The five co-workers you're sure to have in hospo

June 01, 2015
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Working in hospitality can be fun: sometimes you’ll meet awesome people, make close friends, and find that you work really well with them. But you’ll also encounter a veritable zoo of undesirables - especially if your work has a high rate of employee turnover. To help you navigate this menagerie of the mismanaged, we’ve put together a list of some of the most frustrating co-workers you’ll find in hospo. Ring any bells?

The Gossip

This person has fallen into the trap of thinking that for real life to be interesting, it has to be as dramatic and poorly worded as their favourite reality shows. Rather than focusing on team goals or helping the workplace run better, the Gossip spends much of their free time (and paid time) getting stuck into everyone else’s business. You can usually find them in and around the break room discussing who’s going to get fired, who’s been flirting with who, and why the two shift managers hate each other.

This is usually the same person who litters their Facebook with statuses like, “You always want what you can’t have…” or, in a staggering display of unwitting irony, “So sick of other people’s drama!”

The Space Cadet

The product of diffident teenaged apathy and parental pressure to contribute to the household, the Space Cadet isn’t particularly motivated about anything other than making it to end of the day with a minimum expenditure of effort. The Cadet greets customers with toneless platitudes, sloppy service and a vacancy of expression that recalls acquired brain injury. And all this seemingly in an attempt to reinforce as many stereotypes about young people as they possibly can before they’re inevitably fired for not doing, you know, anything. Bonus points if they use phrases like “lol” and “soz” in face-to-face conversation.

The Tony Robbins Subscriber

There’s always a manager who thinks the key to motivating their underlings is to employ as many corporate buzzwords as they can Google between watching TED talks and reruns of Shark Tank. Actual training and support are left by the wayside in the pursuit of penning the perfect noticeboard reminder, filled with phrases like “remember to give 110%” and “pick up the ball and keep running with it – performance is a mindset not a competition!”

The Subscriber doesn’t realise that no matter how fluent their motivational terminology, their pompous manner and passive aggressive management style cannot replace the fundamentals of motivation. And as far as fundamentals go, not being a dick is pretty high up there.

The Veteran

The person that everyone runs to for help, the Veteran has stayed in their job long after they’ve outgrown it - and their level of competence more than makes up for their lack of passion. Though their composure and sure-handedness can be reassuring, they can also be a bit of a downer, as they’re usually filled with regret towards their wasted potential. The Veteran knows they should’ve moved on by now, but they’re currently just a big bored fish in a rather small pond.

The Sycophant

Management – for reasons best known to themselves – have taken a shine to this person, and it’s gone to their head. Manically committed to earning their superiors’ approval, this kid thinks they’ll be running the company someday, deciding it’s never too early to act like it.

They start walking around like they pay the shop rent, telling their colleagues what to do, and saying “Good job!” to employees who’ve been there since before they were born.

Though the Sycophant can be annoying, we shouldn’t be too harsh on them. Once they realise that their behaviour – far from earning them respect – has garnered them a reputation as an insufferable douche, their overweening confidence will usually crash pretty hard.

Co-workers can be the absolute worst. You’re just trying to do a good job before your shift ends, and wouldn’t it be nice if everyone just acted their age? But the most precious asset in your career is your reputation, so don’t tarnish it by having a big blowout with a colleague. Stay calm, stay professional, and let the David Brents of the world sort themselves out.

And just remember to give each other a break, you guys.

Joel Svensson

Business major, journalism minor and sometime voice-actor, Joel Svensson pretends to be smart at La Trobe University in Melbourne.

Image: 2 Broke Girls official Facebook page

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