Characters We Work With – The Wire

The Careereon Blogging Team
April 3, 2024

The Workplace can be a tranquil, quiet environment, although rare, as most are bustling, and often chaotic, as each business does it’s best to grow their client base, revenue, and establish brand superiority. For some, navigating through a tough, even toxic, workplace can be overwhelming. When it happens early in a career, and mostly all that you’ve ever known, you can not only become numb to it, you can begin to perpetuate the toxicity.  The HBO smash ‘The Wire’, regarded as one of the top shows in television history, shows just how difficult it can be to grow up and try to make a life amidst threats, violence and danger lurking around every corner. While we can’t compare even the toughest workplace to the environment in which the cast of The Wire work and live, but we do see how the depth of these characters, their wants, needs, fears, and tendencies are not dissimilar from those we know. Let’s dive in and see how well those profiled in The Wire line up to the Characters We Work With throughout our career.

The Herc: The Well-Intentioned Bumbler

How nice it would be if everywhere we went we were surrounded by well-intentioned, lovable people? Here, we have the Herc, our well-intended bumbler, who means well but will likely spill coffee on your important documents, break the copier machine, drop a platter of bagels walking into a meeting, and can always be counted on to spill the beans on a colleague’s secret pregnancy news. The Herc is the colleague who knows how to formulate a plan, but his execution consistently leads to little more than a comedic attempt that always needs the more skilled team members to make the necessary corrections to complete a project as planned and on time.


The Bunny Colvin: The Office Rebel

The team member willing to stand up for what is right, and drive change even in the face of pressures from above we call the Bunny Colvin. The Bunny is one who will not sit idly by and let the status quo stand if it is no longer effective, or as in some cases, was never effective. In the workplace, it is easy become desensitized to our surroundings and current processes, proceeding within whatever parameters and policies were created likely before we began at a company. The Bunny is not afraid to challenge the status quo and implement unorthodox ideas. While some may see The Bunny as a rabble-rouser, most see that he brings a fresh perspective to the table, often inspiring positive change. For those who suggest the Bunnies of the world are all talk, they are the small, envious minority, who actually admire what the Bunny represents. The Bunny is the Real Deal, willing to accept the risks associated with his effort, whether that means losing his pension, his job, even his reputation if it moves the business forward, and makes it a better place for all current and future team members.


The Bunk Moreland: The Smooth Talker

One colleague we see in most career stops is that of the ‘Smooth Talker’. We call him The Bunk Moreland. The Bunk is a true charmer, with the gift of gab, and whom we love to take out our top clients, and prospective clients. The Bunk’s innate ability to know what needs to be said to the client, what they need to hear, and how he needs to make them feel to keep or grow their business relationship, is unparalleled. Whether it’s negotiating with clients or soothing office conflicts, The Bunks we work with are best with an audience, able to spin a tale that keeps the team riveted, even if they straddle the lines of appropriateness. Or in The Bunk’s case, completely obliterate it.


The Omar Little: The Fearless Maverick

Similar to our Office Rebel, there is sometimes that Office Robin Hood, who will take action to do the right thing as they see it. That is our Omar Little, who takes ‘doing what is right’ to another level. The Omar is a fearless colleague, willing to throw himself in front of any workplace bus, which he always sees coming. He is a tough-minded businessman who is as transparent and straightforward team member we will ever have. He speaks the truth, as painful as it can be for some to hear, but he is almost always spot-on. The Omar knows, as do the rest of us, that his vocal and stubborn nature has cost him career opportunities, but he is unphased. Like our other rebel, The Bunny, The Omar accepts the risks of his actions to do what he believes is right, and thanks to him, he is responsible for greater change than just about anyone we’ve ever worked with.


The Stringer Bell: The Cunning Strategist

Our boss with the brilliant mind for business is The Stringer Bell. For years, we watched him working closely with the C.E.O., learning and growing his own reputation as the future leader of the business. His cool demeanor and uncanny ability to look ‘big picture’ while everyone else is mired in the weeds is amazing. The Stringer not only understands our business, but we learn over time that he is a shrewd, even ruthless leader, who does not mind a back-handed deal here and there if it’s a win for the business. Having seen him in action, we suspect the Stringer may actually be the real C.E.O., pulling the strings of the current Puppet C.E.O. Maybe that’s how he got the name ‘Stringer’.


From the toughest neighborhoods of Baltimore to the action-packed aisles within our office, we see time and time again that every dynamic has people at its core. Only people can influence an environment, bringing their unique personalities, attitudes, and experience, even baggage they carry. ‘The Wire’ has been watched and rewatched by millions of fans. Other than first-responders, most of us thankfully will not face the real-life dangers that the subjects of this hit show faced every day. But we can see that each is unique, and have great similarities to those we see, never captured on screen. And those Charmers, the Bumblers, Cunning Strategists, Rebels, Fearless Mavericks, and Survivors, we see are just people, and many of the people we call The Characters We Work With.


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