A brief survey of common Corporate Archetypes

A majority of my participation in the American workforce has been through the entertainment industry.

That said, here is a brief summary of the predominant Employee Archetypes I’ve observed during my illustrious and unprofitable career. Understanding that my observations are limited to the entertainment industry, I won’t presume to speak to other industries, however I do believe these archetypes are common to the vast span of the American workforce, and mass culture, by extension.

The Petulant Lazy Child:

This employee’s motivations for working involve everything except working. They are the prima donna, the self-involved and overly entitled spoiled “worker” who expects to reap all the rewards extended by the job while exerting the minimal exertion toward fulfilling a disciplined work ethic. These people are the “all glory, no sweat” types. They are lazy and unresponsive to normal requests and only spring into action when they are exposed to management-level examination. In other words, they typically need to be “snitched” out via email mass mailings in order to motivate them to do something they would not do for your lowly ass. There is no inherent sense of discipline or self-motivation…everything must be triggered externally with this archetype. Shame is their most powerful motivator because it degrades their vanity. Don’t expect them to do a job right for sake of doing it right. They will do the job right if enough high level management is copied to shame them into compliance.

The Minion Sycophant:

This employee is not high-ranking. Yet, their power disproportionately rewards them undue respect. The key to their success and corporate advancement lies in their “ability” to align themselves with a high-ranking Demon from whom they leech power and danger; the Minion Sycophant ingeniously sieves the distasteful but powerful habits of his Demon master through his own insignificant position in order to strike fear in others, a fear that only garners strength from the powerful Demon master. The point is that the Minion Sycophant, in and of himself, is a powerless travesty. However, when linked with his master, he finds himself channeling the dark powers of the beyond and is additionally able to wield power he would normally never arouse on his own. If you have balls, the Minion Sycophant is not threatening for if you are to put them in their place, there will be minimal repercussions as their master is too concerned with the workings of their own dark reign instead of that of their lowly minion. Dishonor among thieves.

The Mute Manager:

This employee has a managerial title which implies they must coordinate and manage personnel in the most efficient, wide-scale manner appropriate. It also connotes that said employee has proportional social skills required for managing people who are friendly and antagonistic, lazy and hard-working, and all other manners of contrasting aptitudes. Most managers in modern corporations have not had a hand in shaping their department. Due to mergers, full-scale upheavals and restructuring, they are commonly thrust into positions in which they inherited their department and thus, have not had a hand in shaping the personnel structure of the department they now head. Consequently, their subordinates frequently clash with their own values and work habits. This requires most modern managers, if they desire success, to simultaneously have impeccable people skills and standards of communication. The Mute Manager finds himself increasingly populating managerial roles today. Unfortunately, the Mute Manager has little ability to communicate efficiently with his underlings. Communicating is often misconstrued as “talking” or “verbalizing.” Hogwash. Communication merely means the ability to convey meanings quickly and efficiently. Communication is anticipating the questions and doubts your reports will have, and your holistic awareness of all possible questions and doubts are precisely measured and addressed before they even arise in your employees. Communication is predicting their doubts and addressing them before they even arise in their minds. This can be called psychic, but it is a simple human skill which most managers do not have. Consequently, most managers are bonus hounds. They seek to do only what is necessary in order to reward themselves and will gladly and criminally destroy any pre-existing corporate structure in order to achieve these monetary ends. This frequently means their communication is pathetic and may assert its absence as vanity and inconsideration. Which it is.

The Bonus Hound:

By definition, the Bonus Hound is a of managerial and higher ranking. The Bonus Hound does all he can to portray the profitable image that he cares about the company but implicit is the unspoken falsity that he has found a way to wrap his own fastidious avarice in the do-goody-rah-rah-plastic spirit of the entity by convincing everyone that they must do a better job for the team but the team’s performance is only measured in the short-termed attainments necessary to earn a modern bonus which is invariably contingent on self-imposed goals which generally do not exceed a Quarter in the future or directly benefit the company. It’s all smoke and mirrors. Anyone who can talk a good game can twist the truth sufficiently that they can convince idiots that something as trivial as measuring Widget A in suggested finite units will lead to an increase in the company profit over the next 3 months. Whether this is accurate or not is questionable, but selling your own managerial goals is all it takes and your BS wins if you do a good job. The ultimate test of managerial skill is not intelligence; it is suggestibility which is further emboldened by a captive audience, and most managers do not become such in a void. The captive audience is pre-established! A good manager throws his subordinates onto the great corporate altar of self-sacrifice and they flood forward like lemmings and the only one who benefits is the manager,because eventually, most of them will be the victims of a headcount reduction, which is most likely an ancillary bonus goal for another inconsequential moronic talking manager-head looking to get an extra juicy Quarter-end check.

  • jynxi

    Abandon Ship! Abandon Ship! It’s every man for himself! Get out now! ):-)

    PS You got my vote.

  • “think” should be THING. I think that I have something else on my mind right now :-)!

  • Yeah, but the point is we all have out hat at work. Me? Well, you should know that I still have little is any respect for so-called management. Oh, I am still the one that the REST of the office expect to ask the tough questions, get no real response and I laugh and say, “See, I told you so”. I still relish at the thought of trying to make management look bad. Rarely do I succeed. But I do like to try. Let me run the whole “business school” think off the track. Why in the hell would ANY one actually go to business school?! It is like, well, stupid. Academia knows nothing of the business world. Wanna know WHY we have crappy management at most places? Business school.

  • The thing is somewhere on this blog, you admit to liking your job. Well, all this is doing is stating the obvious. Like it or not, you fit into one of these types. We all do. Part of that is for many if not most of us, because we want to be good at what we do. It does not mean we get rewarded for it in the cash way, believe me on that, but it is the satisfaction of a job well done. But being in groups outside of work, volunteer to be sure, there is a toally different animal. You would be surprised to realize but there are people WORSE in volunteer environments than in paid work environments. Very strange how that works out.

    • David

      This is hardly exhaustive. I have many more archetypes, and I fit into a lot of them. Actually, I don’t believe these archetypes describe me. Perhaps another post I’ll speak of the archetypes I belong to!

  • All these types of people exist for only one reason – to make the rest of us look good.

    • David

      True, although some work environments are so dysfunctional that you look good only if you are dysfunctional.

  • Hmm, do any of these types ever NOT return messages or e-mails?
    Just askin, once again.