Does your boss possess all of Michael Scott’s worst qualities?
Has reorganization moved you to a new role, one where you’ve no idea how to function successfully?
Are your co-workers shitheads?
No matter the challenges you face on the job, if enough is enough — or if you’re not being paid enough — you’ll probably want to leave. If and when that happens, you transition from a full-timer or part-timer to a short-timer: a staff member nearing the end of their period of employment. But not all short-timers leave on the same terms. Here’s a guide to identifying who they are — and who you might someday want to be.
The most threatening of the species, the Sleeper has already decided they’re going to leave, but they’ve not yet told their co-workers. They may miss meetings, deadlines, and be unresponsive to emails and other communication. Although they’ve not announced that they’re resigning, retiring, or quitting, in their mind, they have, and their performance and attentiveness shows it.
- Scientific Name: undercovera schemer
- Noticeable Traits: long lunch breaks, avoiding over-time, avoiding full-time, personal belongings and office supplies slowly being removed from their desk and taken home for no established reason, using most or all of their vacation days, and sending an email right before or during the vacation that announces their resignation
Quietly and strategically, this short-timer tells individuals at the office about their eventual departure in a one-on-one fashion, in person, sometimes over an expensive drink at Starbucks. The Diplomat hopes that these Starbucks “treats” will keep the co-worker(s) quiet until the Diplomat is ready to make their departure public. Instead of Starbucks, they may take “lesser” co-workers to the break room for a cup of pungent office coffee.
- Scientific Name: annuntiare solus, or denuntiare capulus per venti when treating co-workers to Starbucks
- Noticeable Traits: speaking in a soft voice about “leaving” when others are around, requesting restaurant tables in corners or against walls in order to spot other co-workers who might come in and interrupt the “secret” meeting, Pick of the Week Starbucks cards piled on their desk
Unlike the Sleeper and Diplomat, this species makes sure to tell everyone they’re leaving, usually announcing their departure at once and in a spectacular way. Publicly, this could happen at office meetings, office lunches, or sometimes client meetings, and digitally it happens not only through email, but also every social media channel imaginable, including Google+ (which nobody else in the office uses) as well as a LinkedIn blog post (even though nobody ever reads those).
- Scientific Name: broadcaster officium, or requirere potluck
- Noticeable Traits: spending lots of time designing flyers for their own going away party, asking everyone what kind of dish they’re going to bring to the going away potluck, taking lots of selfies around the office and with co-workers up to their last few seconds as an employee, repeatedly saying “let’s stay in touch” while leaving the office for the last time and again while seated in their car, driving off into the sunset
This short-timer usually tells one person (often the Bestie, see below) about their departure, but they may also make a general announcement in a small meeting. Unlike the Broadcaster, the Restrained wants to keep it low key, with no going away party, and in many cases, will only offer limited information about where they’re going after they leave their current job.
- Scientific Name: mollis Matt Damonus, a.k.a. the Damon
- Noticeable Traits: “one and done” announcement with little to no additional discussion, no presence on social media, upon leaving will share their AOL or EarthLink email to “maybe stay in touch”
Much like the Restrained, only less talented, and less smiley. May leave when the Restrained decides to leave, or shortly thereafter. But the Bestie may also remain on the job, as the one and only conduit of information for the Restrained.
- Scientific Name: canaria Ben Affleckus, a.k.a. the Affleck
- Noticeable Traits: assumes as many duties and responsibilities as possible in order to assist their co-workers during the transition, unfortunately only one or two of the additional tasks they take on prove to be done well, textbook “over explainer”
At the start of their employment, they were considered irreplaceable because of their all-around awesome performance and likability. But then they slide downhill, delivering one sub-par performance after another. You lose touch with them, they leave the job, and you forget they’d even worked with you. But they eventually return, upper management rehiring them because they’re just so adorable and easy to get along with, even though they delivered so many duds in the past. Back on the job, they deliver that original awesomeness and likability — only briefly. And eventually they sink into a slump comparable with the second act of John Travolta’s career (see Phenomenon 1996, Michael 1996, Battlefield Earth 2000, Be Cool 2005, and most everything after Pulp Fiction 1994 with the exception of Get Shorty 1995).
- Scientific Name: stayin’ alive, a.k.a. the Travolta
- Noticeable Traits: friendly, well-kept appearance, great dancer, excellent hair 24/7, but most of these things go downhill when they later come back to the job during which time they develop a fondness for gaudy neckwear (see John Travolta, 2015 Academy Awards)