Deadpool. Batman. Superman. Captain America. Iron Bloke. Yes, we’ve all heard of these superhero heavyweights, but how do they relate to our real lives?
As comic-book movies are reaching the cinema again, we thought we’d look at the heroes and villains of the office, the people we meet every day in our own stories. Do you recognise any of these office superheroes – and villains – sitting at a desk near you? Have you just realised that you have your own secret identity?
Superpower: Spreading gossip
Oh, He-Said-She-Said, lurker of stairwells and a human ooze by the coffee machine, your only job is sow discord by gossiping about your colleagues. You think you are omniscient and take pleasure in others’ distress. The more you see your teammates turn on each other, the happier you become.
Name: Don’t Say Anything
Superpower: Unfailing kindness
Where other superheroes were born of childhood trauma, your identity was forged in parental kindness. Your earliest memory is your mother telling you that ‘If you can’t say anything nice, don’t say anything at all’. Always ready to defend and reason, you lead by example by being steadfastly good to those around you.
Superpower: Making milk disappear
The mistress of the vanishing act, Ms.Milker likes her tea and coffee whiter-than-white. She also prefers her cereal as sludge, drowned in her favourite liquid. Whenever you go to the office fridge and find that the milk is gone, or there are just a few meagre drips left, you know whom to blame; the villainess with a semi-skimmed soul.
Name: The Stockman
Superpower: Replenishing cupboards
The opposite-universe version of Ms.Milker, The Stockman does the work that nobody else bothers with, that nobody even notices, until they find that there’s no milk in the kitchen or paper in the stationery cupboard. Be warned, though. With all that heavy lifting he has muscle power and can wreak vengeance on wastrels wasting office supplies.
Name: Lady Hydrophobia
Superpower: Turning being unwashed into an art
Remember the song Lady Marmalade? ‘Hey sister, go sister, soul sister’? The lyric that Lady Hydrophobia needs is ‘Go sister, soap sister’. Lady Hydrophboia doesn’t realise that soap and water are her friend. She might be lovely and talented, but she can’t comprehend the nasal-devastation she’s wreaking.
Name: The Gentle Whisperer
Superpower: Utmost discretion
The Gentle Whisperer has a small and subtle super power: they’re diplomatic and discreet. Where other colleagues are too scared to confront Lady Hydrophobia, The Gentle Whisperer can conjure up a soothing comment on personal hygiene while in the queue for lunch or at the water fountain, reminding people that cleanliness is a wonderful thing without making them feel bad.
Name: The Buckpasser
Superpower: Avoiding work
Miraculously, this character manages to extract himself from any situation that demands hard work. The Buckpasser always has a handy excuse when the boss asks for people to put in extra hours, tackle a rush job or to own up to something. What The Buckpasser has yet to realise is that someday, when he needs help….
Superpower: Always available to help
Ever conscientious, Ms.Responsibility will take on tasks that no one else would. And she does this with grace, so she is not looking for kudos. She thinks virtue is its own reward. But this does not always endear her to the rest of her team, who wish she would step back and give others a chance (at least sometimes, because they are generous).
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Previously on The Euroffice Blog…