If you want to study human behavior and connection, a work place is the best to do your ‘karesearch’. When it is about women, it even gets more interesting because hey! We are all different shades of the same species. Maybe that’s why you will never hear the men say, ‘all women are the same’. We range from the weird to the witty to the sly to the shy. The list is endless. Here are a few personalities you might meet at the office.

1. The loyal one: Ma’am has been working here for the past ten years and she doesn’t seem to be leaving any time soon. She knows everything about everything including where the boss’ extra pair of socks is kept and the days to keep off the washroom from its pungent smell. She knows all the dirty and success secrets that could earn her a high position in another competing company but she is loyal remember? She is married to the company and has been faithful through thick and thin as per the vows. She has seen employees come and leave as she graciously watches. She is the ‘last woman standing’.

2. The Queen Bee: The fashionista; the lady with three other pairs of shoes under her desk, each for a different occasion or purpose. The lady you keep asking, ‘hizi perfume zako tutazipata wapi? She has an attitude that matches her looks; fierce and bold. She knows her way around the office and work just as she does with her hair. Beauty with brains ay!

3. THEE introvert: She is quiet most of the times and you probably know nothing about her apart from her name and her post at the office. It isn’t until she has to sign a form that you rush to her desk to ask, ‘Haiya! Kwani you are married?!’ ‘Yes, I even have a two year old kid’ she responds. This could be someone you’ve worked with for more than six months yet you remain oblivious of who they really are. She is still a mystery.

4. The happy-go-lucky: She has this extra-ordinary charm and energy that amuses everyone. You just don’t understand where it all comes from. She is joyous, even on Monday morning; the long dreadful Monday, the miserable Monday. Yep! She will still have something to be all flowery about. She is the kind who shouts ‘hiiii’ to everyone and readily offers free hugs. You possibly would envy her free spirit.

5. Care-free one: She doesn’t really care how everyone thinks of her or even of her dress code. One day she is dashing and gorgeous and the next, she comes with her big unkempt hair like a crown on her head while wearing the same top she wore the previous day. Her schedule is unpredictable because she is in office for two days before disappearing for the rest of the week. No one really questions her because well, she delivers! Her work is on point and the management don’t want to lose her.

6. The story-teller: She’s the first one you’d notice upon entering the office. She is loud and never lacks a story to tell. It would either be a hot gossip story or what happened to her mother in law or just complaining about this or that. She gracefully works from one desk to another with her cup of tea and a snack, creating conversations with anyone who can spare her some minutes. The office is probably boring without her because the pin-drop silence is not your norm anymore.

7. The manipulative one: She knows your weak point and also for everyone else in the office. She is cunning and knows how to take advantage of others, sometimes while you remain unaware of her tricks. She can get you to do her work, to cover up for her mistakes or her absence or entirely throw the blame at you when she is obviously the one at wrong. She can play you at your own game and you won’t even know what hit you.

8. Mother Theresa 2: She is helpful, kind and very reliable. She keeps her word and keeps time. She is loving and lovable and that automatically makes her an easy target for manipulation. Her compassionate self is soon turned into a door mat as people take advantage of her humble self that is hesitant to ever say no.

9. The lazy one: Never keeps time. Never finishes the work. Never takes responsibility. Never keeps promises. Just never…The rest of you are still wondering how she is in the payroll to date.

10. Employee of the year: She is witty, smart and creative. The office regard her highly because her brain spills wisdom and spells intelligence. She is strategic and determined in her work. The management value her presence and thoughts because they definitely know she is the gem of the office.

11. The grumpy one: Always in a bad mood; sulky and snobby. Makes you wonder whether her hormones are super active. She is careless with words and any client would definitely appreciate not being served by her. She is just not approachable.

12. The newbie: She is young, fresh and green. Oblivious of the work environment, she is passionate and determined to impress everyone in the office. She bows down to the rest of employees and serves them tea if she has to. She has the energy and is not ready to let anyone kill her spirit. She has goals and will do anything to get to where she wants to. While the rest of you watch her and say, ‘atachoka tu’, the girl is keenly drawing her map to the top.

