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The Coffee Run: What your coworkers’ desk ornaments say about their personalities

March 2, 2011

Often, urban professionals will attempt to soften the harsh geometry of their work cubes with personal trinkets that express character and create a sense of “home.” Too ugly or tacky to pass the spouse test, these items’ last collective refuge is in the office.

In this week’s edition of The Coffee Run, we’ll examine some common desk ornaments to gain insight into the personalities of their owners.

The Cannon Paperweight

Your coworker is a history buff, and revels in drawing melodramatic parallels to modern-day business strategies (i.e. the time he referred to a costly slew of no-compete agreements as “The Maginot Line”). The Cannoneer favors Scotch as a libation, sucks at basketball and has a tenuous relationship with his father.

The Snow Globe

Your coworker is an unabashed idealist. His or her mind frequently wanders to warm childhood memories that totally warp the reality of their real preadolescence, which mostly consisted of crappy TV reruns and imaginary friends.

Electrical Tape Outlines of Dancing People or Animals

Your coworker is on drugs.

Laser Pointer

Your coworker has owned at least one pet that you cannot legally bring to a municipal park. Every time he sees a ‘Star Wars’ movie, he cringes and informs the nearest viewer that sound cannot travel in the vacuum of space. He has ruined several dates by adopting a contrarian attitude about a popular truism. As a child, he had no siblings and preferred to sleep on cold surfaces.

Rabbit’s Foot

Your coworker is seven years old.

Hulk of Glass Symbolizing a Merger

Your coworker golf regularly, secretly (or even openly) likes Gloria Estefan and only drinks decaf coffee. He or she cannot hold a conversation that (a.) is not somehow connected to an extremely banal job function or (b.) does not make you want to ram your head through four-inch drywall.

Stress Relief Ball

Your coworker has really strong hands.

The Sports Figurine

As your coworker stares at this plastic likeness of a physically overrated but high-character athletic star from a bygone era, he imagines that hard work and determination can produce similar results in the realm of supply chain management. Similar, except millions of strangers won’t idolize or want to have sex with him. Take note: His marriage is fraying at the seams.

Anything That Lights Up and Isn’t One of Those Stupid Digital Picture Frames

Your coworker is on drugs.

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