Congratulations! Your horrendous behavior in the workplace has landed you in this Human Resources seminar. Our HR program uses the JDGS or “Jim Davis Grading System” to provide examples for identifying workplace threats. We’ve ranked the recurring Garfield characters below as a “beware” guide for adjusting your own behavior. We all hate Mondays, but that is no excuse to be a grumpy Garfield to your co-workers. It’s important to keep your anger appropriately stored and squared away, like leftover lasagna in Tupperware with your name on it. Let’s get started, especially since completion is mandatory!
17. Grandma Arbuckle
Grandma Arbuckle is in retirement and now a greeter at Wal-Mart, with a very low likelihood of workplace violence. The only thing anyone could blame her for was gossip. She absolutely lives for it. It’s actually caused problems with some of the customers, since her questions are far too probing. A manager at the nearest location was having an affair with someone in the warehouse where she worked, and that gossip alone absolutely made her month. It was like instant Christmas for Grandma Arbuckle. Besides occasionally pocketing batteries for the “clicker,” Grandma Arbuckle is mostly harmless.
Yes, this is Garfield’s teddy bear and best friend. Innocent, right? Wrong. Never disregard potential threats in the office. Sometimes it’s the quiet ones that suddenly lash out with a stapler. There’s mischief brewing in those lifeless eyes, black eyes, like a doll’s eyes. They might not respond to your email out of spite. They might not even talk to you. Then again, Pooky can’t talk. The worst you might get is a passive-aggressive door slam, if Pooky can even reach the knob.
Who doesn’t love Odie? Sure he can be mischievous towards Garfield, but this is often in retaliation for some annoying-as-fucking prank Garfield has pulled. He mostly wants to just hang around you and happily drool. The worst Odie might do is accidentally rummage through your desk looking for treats or chew your desk calendar up. Property destruction and vandalism is never tolerable. He’s a dog, what do you want?
Lyman disappeared from the Garfield newspaper strip in 1983 and hasn’t been seen since. Every company worries about that one distant disgruntled past employee unceremoniously fired, the one who promised to return while being carried out by security. Who else has been sending your office cryptic threats pasted together with individual letters cut from People magazine? It has to be Lyman, with his classic antagonist mustache and misleading smile. Report any tactics of intimidation, especially if Lyman begins standing across the street from the office “reading the newspaper” wearing nothing but a peacoat and mirrored sunglasses.
13. Irma the Waitress
When you work in service and people don’t tip, it is understandably upsetting and tempting to seek revenge. That’s what lands Irma in trouble every time. She has thrown mugs at non-tippers, has even followed them out screaming. She has poured cement mix into gasoline tanks, and has not washed her hands when serving rude customers. Any minor upset with staff will result in her giving a month’s long silent treatment, as though conversation with her was a fucking treasure. Best just to nod and smile at her small talk. Do not accept her Facebook friend request.
Garfield is likely too lazy to ever actually cause any harm. He is mostly a constant grump, which honestly fits into most American corporate culture. But he also has a long memory and is constantly biding time for his own revenge. He has these ominous lists in his room, scribbled on the back of long CVS receipts, new names added each week after any minor altercation. What is he planning on doing with those lists? You go out of your way to be nice to Garfield, but it doesn’t seem to work. Nothing makes Garfield happy, except when it’s 4:59pm, when this lazy cat becomes an Olympic runner heading for the door.
11. Garfield’s Mother
Garfield’s Mother is the one that’s been around forever, employed since day one. And somehow she is the biggest bully of them all. Nearing complete bitterness and dripping with cruelty, Garfield’s Mother is every judgmental co-worker that you’ve ever worked with. They call you unwanted nicknames. They talk about you behind your back. But they also eat garbage from the back courtyard of an Italian restaurant, so you try not to judge. There’s clearly something wrong going on here. They smell like old halibut. Despite their personal hygiene, Garfield’s Mom is still employed since the company somehow can’t function without her.
Everyone knows a short king constantly trying to prove themselves, and that’s Squeak the mouse. Way, way too sensitive. Always getting into fights in the parking lot, or challenging people over any perceived threat. Overdoes it with the cologne. One time at a work conference, Squeak pulled a dude’s clip-tie off and threw it into a corporate fountain. You don’t think Squeak would ever actually get into a real brawl, but he’s reckless. Too reckless. Squeak was an unfortunate choice as a new “work lunch friend” during the first week or so. You’ve avoided him ever since, even though he hits you up on Slack all the time about your lunch plans.