Cubicle Zoo

Do you wonder who your coworkers most resemble? Have you considered that you sit in a cubicle zoo, not an office space?

The Cheetah: Fast, sleek, but like the name says, a cheata. This is the just a touch too slick sales guy who slips in and out of the office in record time avoiding office time with the boss. He is likely to have a gym membership and use it . . . that’s where he picks up some of his “clients.” He does enough very well and covers up the rest with such charm you never know what hits you. If you are down-to-earth, you inherently distrust him when you first meet him, but somehow you walk away thinking that you may be wrong. Nope, he’s just that smooth.

The Penguin: Loyal, formal, rounded and grounded. Every office needs a Penguin. Penguins remember what happened in the company last year and 20 years ago like it was yesterday. They are excellent for institutional knowledge. They are also not likely to go anywhere until you push them out the door. They are NOT sales people. Stable people in stable positions – accounting back office, administrative assistants . . . they are also likely to have 10 pictures of their grandchildren on their desks. You may have to request they remove excessive crayon renderings of Sponge Bob. They are usually inexpensive, hold vast quantities of institutional knowledge and are easy to keep around. May or may not be particularly effective at their stated jobs.

The Ostrich: Curious creatures, the ostrich is a funny looking zoo member. Always on the go, flitting about as though there is a great rush to get something done, yet, doesn’t manage to produce much. The ostrich constantly looks busy and hides his head when trouble approaches. Perfectly content to maintain the status quo, ostriches can not comprehend what you tell them when you ask them to do something new. It is remarkable. How they ever learned how to drive a car is beyond me. . . . They probably didn’t learn it well so avoid parking near them.

The Crocodile: Lies in wait ready to chomp you. This is the best personality to guard the CEO’s door. The Croc feeds on mammals large and small if they get too close, but isn’t trying to cause any harm. They are testy, do not poke with a stick . . . ever. This is a lousy person to be near on a cube farm. Crocodiles should be in positions with enough importance that they are away from everyone else, mostly for the safety of everyone else. Crocs are there to guard not produce.

The Python: run, run fast if you have one of these. Pythons slither about indiscriminately sucking the life out of whomever, whenever. At first you think he’s a cheetah, but cheetah only kill those who are weaker and in their way. Pythons kill for pleasure. They are slick, slippery and very, very strong. Pythons end up in positions of power because they “kill” off those above them. Unrepentant about sabotage, nothing can impede a python’s path; he knows he can choke the life out of you eventually. If you think you have a python on your staff, get him transferred away from you asap.

Your corporate board? Probably Monkeys. Scared little monkeys flinging sh*t at each other.

Victor Kipling prefers Rat, Chameleon, Peacock, Bear, Rabbit, Lion and Lemur for his assorted cubicle zoo.

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