If you’ve ever worked in an office, then you’ve probably come across the office drama queen. This person is multi-faceted in various emotions and behaviors: gossipy, conniving, on the verge of tears all the time and melodramatic. It can be quite trying to even be around this person.
We should note that the office’s drama queen isn’t relegated to just women. In fact, both men and women are guilty of having this distinct personality. Hating one’s job, believing the sky is falling and maintaining a high school mentality are just some of the characteristics of these people.
Although we tend to label immature individuals with such a title, it can certainly be given to professionals who have become way too emotionally involved in the company’s progress. This is because human relationships are part of the situation, and we all know humans are inherently emotional creatures.
First impressions are important, and an office drama queen will immediately appear that way the first moment you lay eyes on them. If they come into the office loud, if they’re crying at their desk throughout the day or if they’re whining about management then you know you have one in your grasp.
A Day of Excuses, Drama and False Hope
Here is the typical day of the office drama queen:
It’s Wednesday at 9:23 a.m. Everyone has already begun their day, except one person: Ruth Donaldson (our office drama queen). She stomps her way into the office, avoiding any kind of clandestine arrival or with discretion. The manager, Jonathan, informs her she’s late, in which she concurs but provides a 10-minute excuse. The list of excuses is immense:
"My deadbeat ex-husband forgot to pick up the kids this morning, so I had to personally drive and drop them off at school. Then I heard a noise in my engine, so I stopped at a gas station. It took a couple of minutes. I left, but I got stuck in traffic. It was really horrendous. Did you know the elevator isn’t working properly? I’m sorry. I’ll try to prevent it from happening again. Is it breaktime soon?"
Wow. Just wow.
As the day goes by, Ruth engages in conversation with the new employee, Diane. The two introduce themselves to one another, and they proceed to exchange pleasantries. After just five minutes, Ruth, without caring about her supervisor, enters into a long diatribe about how she is imprisoned in the office.
"The boss hates me, you know? He only keeps me on because he feels sorry for me. If I had enough money, I’d leave this dump. I hate coming here every morning. I lose sleep because of it, you know? So now I have to take sleeping pills just to get three hours of sleep. The kids just cry and fight all the time I take a sip of "water" from this bottle, which is actually vodka. It helps calm me down and perk me up. Are you a lifer here or do you plan to leave soon?"
Once the day has come to an end, and all of her colleagues begin to make their exit to the door, Ruth stays behind and tries to chat with the remaining staffers or her potential victims. Most people have gone for the day, but Diane has been the unfortunate one to be caught in Ruth’s vindictive and melodramatic web. Despite her reported hatred of the office, she stays for half-an-hour, not working but gossiping.
"If I were you, kid, I’d stay away from Fred and his gang of misfits. They’re mean and will stab you in the back as soon as you become a threat to their promotion. They did that once to me. I was on the cusp of a management position, but they cut me by the knees, and now I’m stuck in this godawful position. It was curtains for me, kid, you know? I’m shackled to a lifetime of mediocrity. But I’ll get out of this. I will! I promise!"
Ruth releases a salty deposit from her eyes and begins to sob and weep, making Diane very uncomfortable. The office is now empty, except for Ruth. The lights dim and Ruth slowly leaves the premises with her head down.
Solutions to the Office Drama Queen
As Marie Mcintyre writes in Business Management Daily, it’s about time the office manager earns his or her paycheck. This type of behavior is unacceptable in the day-to-day workplace. It’s distracting, annoying and unprofessional. Every person has drama, which is confined to off-hours. If not, then the company suffers in reduced productivity, and the office transforms into a toxic work environment.
Here are a few tips to incorporate if nothing gets done about the drama queen:
- Try to garner support from the top as opposed to middle management.
- Start a conversation with the drama queen and explain things.
- Be sure to clarify the roles and responsibilities that come with them.
- Establish a boundary of the work-life balance; don’t bring the drama to work.
- If nothing changes then perhaps a disciplinary review can be launched.
An office drama queen can be just as bad as an insulting, belittling and racist boss.
Have you ever dealt with an office drama queen? Let us know in the comment section...