Email circa 2031: My dear sons, beware “The Toxic 12” – #12 The PR Snobs

Hey boys

This is it! We made it. The last email, in this long-running series that began more than six months ago, is finally here.

So on the count of three, let’s heave a collective sigh of relief shall we?





Alright, now that we got that outta the way, let’s recap the first 11 folks we’ve talked about so far in this Toxic 12 series, which I carefully curated and prepared for you both as you launch into your early adult working life.

The Toxic “Ocean’s 11”

Photo courtesy of Screenfish

We started with what has for me always been the worst category of toxic office colleagues and bosses – The Hypocrites. They are the ones who say one thing but do another. One is hard-pressed to work with such folks cause you never know whether you can ever trust them. Chances are, never!

Next, I talked about the “Perfect People”. These never break a nail or a sweat, and never have a bad hair day. They always seem to do everything flawlessly, perfectly. Nauseating!

The third category is the Chronic Problem Solvers who are so addicted to solutions, you wonder when they will “OD” on this OCD! Then I moved on to the fourth group, the tough “Military He-Men“; those alpha-male types (they include women!) who execute everything with military precision, sans care and compassion.

The fifth prize went to “The Bootlickers“, those who would appease every boss and supervisor if it helps their careers, and won’t hesitate to step on you to do it! Then I talked about “The Name-droppers” who puff themselves up by putting it out there to anyone within earshot about all the who’s-who they know; in short, the show-offs!

For the seventh category, I highlighted the “Haters/Gossipers/Flaw-pointers“. These are the ones who really turn the atmosphere in the office rancid with their never-ending diatribes about others, conveniently pointing out the specks in others’ eyes, but not the planks in their own (quick, which bible verse am I referencing here?).

The Needy Victims formed the eighth category, and these are always looking for sympathy, but not because they genuinely seek healing or an answer before moving on. Instead, they just want to seek attention for themselves, sucking the emotional time and energy out of anyone ready to lend an ear.

Finally, I talked about the ninth to eleventh categories, namely the “Non-finishers“, the “Professionals” and the “Personals“. Trust you can recall these as I had written about them to you most recently. (If not, have a quick check through your email in-box history ok?)

So with all these toxic people already unmasked, who’s left you ask?

The Toxic “Ocean’s #12”

Photo by Artem Page on Unsplash

This last group that’s who!

This group of toxic folks is a real doozie.

These I call the PR Snobs, simply because they appear friendly, engaging, and are the kind you always see mingling, laughing, talking animatedly in parties and large gatherings.

They are ever the social butterflies, flitting about and thriving outstandingly in business and social network settings. They also function oh so effectively as spokespersons for the organisation, making them indispensable and highly valued. So you will usually see them fielded to handle public and media relations, or accompanying the top brass from one highfalutin meeting to another.

Oh, and they are also among the best-groomed, easily drawing attention to themselves like the models you see on Project Runway. Their impeccable looks give them that aura, that high school, trendy in-crowd allure they carry into the corporate world. It’s something many crave but lack the savoir-faire to pull off.

When the world wasn’t in pandemic lock-down modes requiring social distancing, you would find these colleagues hugging, warmly shaking hands, exchanging name cards, and displaying brilliant white-toothy smiles to all and sundry.

And you would be tempted to follow them, draw close and believe that they will treat you the way you see them treat others.


It’s all “PR” or public relations. You can’t get folks any more “plasticky” than these snobs. For them, it’s all about looking good and being with others just like them. They’re not interested to have those they don’t deem to be on par with themselves hang around them and dilute their “aura”. The only people they’re interested in are themselves, and those “just like them”. They will make use of everyone else when it suits them and when they need help.

So don’t ever think they want to befriend you when they come to you.

They don’t.


Parting Shot

Photo by sydney Rae on Unsplash

Now before I go, please allow your old man here to share my heart.

It’s taken me more than half a year to complete this email series because the truth is, I derive no pleasure putting this series together. These toxic folks had at various points of your dad’s working life crossed my paths and left me battered and bruised. So to pen this email series is like reliving buried memories that oughta stay buried!

Sadly, such toxic folks are still very much out there. And because of that, my decision to relive my memories is really my prayer for you to join the workforce with your eyes and ears wide open; to keep a lookout for these ‘devilish deep fakes’.

Now I’m not asking you to go all paranoid and eyeball every person you come into contact with. Just make sure to arm yourselves with the right lens so you’re not easily tricked or suffer under their tyranny in your work (and private) lives alright? Keep revisiting these emails (save them somewhere) so you can refresh your memories when necessary.

But you got this, you both. I’ve every confidence you’re gonna go out, sidestep these toxics and rock the world!

So go.

Just do it!

Your mom and dad will be cheering you on from the sidelines like we always do!

Okay, gotta go. Be well and see you back this weekend alright?


Luv you both to the ends of the moon and back!

Daddy Doofus

Leave a Reply