While the office might be an interesting place and a good second home for some, it also serves as a great learning hub. This includes interpersonal skills and how to deal with very diverse personalities that you may come across in your life. This is where you learn who to avoid, who is toxic to you and who to keep close like a gem. This is where you learn that people are never the same and for you to survive in your career, you need to establish who is who. That said, who are you from the above mentioned?

Photo Courtesy: http://cdn.tinybuddha.com

You are the biggest project of your life, the most important project of your life and you, YOU are the best person to tackle this project. Wear that neat suit, put on your shades, clear the dust on your shoes, have your sketch plan ready. Spread it on your desk, have a cup of delicious coffee beside you and start working on it. Don’t turn around, don’t hesitate, don’t doubt; start and the rest will flow. Work on your goals, go for your dreams, explore your inner self and make this project the best project in your life. Because you; there is never going to be another amazing human YOU anywhere in the world.

Be the mechanic of your life. Tighten the bolts in your brain. Wipe away the grease in your heart. Mend what needs to be mended and add the spare parts that are needed.

Slice out the unnecessary traits in you like the way the best chef would slice out his meat. Decorate yourself with humility, with kindness, with patience like the way Master chef would decorate his plate, then add salt pinches of compassion to that like saltbae does.

Invest in yourself. My dear, invest in yourself because no one will ever invest in you like you would do to yourself. Invest in your time, in money, in love; especially love. Invest it all on yourself like you are the princess that was born today. Treat yourself, do what makes you happy and let that smile never disappear from your face.

Fix your body. Fix your health. Fix your lifestyle. Go for a walk or a run. Go to the gym. Go to the beach and let the breeze hit your face. Eat healthy. Workout. Do yoga. Find peace. Discover yourself. Find God.

Paint yourself like you are the best artwork that ever existed. Paint it like you are flawless. Let the brush strike swiftly, with so much love and passion for yourself. Let it standout in a room of art, in an exhibition; be the best piece of art ever.

You are the best project remember? If cake is what you understand the most, then mix those recipes of ambition, of faith, of hope, of dedication, of change…let then become the best mixture of you. Let you become the best cake ever. Add glitter to it. Glitter of prayer, of love, of realness.

Take a deep breath. Take a deep breath again. Feel the air get to your lungs. Feel yourself. Then let it go. Let it all go. The worry, the past, the negative thoughts, the sadness, the anger, the frustration, the helplessness. Yes it is not easy. Yes it will need consistency. Everything needs consistency. So start it now. Start by forgiving yourself for the past, for your helplessness, for your imperfections. Now start working on yourself. Scrutinize your actions, your thoughts, your words… Talk to God. Talk to God again and again and again. Never get tired. Dedicate yourself to yourself. Make YOU be the best YOU that could ever exist. And when you start, never stop. Never ever stop working on yourself!!

P.S here’s a new project for us all. I’m trying to collect short stories of kindness and/or of humanity. Tell me your story. Tell me how you once did something that made someone so happy and in turn made you happy. Tell me about the small thing you did, the help, the hand you gave, the difference you made however small it may have felt. Tell me of kind messages that restores someone’s hope or a surprise gift that made someone jump in joy. It’s the small actions of kindness I am looking for. On the other hand, you may have been on the receiving hand. The one who was helped when in dire need, the one who was granted a smile by a stranger, the one whose day got better after a small action of kindness. That story too; I need it. The aim of this project is to inspire people on small acts of kindness, the importance of it in our lives and how it impacts the people. So don’t hesitate to send me a piece. Plus, I will keep all stories as anonymous. Just short paragraphs 1 -3 at most, nothing too long. Just drop it at my inbox (My FB page: https://www.facebook.com/Strokes-of-my-pen-409229692610588/) anytime. In shaa Allah by next week if i’d have received enough i’ll post here in my blog.Let’s make a difference. Let’s be the difference