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Which department of the office should you be working in? The W1nners' club


Modern office life is generally underpinned by gross inefficiency and ineptitude. In his book The Peter Principle, Lawrence Peter investigates the idea that most organisations are staffed by people that are fundamentally ill-equipped to do the job they are paid for. We therefore spend the majority of our conscious lives working in roles that we were never really cut out for in the first place. Whether it’s because you’ve been promoted far beyond your level of ability or simply, ‘fell into,’ a job that has absolutely no fit with your skill set, The W1nners’ Club career guide might go some way to helping you decide what you should really be doing for a living.

Show it to your line manager at your next appraisal – you never know, you might even get a transfer.



The W1nners' Club

People think they are………

The god-like business guru that built the company up from humble beginnings in the first place. He or she risked all and burned the midnight oil over many years to create the growth required to turn the organisation from a tiny outfit that was run from the boot of a car, into the corporate leviathan it is today. You will rarely see the CEO strolling about the office but when you do, everybody quivers at the sight of them. The CEO eats, sleeps and breathes business and is constantly plotting the company’s next aggressive takeover or merger.

In reality they tend to be………

On the golf course. If you’re one of life’s winners that has made enough money to keep you in an existence of extreme opulence for the rest of your days – what else would you be doing? Just because the CEO has to attend a parliamentary committee hearing when the company is involved in a public scandal, it doesn’t actually mean they have a proper job in the company. The CEO is the figurehead of the organisation and as such, has perfected the art of chronic absenteeism whilst being highly remunerated in line with the company’s success. It’s a nice job if you can get it, but you’ll have to do a bit of work beforehand to get there.

Above position is best suited to…………

Unemployed people. Only somebody that hasn’t had a job for a few months can efficiently manage so much free time and not fall foul of a law or two.



The W1nners' Club

People think they are………..

The lifeblood of the business. No sales equates to zero revenue, which in turn means the business can’t survive without them. This breeds a culture of ever declining standards of behaviour, as day-to-day conduct takes a back seat behind the company’s need to generate much needed cash. Salespeople are always the loudest and brashest at the company conference and usually consume the most alcohol over any given lunchtime – mainly due to the years of experience gained in this area meeting clients for wine drenched meals that are arranged under the auspices of, ‘developing the business relationship.’

In reality they tend to be………..

Emotionally needy. The shallow confidence and desire to constantly be the centre of attention is all a cry for help really isn’t it? Anybody that continually craves affirmation of their self-worth quite possibly didn’t get enough of it at an earlier stage of life. Is the guy in his thirties that still does the, ‘traffic cone on the head,’ routine to impress his delighted colleagues really a legend? Edmund Hillary is a legend. He was the first human to climb to the summit of Mount Everest. Dave who looks after the Basingstoke area sales patch however – isn’t. He may have once paid a Soho rickshaw rider £200 to take him to Dartford when he missed his last train home, but Dave’s accomplishments need to be seen in the context of the wider human experience.

Above position best suited to………………..

Premiership footballers. Take away the Ferrari or the mock-Tudor mansion and you wouldn’t know the difference.



The W1nners' Club

People think they are…………..

The people with the strange facial hair and even stranger dress sense that come up with the company’s, ‘Brand Communication,’ messages (yes, that includes the girls as well). People in marketing are geniuses, yet no one else in the company is quite sure what their actual purpose is. What is apparent however, is that they manage to extort budgets for their shadowy activities by saying thing like, “whilst it’s difficult to prove ROI on this occasion, the campaign content was definitely, ‘on brand,’” or, “It’s imperative that we increase our share of voice this quarter,” at board meetings.

In reality they tend to be………….

Failed rock stars. Show us someone that works in marketing and we will show you somebody that was either in a band at one stage, or at the very least was an extremely devoted groupie. If none of the above apply, then they can’t possibly work in marketing.

Marketers or Marketeers (if one is feeling really pretentious,) occupy that strange meeting point of science and art. Art has no basis in the world of science and science in turn is the very antithesis of art. As a result, marketers are very much the, ‘illegitimate half-brother under the stairs,’ to both disciplines. If you are lucky/unlucky (delete as appropriate) enough to work in marketing, you should pride yourself on the fact that nobody has a clue what it is exactly that you do, yet everybody agrees they need to spend a fortune on whatever that thing actually is. It’s a bit like being a confidence trickster without actually having to con anybody.

Above position best suited to…………..

Children of school age. They’re the only people apart from marketers that can ask for money and receive it for reasons that are completely unknown to the giver.



The W1nners' Club

People think they are………..

The, ‘Men In Black,’ of the organisation – for reasons other than the colour of attire they insist on wearing religiously every day. I.T. people use a vernacular that is unlike any other language known in humanity. It involves lots of talk of bugs, reboots and cloud storage, as they chew gum and disconnect the latest ageing PC from a workstation before taking it away to some mysterious computer graveyard somewhere in the building where it will be dismantled or replaced.

Everybody loves the I.T. guys, mainly because it’s wise to do so. When the WiFi inevitably goes down and you can’t send out emails, only the I.T. guys can reinstate you as a fully functioning, connected member of the human race again.

In reality they tend to be………………

Laden with apathy. I.T. don’t generally see somebody with a faulty WiFi connection as a job that needs doing, you’re more of a pain in the backside to them that is getting in the way of the real reason they work in your office – which is to chew gum and ignore requests for help from desperate colleagues.

I.T. are more important than the Police, The Fire and Ambulance services combined when it comes to office emergencies. Whatever the crisis, nothing brings the office to a standstill quite like a loose connection to a dodgy WiFi router. The I.T. guys will always sort out your technical issues in the end in much the same way a lump of coal will one day turn into a diamond!

Above position best suited to…………….

A tree sloth. It may take several million years of evolution before tree sloths develop the ability to tell you to, “try switching it off and then on again,” but when they do, I.T. will be just about ready to deal with the dodgy WiFi router you told them about the other day.


Human Resources:

The W1nners' Club

People think they are………………..

The moral compass of the company. Unlike marketing, everybody knows what HR do, but nobody has actually ever seen them do it. “Speak to HR,” is the standard response you will receive from anybody in your office that doesn’t know the answer to a particular question – especially line managers:

  • Q: “How long after my start date will I become eligible for the company pension scheme?”

A: “Speak to HR.”

  • Q: “Can I have a payrise now that I’ve completed two years’ service?”

A: “Speak to HR.”

  • Q: “How long is a piece of string?”

A: “Speak to HR.”

  • Q: “Is it okay to support both Manchester United and Manchester City?”

A: “Speak to HR.”

…… get the picture.

In an economy where nobody knows what the hell they’re doing, HR know it all – we hope!

In reality they tend to be……..

A little unsure as well. HR are constantly on the defensive, without knowing where the actual goal is. When staff members play up, HR have to deal with the fall out. They didn’t necessarily hire the problematic employee and don’t necessarily have full autonomy to fire anyone, but you can bet your bottom dollar that they’ll have to mop up the tears and listen to the whinging when inter-staff relationships go wrong. Their job is a bit like that of a UN peacekeeper. They don’t have the authority to discharge their weapons in the middle of a genocidal war zone, but they’re ultimately responsible for keeping the peace.

Above position would be suitable for……………

UN Peacekeepers. The office can often resemble a genocidal war zone at times.



The W1nners' Club

People think they are……………

Boring bean counters. Finance people are the human version of the abacus. They occupy a binary world of 1s and 0s so as a result, they tend to view life in this way. Have you ever heard of a Trapeze artist, a Free climber, or Pearl Diver that works in finance? Probably not – that’s because they don’t take risks due to their very nature. They are simply there to monitor the performance of other people’s risk taking. You can forget trying to have a debate with somebody in finance because their universe is not subject to interpretation in the same way everyone else’s is. Something either is, or it isn’t – stick that in your pipe and smoke it marketing!

In reality they tend to be…………….

Completely mad! Don’t be fooled by the spreadsheets and pivot tables. Maybe it’s because of the greyness of their day job that causes people in finance to live on the edge in their spare time. If the sales team had half the psychotic zest for life that people in finance have, the company would be in the FTSE 100 quicker than you can say the term, ‘Pro Forma invoice.’ Finance people often wear a similar style of clothing to the people in marketing. Think tank tops and Farah trousers – but for entirely different reasons. If you’ve jumped from a plane at 10,000 ft. for charity at the weekend, or wrestled with an alligator in your gap year, you probably don’t care how out of fashion your clothing is.

Above position would be suitable for……………

SAS operatives, international terrorists or members of the secret service. Basically, anybody that doesn’t give two hoots about the period of life in between moments of near-death exhilaration!



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