Guess what colleagues at work think of you

Wednesday November 3 2010



Employees tend to wear masks when they are on duty. It would be naive to assume that what you see is who they truly are. There is Sam, for example. He is known in office as a quiet fellow who only concentrates on his job and bothers no one. The ladies refer to him as the ‘quiet one’.

Find him at the bar across the road, and you will meet a rowdy, boisterous character who will always be quarelling the counter girl over his bill several beers later.
Many of Sam’s workmates therefore don’t know his character. They assume.

And you; what do they think of you at work? Briana Rognlin, in the book, “What Your Co-workers Really think of You”, has tried to break down common perceptions of colleagues in the office. We hereby parody the book.

Social networker
If you are this type of employee, several of your computer Web pages will ever be on Facebook, MySpace and other networking sites, where you engage in updates long after office tea break at 10am. That is besides updating photos of your latest trip to Migingo Island.

The trouble is that some of your colleagues think that you are an office couch potato. You are perceived as less productive and not being focused.

The politician
You might be verbally vocal about affairs in the office, ranging from the diluteness of the tea, weakness of the TV signal, delayed salaries and ‘poor working conditions’ to unfair promotions.


You think of yourself as the ‘workers champion’ but guess what they think of you. They see you as an ‘office politician’, and therefore not likely to trust you. Politicians are by their nature of work, turncoats when their bread has been’gheed’.

If you drop on work stations of colleagues to not only say ‘hi’, but also engage in chitchat about who is due to be kicked to the pavement, promoted or how so-and-so sleeps with the boss, then you are the company snoop. You are the gossip peddler.

You will hardly be trusted. People know that since you tell them about others, you will easily discuss your issues to others too.

The bad dresser
Maybe you are the kind of person who rarely notices the dress code warning on the card invites to events. That’s how you frequently end up being the only employee to turn up at the company ball in sneakers, jeans and a campaign T-shirt, and wondering why everyone else is in a tie and polished shoes on a Friday.

Having no sense of dressing makes colleagues conclude that you are too casual about stuff. You are sloppy. You don’t pay attention to details.

The Introvert
You might be the kind of worker who only raises his or her head at tea or at lunchtime, or in the evening when closing work.
Any other time, you shut the rest of the world out by wearing huge headphones that blare reggae beats into your head the whole day. Maybe you are the most productive that way. But your colleagues think of you as a recluse, a snob and antisocial.

Know it all
Having an encyclopaedic mind is a blessing. But acting like you have answers to all problems, including Robert Mugabe’s love life, then your workmates could be getting sick of it, besides finding you unapproachable.