09/29/2015 05:27 pm ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

The Six People Lurking in Your Employee Lunchroom


I've worked at various businesses around the Midwest for, oh, two or three hundred years now.

Although every job is different, they all have had some things in common -- besides computers and despair, that is.

Every workplace has a lunchroom. And in each lunchroom, there among the rows of tables, chairs and filthy microwaves, are certain individuals. Here at Miserable Cubicles Incorporated, I've identified these folks. Read on for your handy guide to "The Six People Lurking in Your Employee Lunchroom."

1. Protein Pete
PP arrives first thing each morning and spreads out his array of fruits, powders and organic kale. Next, he spends 40 minutes of company time whipping up a slimy green concoction that he sips twice, then stores -- uncovered and indefinitely -- in the communal fridge. Protein Pete specializes in Ninja Blenders, rotten bananas, and annoying the hell out of everyone with unsolicited nutritional advice.

2. Coffee Pot Carl
Carl got coffee.

You got none.


That's because instead of following standard lunchroom etiquette and making more coffee after he poured the last cup, Carl went back to his desk, strolling cheerfully past the "If you drink the last of the coffee, please make more" sign.


You suck, Carl.

3. Loud Linda

In a good mood? You won't be for long. Loud Linda has arrived to inform everyone in shouty capital letters about the TRAFFIC, the WEATHER, and her RIDICULOUS WORKLOAD. Loud Linda: She's the reason God made earbuds.

And vodka.

4. TMI Tonia
Not to be outdone by Linda is TMI Tonia. Join her by the water cooler, where she'll continually share too damn much information with anyone brave enough to walk into the room. Her pants size. Her sex life. Her latest colonoscopy. We know all about it. And more.

So much more.

5. Dirty Dishes Dan
Our boy Dan likes to leave his soiled plates "soaking" in the sink, waiting on the perfect time -- Christmas? Easter? The zombie apocalypse? -- for someone else to wash them. It's a happy world, Dan's is, free of responsibility and common decency, where a guy doesn't deal with his own messes.

It's a world with his mom, apparently.

6. Scorched Salmon Sally
Sally loves fish.

So Sally brings fish.

Sally overcooks said fish in the microwave, reducing it to a rubbery puck and producing an odor that causes everyone in the room to gag and seriously consider the possibility of assault with office supplies.

Yes, Sally loves fish. But Sally is in danger of death.

By paper clip.

So there you have it. Six obnoxious people from your lunchroom and mine, all of whom specialize in making our workdays just a little more wretched.

How do you get through it? We at Miserable Cubicles Incorporated recommend earbuds, a "white noise" playlist, and the knowledge that one day you will retire.

In 20, 30 years or so.

Now, if you'll excuse me, my break's almost over and I really need to grab a cup of ...

Dammit, Carl.