It’s Shark Week! Which Shark Type Best Fits Your Employees and Co-Workers?

Is the week of Christmas the best week of the year? Nope. How about Thanksgiving? Negative. Well of course it must be that week vacation in the Bahamas, right? Wrong again. IT’S SHARK WEEK! No question about it. A week full of evolutionary predator perfection featuring jaws that could crush cars, water full of chum, and sea lions that just never saw it coming simply cannot be topped in my book.

I’ve loved sharks since the first time I saw Jaws. As a kid I had shark posters on my wall, shark books on my nightstand, and shark teeth on my dresser. I was a bona-fide shark aficionado. And though my interest waned a bit as I got older, thanks to the Discovery Channel I still take one week a year to relive the zaniness and sharpen up my knowledge.

Sharks are amazing creatures that are as varied as the people we work with. Hey! That sounds like it’s time for comparison run down! Here’s how shark types relate to different employees in your workplace (click the link to read more about each shark):

Great White Shark

Great White Shark

Great White Shark – We’ll start with the most infamous shark of all. JAWS. The Great White is at the top of the oceanic food chain. Despite that it’s one of the largest sharks in the sea, it is also one of the stealthiest. Its grey top and white belly make it difficult to see whether from above or below, and it’s known to surprise hapless prey by rising like a missile from the depths and launching itself and its prey well out of the water. The bosses we all work for are the obvious choices for Great Whites. They see what they need, and they attack it. That’s how they got to be at the top in the first place. Plus, they’re incredibly stealthy and surprising when you’re trying to text during work hours, aren’t they?

Hammer Head Shark

Hammerhead Shark

Hammerhead Shark – Maybe the most unique looking shark in the sea, you would think this shark uses its head as some sort of weapon. But in fact, that odd-shaped head is a highly sophisticated sonar system. With overwhelming accuracy, the Hammerhead can seek out and eat fish and other prey that are hiding inches below the sea floor. You know that co-worker that just has a knack for finding that one thing that no one else could find just at the right time? That, my friend, is the Hammerhead of the work place.

Tiger Shark

Tiger Shark

Tiger Shark – Named for its striped appearance, it is by FAR the most aggressive shark. They will attack and eat almost anything — and I mean anything. License plates, basketballs, alarm clocks, that annoying fish that won’t stop talking during the movie, and just about everything else it makes eye contact with. This could easily be that person that takes on every single project they possibly can and attacks it full force. Or, it’s the one with the junk food stash in their desk (guilty).

We could go on for days with this, so here are a few quickies:

  • Nurse Shark – Almost completely nocturnal. The night crew, of course!
  • Thresher Shark – Has a long, whip-like tail used to stun prey. This would be the task master of your workplace.
  • