Nathan James Page/nathanjamespage.co.uk
1. The possible axe murderer
Ian is a mystery. All you know about him is that he lives in Colliers Wood and occasionally orders bike parts on Amazon. He wears a USB stick on a lanyard around his neck and has skin the colour of porridge. You strongly suspect he eats those Tesco ham and mustard sandwiches at the weekend too. Rumour has it that when he got hammered at the Christmas party he let slip that he hadn't had sex in five years. This, you dismiss as unfounded gossip: Ian, surely, has never had sex.
2. The hardened veteran
Nobody's quite sure when Margaret from Finance started here, but let's face it: in those days, she was probably doing the accounts on a Turing machine. She has endured in much the same way that sharks have for 400 million years: by refusing to change, and going for the jugular of any upstarts who might give her cause to. As the social media all-hands enters its third hour, Margaret shuts her eyes, breathes in and thinks about retirement – due some time around the year 2030.
3. The creepy zealot
There's something strange in Lisa the newbie's eyes. At first you thought it was some kind of medical condition and you felt bad for staring. But a closer look reveals it to be something else, something far weirder, something you vaguely recall: Dear God, it's enthusiasm. And Lisa's got loads of ideas to bring to the table. She wants to 'look at' the department structure. She wants to get the company on Pinterest. Most of all, she wants your job. Tread carefully, you jaded, idle sod.
4. The indifferent freelancer
Neil's been working here for years. He has his own desk, his own mug – but he's never signed a contract, which means he doesn't give one solitary speck of faecal matter about this place. As you walk past, he minimises his Facebook page, puts in his earphones and looks at you – the pitiful salary drone – with weary contempt. He hasn't forgotten that time you asked him to do something at 5.01pm and made him late for his band rehearsal.
5. The dick in charge
You don't see Clive the MD that often. He lives on the other side of the country, in a rural idyll populated by disgraced tabloid editors and TV presenters. But when he does manage the four-hour commute into town, the office cringe-ometer goes off the charts. Clive calls himself 'the godfather of the family' with no trace of irony. With one hand he ruffles Ian's hair; with the other he grips Lisa with an escalate-to-HR level of familiarity and calls her a 'cracking lass'. You'd like to tell Clive to go fuck himself in the ear, but joblessness isn't your thing. Besides, looking at his picture on Linkedin never fails to cheer you. Sunglasses, Clive?
By Matt Breen, who's just been asked to clear his desk.
Illustrations: Nathan James Page