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The Office A**hole

The holidays are upon us (whatever you celebrate, even if you celebrate the war on Christmas…have you noticed that this war on Christmas keeps coming earlier and earlier each year…waiting for the War on Christmas in July). With the season comes a slew of hackneyed colloquialisms.

Now if you work in an office setting a number of phrases have been, and will be, bandied about by a number of people (most with a trace of irony). But there is always that one person that is just way too cheery (and unironic) when uttering some of the more popular white-collar phrases. I call that person the Office Asshole.

The OA doesn’t just emerge around the holidays. The OA exists and perpetrates their lunacy throughout the year but by the end of the year, it’s pretty much run its course. So much so that you may be moments away from throwing your Swingline stapler at the person.

I urge you to take pause and reflect before tossing the Swingline.

Holiday classics:

  • “Oh man, I ate so much on Thanksgiving I had to unbutton my pants. I shoulda worn sweatpants.”
    – Really?!
  • “Did you know turkey has tryptophan in it? I had to take a nap after I unbuttoned my pants.”
    – Everyone knows this. And enough with the unbuttoning.
  • “I think I have Seasonal Affective Disorder. It gets dark so early now.”
    – OK. The OA has probably been cognizant of the “fall back” hour for +/- 30 years, they honestly should not be alarmed by the early darkness. And NO ONE really likes the early darkness, most of us just keep quiet. And to those that may actually have the disorder, I apologize on behalf of the OA. Please note that this will be the same person who comments in the spring when we “spring forward”. It is almost as though the person has lived in a vacuum and never ever encountered this but in reality, they’ve been experiencing it twice annually since they were born!
  • “Merry Holidays!”
    – The OA attempt to be both funny and benign as they wish you a nice holiday.
  • “I’m going to be out-of-pocket for the last two weeks in December…”
    – This is the OA’s way of saying they will be unavailable. Should not be confused with Alanis Morrisette’s “One Hand in My Pocket” song.
  • “Go ahead and put that on my calendar for next year….hahahaha”
    “I’ll get to that next year….hahahaha”
    – The OA will rum amok and use this most irritating phrase, “next year”, with reckless abandon. I would not be averse to bringing people abusing this phrase up on charges at The Hague.
  • “You can get me that deck next year….hahahaha”
    – The OA is keen to refer to PowerPoint presentations as “decks”. An annoying trait any time of year.
  • “Yea, I am taking a red-eye back home for the holiday.”
    – The OA will refer to overnight flights as “red-eye” flights. They will exclusively book these overnight flights for the privilege of saying “red-eye” and bragging about it. It should be noted that the true “red-eye” flights only apply when traveling to or from no less than three hours of time difference AND it actually is overnight. If you are flying from New York to Cincinnati on the last plane out, that doesn’t count as a “red-eye”.
  • “See you next year!”
    – The OA playful attempt at wishing you a happy new year. This is notable if only for the gleeful manner in which the OA is saying it. You would think it was the very first time they have uttered the idiotic sentiment. It is statistically impossible for that to be true of a OA.

Traditional OA Classics:

  • “Happy Friday!” (said unironically with complete commitment)
    – An OA mainstay.
  • “Is it Friday yet?”
    – Check your calendar dummy.
  • “Who is up for Happy Hour at TJ O’Willie Wankers this Thursday?”
    – Invariably picking the worst bar in a two-mile radius.
  • “Hump DAYYYY!”
    – Trying to replicate the classic camel commercial completely ignorant that the phrase is played out.

Certainly, we have all said these, or some sort of hybrid, at one time or another. We are, after all, only human.

Somehow these phrases are much more grating coming from the OA.

One must not underestimate the intelligence of the OA: while seemingly immune to any kind of self-actualization, the OA often understands their ridiculousness. They simply don’t care and that is what makes them the office asshole. Left unchecked the OA can sometimes make it into a position of authority (aka. middle management) in which case you will be forced to suffer through these, and many more, banal injustices while trying to hide your contempt. Godspeed soldier.

But fear not, it is within the OA nature to move on after a period of time…one way or another.