you to finally answer his mails, and starts looking for you. These days consist mostly of strategic hiding. If you need more than five minutes to answer a mail, the beast will move to your desk, stomping loudly. It's best to hide under desk and pull your knees close to your body. In the toilet, it's important to keep your feet hovering so that you won't be spotted when he looks for your shoes under the stall door. Today is probably a good day to go a little earlier. But be careful. If the Beast spots you, he'll drag you back to your workstation by your collar and yell at you until you've completed your task to his complete satisfaction. So it's best to crawl on all fours towards the exit. Before that, quickly stop by the kitchen and put your coffee cup down on the counter. Anything else would be antisocial.


Sometimes you look around the office and wonder why you do this to yourself. Then someone comes by, puts one hand around your shoulder and the other on your beer belly: "Haha, they're quite the mess. But it wouldn't be half as funny without them." You're very unsure whether the whole thing is true, but you're determined to believe it...


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