Recently LinkedIn carried out a global survey on office pet peeves and unsurprisingly India was the most peeved country in the world, with professionals selecting 19 of 38 peeves listed. Unsurprising because only in India can you come across such a diverse selection of uniquely irritating, annoying, exasperating, provocative ….peevish stereotypes that make you want to jump off the mezzanine floor, commit murder in broad daylight or worse-quit a job you otherwise like. Remember HARI SADU?. The campaign by Draft FCB Ulka was a big hit because it reverberated with the hapless Indian office-goer (or is it sufferer?)

Here are my top get-on-my-nerves stereotypes that exist in every Indian office. Can you identify any of these in your workplace?

1)The ‘munshiji’ boss:  The ‘how-did-he-get-here’ boss whose only purpose is to be an oily, grinning, over-pleasing ego massager of senior management in the  manner of the ‘evil munshiji’ in 70’s Bollywood masala films. It takes you all of 15 days of working with him to realise that all he does is to say ‘yes sir, thank you sir, you’re the boss, sir’ with gusto, provide general entertainment by making blindingly obvious observations (‘revenue is falling because uhm…the product isn’t selling, right?) and solving crossword puzzles (which he is surprisingly good at). His core competence? Making your life miserable by stealing your ideas, showing his bosses that you are more of a fool than he is (like that’s possible) or asking you to ‘research’ the latest clues in the daily Times crossword.

2) The  IIT,IIM IIII…boss: The diametric opposite of Munshiji and even more unfortunate superior to have. The over-competent, over-smart, over-working, over-everyone boss who looks down at you because you don’t have that brand name degree, because you don’t report sharp at 5 am and leave at 9pm, sometimes just because ‘average’ people like you exist in a world that should have been populated by brilliance. We Indians have grown up in the caste system and in the modern class system he is the brahmin and you, with your almost-A-grade-B-school degree, are untouchable. Doesn’t know the meaning of team-work, family or other priorities and prone to social awkwardness- one of these types actually wished me ‘many happy returns’ on my wedding day!

 3) The office ‘lech’: Every office has atleast two. Strategically positioned as one in senior management and one  as a too-close-for-comfort colleague. Tends to be North-Indian, from engineering college and very uhm…’unpresentable’. Sports outlandish 80’s fashion, loud ‘munni badnam hui’ mobile ringtones and a tell-tale redness of eyes (due to failed attempts at x-ray vision?). Doesn’t know the meaning of ‘eye-contact’, leaves a trail of obvious drool and hovers around you in a manner that you feel you should be armed with a fly-swatter at all times.   

4)The office ‘hottie’: Why does she wear clothes that make her look good? Why does she have a great bod even though she eats french fries all the time? Why do I have a ‘well-endowed’ figure despite surviving on salads and diet coke? Why does she have to talk so much to the guy I like- so what if he’s her boss? Why does she wear so much make-up? Why is her hair so long? Did she get a boob job- those can’t be real! Why is she not married? Why doesn’t she get pregnant? How can she have kids and still be so slim?….really such women should be banned for elevating office stress levels!

 5) The ‘amma’ brigade: They used to be the well-meaning, if a little irritating free- advice-giver aunties who said things like’ bachche time se ho jaane chahiye’. But the new ‘amma brigade’ is the smug married office colleague who struts into office at 9:30 and leaves promptly at 5:30. Because hello, she has a life, she has kids and yes, she is your boss- she can and does have it all.  And on top of that she has obvious personalitydisorders and is atleast 30 kgs overweight- all your efforts of dieting and being sunny and agreeable are a big waste. You’re stuck in a dead-end job with old Tommy for company on late rainy nights (Tommy being the pet dog-what did you think?).

Thinking of jumping off mezzanine floor right now! 

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