Work Nicknames

I work as a Project Manager for a living, although I\’ve been known to use other names for my profession. At any rate, one of the tenets of project management (and this is more widespread than the PM domain) is what we refer to as the Iron Triangle: cost, scope, and time.

When I worked as a consultant I had a corollary of that tenet that applied to the projects we had: location, people, and the work. Much like the Iron Triangle, you need two legs of that triangle to be pretty solid. For example, if I had to travel to a terrible place (middle of nowhere Ohio) I better at least be working with great people and the work better be interesting. If not, it makes for a pretty miserable project. Now that I no longer travel for work, I\’ve been struggling with coming up with a new triangle. However, \”people\” is definitely one of those legs. At my current employer, the people is not a leg I would consider \”solid\”.

Thankfully I have one person who I can commiserate with who is near my age, and more importantly is very close in age mentally (i.e. we both have the maturity of 17 year old boys). One of our pastimes at work is to complain about everyone else. Since we do it often, and we do it over email, we\’ve come up with obscure nicknames to ensure that anyone who comes across our email has no idea who we are talking about.

Here\’s a sample of some of our nicknames, enjoy!

FIGJAM – by far and away the best nickname we\’ve come up with. For a definition see: It\’s a perfect nickname for this guy at work. He is the classic bully. He\’s all bluster and underneath he is incredibly insecure. He is the first to tout every little thing he does and has referred to himself as a \”hero\” before, in the sense of him trying to save a project on a downhill slide. But if you criticize him at all, he becomes defensive and curls up into a little ball.

Cecil III – This is really an unfair nickname for this person, as there was a Cecil II and a Cecil. However, this woman does it in the same seat as the original Cecil, and is also quite adept at weaseling out her work responsibilities.

Cecil II – Earned that nickname shortly after she arrived. Not only was she replacing the original Cecil, she was nearly as annoying and also very adept at avoiding her work. She was very open about her private life, and talked more about that than anything work related. She was a breast cancer survivor, who was *very* into the 3-Day Walk, but also was a smoker who bordered on two packs a day.

Cecil – Nobody beats the original Cecil. The nickname was one of those classic nicknames that evolved into something completely unrecognizable. Without giving away her identity, Cecil is a shortened version of another word that associated with something else that was an extension of her last name. I don\’t even know where to start with this woman. She loved telling people about how she was related to Abraham Lincoln and Tom Hanks. She was a very conservative Christian who didn\’t believe dinosaurs were real. Here are some good quotes I found by digging through old emails:
“This is just the beginning of the iceberg”
“I am just wonderful”
Conversation between her and a coworker in the next cube whose wife is expecting their first child around June 1st:
Cecil: June First is a great birth date
Co-Worker: Huh
Cecil: June first is a great birthday; it’s my dad’s birthday
Co-Worker: June 30th?
Cecil: No! JUNE FIRST… the 30th? Ha! She’d be dead by then.

Ummm… what? How is that an appropriate comment? Is she referring to his wife, or the kid? Regardless, what a horrible thing to say.

Beyond supposedly being related to Lincoln she was convinced that she was eligible to be a member of the DAR.

LC – Short for \”Ladder Climber\”. When we hired this guy, one of our colleagues interviewed him and recommended that we don\’t hire him because he was someone who was looking to climb the corporate ladder, and that\’s one thing that really doesn\’t happen here. People really don\’t go anywhere fast. But that doesn\’t stop him from trying to step on others on his way to the top. I also lobbied for the nickname of \”American Dad\” as he looks like an average dad from any sort of teen focused movie/TV show.

Little and Big McLoud – My co-worker and I used to sit next to each other in another part of our building and over the cube wall from us sat a mother and daughter who both seemed to be deaf as they had the loudest conversations, even though they were 8 feet apart.

Cougar – Was for a manager we used to work with, and it stemmed from one of our rare work-sponsored events when her husband showed up. He was significantly younger and better looking than she was. Sort of shocking actually.

WBE (Worst Boss Ever) – Thankfully this isn\’t my boss, but my co-worker\’s boss. He is what would happen if a micro-manager and a seagull manager had a child. Age that child 50 years and give him bad interpersonal skills, and he is what you would get. He is an excellent project manager, but couldn\’t people-manage his way out of a wet paper bag. While he isn\’t actually the worst boss ever, he certainly isn\’t very good.

So that\’s a sampling from my office. Feel free to share some of your fun and creative nicknames for people at your place of work. Those that you use behind their back are encouraged!







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