Like Gene Autry’s familiar refrain, the holiday’s most hallowed reindeer games will be in full swing in my office this month: the potluck, the ugly sweater contest, the 12 Doors of Christmas decorating contest and Dirty Santa. Of course, I’ll participate merrily … but silently, I’ll be playing my own reindeer game on the side. All year, I’ve been making a mental list and checking it twice, to match Santa’s hooved helpers with the personalities of my co-workers.
Dasher A dyed-in-the-hide Millennial, Dasher is young and spirited, and talks faster than the human ear can comprehend. His façade is cool and unrushed, but you can be sure that he spent half the morning (and half his paycheck) to maintain his tousled I-woke-up-like-this hairstyle and his scuffed-on-purpose hooves.
Dancer Possibly not a real dancer (go figure), Dancer never misses his or her cue to interrupt your concentration and lure you away from the task at hoof. Er, at hand. This person wrote the book on soft-shoe: pointless questions and meaningless banter that absolutely kill your productivity, even after Dancer has shuffled off to someone else’s office.
Prancer No one in the forest (or the office) can tell you what Prancer’s job is. But what Prancer does around here is just that: prance into the office, make small talk, retreat to her office long enough to set up a hair appointment and then prance out the door for several hours of holiday shopping. Deadlines are for the other deer, dear.
Vixen No one in the office questions what Vixen’s job is. Everyone knows. A doe-eyed babe in the woods, no matter her age, Vixen has a clearly defined role and she’s happy to play it. Her relationship status on Facebook is permanently set to “it’s complicated,” as several office bucks instinctively lock horns to woo her. Vixen will go far, with a professional trajectory that’s as predictable as her press-on hooves.
Comet Comet is out to do what comets do: set the world on fire in a blaze of glory. He’s forever polishing his antlers on the backs of the workaday deer beneath him. Comet is the first one out the door at 5 p.m. – never one to get dirt under his hooves – but when the rest of the herd accomplish the unimaginable, he’ll race to the stage to accept the accolades. Comet is also the reason rifles were invented.
Cupid Cupid shops online at work and listens to soft pop at her desk all day. She moves like a glacier. (You’re never going to get that report.) Every inch of her cubicle is covered with photos of her annoying fawns who call her 20 times a day, along with a convenience store teddy bear that her husband (#3) gave her 10 years ago. If you question her saccharine-drenched sincerity, she’ll say, “Well, bless your heart,” as she drives her arrow right through it.
Donner Defying all herd mentality, Donner is a dumbass in an otherwise respectable, high-ranking corporate position. Most of the herd speculates that Donner has some dirt on Santa. Hell, Prancer and Vixen pass the buck less than Donner. The truth is, even Santa has the occasional weak moment, and Donner, whose entire existence is based on dumb luck (really dumb), was the only buck in the room on promotion day. A pity buck.
Blitzen Loathed by the rest of the herd, Blitzen has bullied his way through his career, in thinly veiled overcompensation for his small antlers. A scorekeeper (he knows how many times you’ve come in after 8 a.m.) and a grudge holder (how dare you trade away his Dirty Santa gift in 1993!), Blitzen runs a tight ship, but gladly bends the rules where Vixen is concerned. He promoted her, after all.Rudolph Rudolph is the odds-on favorite as “most likely to get lit and dance on a rooftop” at the office holiday party (11 a.m.-1 p.m.) – which is a nasty detail to uncover about the Big Night’s designated driver. Rudolph, with his nose so bright, can’t help sticking it where it doesn’t belong. He’s an HR nightmare on four hooves. Still, does want to date him and bucks want to be him. He’s the leader of the pack.