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Taxonomy of Office Creatures

Protect yourself—it’s a jungle out there.

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Illustrations by Tony Millionaire (Icon)  

The Night Stalker
Behavioral trait: Considers self an ace at office banter; in reality, spreads awkward pauses and inappropriate comments the way Johnny Appleseed spread apples. Like a wolf, his sudden approach toward your cubicle chills the blood.

How to eradicate the menace: Starve him with lengthy anecdotes about people he doesn’t know. Change the names of your characters mid-story just to be an ass.


The Endangered Species
Behavioral trait: Petulance that must be tolerated because the perpetrator possesses a unique skill. Akin to owls around which entire forests must be maintained.

How to eradicate the menace: Put your trust in the market. A replacement will come along soon enough, offering what economists call “the marginal value of not being an utter tool.”


The Beast
Behavioral trait: Constantly getting his way by hanging the threat of a prima donna tirade over everyone else’s head, like a crocodile who gets the entire water hole by eating all the monkeys and antelope trying to get a drink.

How to eradicate the menace: Defeating an office monster head-to-head is possible, but might require you to act despicably yourself—after all, the person who kills crocodiles is a poacher.


The Whimperer
Behavioral trait: Acting continually put-upon but never explaining why, like a neighbor’s dog that incessantly expresses its displeasure at your mere presence.

How to eradicate the menace: Can eventually be turned into an ally with the right combination of patience, kindness, and food-related bribery.


The Nuisance
Behavioral trait: Constant, public naysaying of statements and positions you hadn’t even realized anyone could find objectionable. Reminiscent of the mouse that continues to show up despite your most conscientious efforts to maintain an environment free from mouse nutrients.

How to eradicate the menace: Poison.


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