Every office has a group of "Plastics" that can be comparable to those in the movie, Mean Girls. That movie is still one of my favorites. It not only demonstrated how "high school" politics play out, but also college and the typical office as well.Within an office or department, there will always be a clique or group of people that stay ahead of the pack. Let's take a look at the office Plastics.
The Boss (aka Regina George played by Rachel McAdams)
The head honcho of the team. This could be your direct manager or the person that leads your department, but sometimes this person is not so easily recognized. It could be someone that doesn't actually lead the team, but has strong influence on those in power. Consider in the movie how Regina manipulates her principal, teachers, parents, boyfriend and girlfriends to get what she wants. She had all of the key stakeholders in her life wrapped around her little finger. Who has the most influence on your boss or team leaders? This person might just be your Regina George.
What else was interesting about Regina? Well, everyone wanted to get to her, but not everyone could. Everyone wanted to impress her. And everyone wanted to be liked by her. Who might this be in your office? Is there someone on your team that everyone wants to talk to? Is there a person whose actions (small or large) have a direct affect on the entire team or that the team follows the actions of easily?
I urge you to find out who your office Regina is and determine the relationship you have with that person. Just remember, the queen bee, with some effort, can always be dethroned.
The Newcomer (aka Cady Heron played by Lindsay Lohan)
Speaking of being dethroned, let's discuss another key person in the movie, Cady Heron. If you don't remember from the movie, Cady actually gained two friends to help her dethrone Regina and replaced Regina as queen bee. We can see Cady as the new employee that has plans to run the office. This person has to put in extra effort, much like Cady did in order to fit in. The newcomer has a great opportunity to be apart of the "IT" team... or not. Lot's of pressure is placed on this person and if they want to be apart of the clique they will need to learn about the group, take on certain traits of the group, learn how to maneuver around office politics and develop a group of allies to help them (like the friends Cady used and later ditched). Cady needed to learn the rules and ins and outs of the group, work closely with the current queen bee then strategically make her moves to gain the throne.
The Competitive Brown Noser (aka Gretchen Wieners played by Lacey Chabert)
We can't forget Gretchen, now can we? Who is the Gretchen Wieners of your group? This person is the all around over achiever and because of this, she knows the whats what and who's who around the office. This person arrives to work early, leaves late and lives to work... for the boss. This person is also always looking for a leg up on YOU. This person will either be a complete brown noser, constantly looking for ways to show their worth or extremely competitive. This person wants to be the boss, but doesn't quite make it that far. A big reason for this is that people do not really like or trust them. You can't trust a kiss up and you'll notice in the movie that Gretchen was shown to be the least liked of the group. If you think about it, you'll recognize this person or persons pretty quickly.
The Pretty (or Handsome) Socialite (aka Karen Smith played by Amanda Seyfried)
In contrast to our Gretchen of the group, this person is very likable. This person comes to work, socializes the majority of the time and may even get a little work done. Despite their lack of actual work and contributions to the bottom-line, this person will receive raises, promotions and other advantages because everyone wants to keep them around. It is very important to identify who this person is and to make sure you demonstrate extra kindness to them, since everyone likes them. The other thing you will need to be sure to do is, to tell them nothing you wouldn't want spread around the office. Karen and Gretchen share this similarity in that they cannot be trusted, though with Karen, she just talks so much that your secret is bound to slip out. This can be used to your advantage in order to spread the positive things you do.
Lastly you know there are "outsiders". Those that keep trying to get ahead but just aren't able to for some reason. If you can't spot this group, you might just be a part of it.
I hope you've enjoyed this comparison and best wishes to all of you in your careers!