Simply's Secret Santa Guide - the office edition
Our guide to what to buy the office flirt and other archetypal co-workers this Christmas The first snow dump this season teased those of us desperate for a white Christmas and distracted us from the Dreaded Christmas Shopping and from buying this years office Secret Santa gift. But fear not, we here at Simply have come to save the day (and halt the reddening of face of that one person at office party who is left without a gift because you forgot!). Everyone likes a good film and every team has these archetypal office characters, in the list below. To make your life easier, we’ve matched the perfect gift to 15 of the most common co-workers you’re most likely to find in your workplace. Step into our Secret Santa gift guide grotto and they’ll be no more red faces and only be red noses this Christmas.
The Dog Mummy/Daddy
The saying says, ‘a dog is a man’s best friend’, and this is something every dog owner will vouch for. Every workplace has at least one person who is just completely and utterly obsessed with their pet. They talk about them as if they are a person, treat it as if it’s a human member of their family, their desk is plastered with portraits of their furry friend and they have even taken time off for it’s birthday.
The Hopeless Romantic
They work themselves into a flood of tears to the lyrics of Ed Sheeran or Luther Vandross, they get irrationally sad at the break-up of a celebrity couple and became irrationally overjoyed by the news of Prince Harry and Megan Markell’s engagement. They have a scrap book of wedding plans that they have been curating since they were a child, truly believe in a perfect Prince Charming and are obsessed with watching proposal videos.
The Mid-life Crisis
They have just hit their mid-40’s and suddenly started behaving in the most erratic, impulsive way and it’s slightly worrying you. Whether they’re compulsively baking banana cake, got their first tattoo, brought the fastest, flashiest racier boy car on the market or found themselves a toy-boy – it is clear to everyone in the office they are having a midlife breakdown… that is besides themselves. This is the perfect gift that subtly hints to them that they may need to pull themselves together without reminding them that the dreaded ‘50’ is around the corner.
The One Who Wants To Save The World
They spend their days off at protests, they have donated more money to charity that you have had hot meals and spend their festive holidays volunteering at local homeless shelter. Whenever you see their name appear in your emails and you can bet your life-savings that they have forwarded you a new petition for you to sign. Whether it’s about the environment, animal welfare, stopping Donald Trump entering the UK, banning condom machines, make a sarcasm font for social media (maybe we would see Trump in a whole new light and realise we have misunderstood his twitter antics all this time) or introduce spiciness measures on food labels (yes, these are real petitions), there is always something new they want you to join the campaign for.
It’s unlikely you will have them burning bras and more likely preaching out the rights of women to breastfeed in public. Equal pay, period-tax, the glass ceiling and media representations of women are other regular topics of conversation with this person on a Monday morning or at social gatherings. They are catcallers worst nightmare and not just for their possibly unshaven armpits, but the response about the history of misogynistic patriarchy that women all over the world have fallen victim to.
The Only Gay In The Office
This is the person in the office who wants everyone to know about his/her sexuality above all else. They’ve probably introduced you to Grindr, the queer answer to Tinder, and shared vivid, descriptive accounts of their latest encounter loudly so no-one can live in blissful ignorance. You might have once offended them by trying to set them up with your gay friend or by introducing them as ‘your gay friend’. Here’s now to avoid offending them further with this perfect gift.
You know Monday morning will be filled with this person bragging about the new sexual encounter with a stranger that was undoubtedly the highlight of their weekend. They aren’t limited to bars, this person can somehow pick someone up anywhere – the supermarket, the library, the tube, visiting their sick grandparent in hospital, in the sexual health clinic or even a funeral. They usually have hilarious stories about their escape route and walk of shame the next morning from jumping out of windows to lying about going to get breakfast only to not return or even fabricating a story about a family emergency that means they must leave immediately – of course, without leaving their number.
The Office Perv
By now you will have learnt how to deal with their inappropriate remarks and behaviour, but everyone pities the new poor sod who inevitably will fall victim to this person until they too, learn how to dodge their behaviour. They don’t even need to be physically inappropriate, the way they look at you alone is enough to make you feel nauseous and they manage to drop in a completely inappropriate objectifying remark about your outfit/hair/make-up/body in every conversation you have with them.
The One With OCD
They’ve sharpened all of their pencils to the exact same length. Their stationary is ordered into product types and colour co-ordinated. Their filing cabinet is sorted in alphabetical order. Everything on their desk has a set place. They wash their hands too many times a day to keep track. They follow the same routine every day without fail. If, for whatever dreaded reason, one of these things doesn’t run how it is supposed to, if something moves out of place, the office must be prepared for a mass meltdown.
The Jargon Guy/Girl
They might as well have their own language because they have new words for everything in the English language. You are probably fairly well versed in their slang by now but you often have to act as a translator for the poor newbie in the office who stares blankly back at them or forwards you on their emails in desperation. ‘Thought shower’, ‘square the circle’, ‘game-plan’ and ‘singing from the same hymn sheet’ are phrases bound to come up in meetings and you can expect they’ll ‘ping’ you over an email to ‘touch base’ following developments from your meeting and check you are ‘on the same page’ regarding a project you’re working on together.
The Miserable Sod
They always have something to complain about and even if they’re not verbally complaining, their miserable face speaks 1000 words. They find things to whinge about where ever you go whether it’s the weather, air con or coffee. You would think that upon their return from their holidays they would be relaxed and happy – cut you a break from the moaning. Wrong. Think again. They will be moaning about something whether it was the food being too spicy in India, the locals taking siestas thus shutting the stores when they needed to buy things or the fact they couldn’t buy custard creams in Egypt.
The Passive Aggressive (Border-Line Psychopath)
Whispering in the kitchen, email captions in capital letters, calling out others in public situations, leaving notes to avoid face to face communication or cc’ing your boss unnecessarily into emails to try and show you are all signs of a passive aggressive border line psychopath in the work place. In bad cases, some will actually shout at those they’re unhappy with, blame everyone else besides themselves when something goes wrong and even call names. Most people will have come across one these characters in the work place and spent hours fantasying about how you get back at them. You were probably irritated when you found out they were your secret Santa – but this is your opportunity to subtly get back at them and let them know what you think of their unprofessional and frankly mean behaviour.
The Scatty One With The Messy Desk
You didn’t think the mountain of paper on their desk could get any bigger this time last year but it has kept growing and is giving Mount Everest a run for its money. You have to make copies of any important documents you give them because you know once it has landed on their desk it’ll be months before you see it again – if ever.
The Stationary Thief
The go-to person for everything that goes missing in the office. Your new fountain pen, your highlighters, your nice chair, the stapler and even the office stash of biscuits can be found in their draw or their desk. They don’t mean to steal per say, they just borrow and forget to give back – but it is irritating none the less when you can never find things you need and it doesn’t matter if you put things in safe place, because this person will always find it and take it.
You have learnt never ever to ask this person how they are feeling, especially on their return to work after taking time off sick because you have learnt you will be met with the most mind-numbing, excoriating description that would lead anyone who didn’t know them to think they were on their death-bed. If they get a headache, it’s a brain tumour, if they fall, they’re convinced they have broken a bone and they have convinced themselves they have cancer at least once a month since you have worked with them.