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What Halloween Characters Do You Have At Work?

By Andy McCabe, Psy.D.

They�re all around us, all the time, but we don�t recognize them because they wear business suites, sport jackets, dresses, high heels, or maybe sneakers and dungarees. They�re the men and women we work with who are hiding their true identities in the workplace. Let�s see if we can figure out who they really are.

The Fairy Princess: She�s beautiful and knows it; because of her looks and beguiling smile, men bosses look the other way when she comes in late or doesn�t pull her fair share. If her boss is a woman, she may be in the deep end of the pool without her water wings; however, often she�s so good at manipulating that, if she can find a chink in the woman�s armor, she and the boss will become best buds.

The Frog: The Frog is usually a man, and as annoying as a pesky mosquito on a hot summer night. He just doesn�t go away! Questions, stories, and yes, like the frog � ribit, ribit � he repeats himself. You�re busy, have lots to do and you see the frog coming but there�s nowhere to hide. Ouch! You know it�s going to be painful so you head for the men�s or ladies room and pray he�ll be gone when you get back.

Richard Nixon: He talks, seemingly without taking a breath, in a monotone voice that would be perfect for hypnosis commercials. He thinks he knows everything and that you want to hear him blab on and on about himself and how brilliant he is. Double ouch! If you have the misfortune of sitting next to him at a wedding, within minutes you will want to kill yourself.

Lance Romance: If Lance and the Fairy Princess ever married, they�d never get to work on time because they�d spend too much time fighting over the mirror. He�s smooth, charming, good looking and like the Princess, he knows it and does not have to follow the rules meant for mortal men. In his mind, he�s a god and should be treated as such. No hair on his head would dare be out of place and he can climb mountains without getting wrinkled or sweating. If he�s single and the boss is his wingman, you might want to buy the large bottle of Advil or look for another job.

General George Patton: Usually a guy, but some women could also wear this costume. Neat, polished, no nonsense, he strongly believes smiling, or laughing, at work should be avoided and he lives in the past: the days of glory. When the ships were wooden and the men were iron. As opposed to today�s iron ships and wooden men. He likes to reminisce when you have a deadline and alligators chomping at your ankles. If he�s the boss, you smile, nod appropriately, and know you�re going to have to stay late because he�s enchanted by the sound of his own voice.

Calamity Jane: Nice person and a good heart; however, she�s an elephant in a china shop. When she enters the room, the anxiety level increases because you know something is going to go wrong, very wrong. The one time she uses the copier, it blows up and you have to evacuate the building. Once she flushed the toilet and it wouldn�t shut off. The entire third floor flooded. She�s always apologetic.

The Ghoul: He or she is the walking dead. They hate their job, life, their spouse, children, Mother�s Day, apple pie and anything funny! They don�t walk, they shuffle and never smile. Their skin is so white, they look like they were just released from an extended prison stay, and they usually wear the same clothes: they think nobody notices. The Ghoul has actually died on the job long ago and hasn�t had an original idea since sophomore year in high school.

So, do you recognize one or more of the Halloween characters hiding out where you work? If you do, make sure you give them a piece of candy and wish them � Happy Halloween!

Andy McCabe, Psy.D., graduated from the Rutgers School of Applied and Professional Psychology. He is a life coach and has presented programs on stress management to educational, health, law enforcement and corporate groups, as well as for the United States Navy. He is the author of The Gifted One: The Journey Begins, available at and other fine booksellers.

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