3 Toxic Workplace Personalities You Should Totally Avoid
December 12, 2016
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  1. Gossip Gabby

She gabs a lot, probably works in the front office or the marketing department. She knows everything that’s going on in the company – who’s getting fired, who’s getting promoted, who drives the biggest car and who’s dating who in the office. She’s chatty with everyone, but loyal to no one. You’ll be well advised to keep her close if you want to know when the boss is in a foul mood, but not for much more. Be especially careful when it comes to revealing details about your personal life to her – chances are, it’ll only take one afternoon before the rest of the office has the scoop. Gossip Gabby single-handedly runs the rumour mill.

She is not very good at her job and makes little effort to be better, but you don’t want to go up against her. The reason she knows intimate details about the company’s happenings before anyone else does is because she’s either friends with someone in management, or “friends” with someone in management. Be smart, my friend!


  1. Friendly Freddie

He works in Finance or Project Management. He’s real friendly, but only when he wants to be. He either calls you ‘Boss’, ‘chief’ or ‘the man’ even though he’s either at your level or higher up on the office food chain. Friendly Freddie is a predator. He’ll ask you to cover his shift or lie for him when he’s late but he’ll never return the favour. He’ll ask you to accompany him to lunch to ‘brainstorm on new ideas’ but he never picks up the cheque. He’s the guy that shoots down your suggestions in the boardroom just to make himself feel superior. He’ll probably then steal your presentation and present it as his own, unrepentantly.

Friendly Freddie will borrow you money and never pay you back. The next week you’ll notice new rims on his car, because he’s pointed them out to you. He’ll make a big show of offense if you bring up the debt and say something to make you feel like you’re the one being unreasonable. Friendly Freddie is the office narcissist – stay away from him at all costs, both professionally and personally.


  1. Helpful Helen

She’s very good at her job, keeps to herself mostly. She probably works in I.T or Accounting, always helpful when you need your cheque rushed or handy when you need someone to show you the ropes. She’ll stay late to help you when you’re swamped with work and is always ready to cover your shift when Friendly Freddie bails on you. She notices when you’re wearing a new shirt or spotting a new haircut. She’s the only one in the office who gets your jokes. She stops by your desk with a cup of coffee for you and a playful punch on the arm. You may notice that you have grown to care for her opinion substantially. You may even have began to wear perfume in the hopes that she’ll notice.

You have probably gone out together outside of work but nobody believes that you’re just friends. Everyone in the office calls her your work wife. She’s good to have on your team because you work so well together, but keep it strictly professional. Helpful Helen is a ripe candidate for the office affair that ruins your marriage. Even if you’re single, office romances make for terribly awkward post breakup conversation and you can be sure that thanks to Gossip Gabby, everyone in the office will know about it. Save yourself some trouble buddy, stay away.

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About author

Wanjiru Ndung'u

Wanjiru Ndung'u writes fiction, poetry and essays. She is an irretrievable night owl, tea-lover and cat mom. She enjoys books, alternative music, movies and streaming shows.

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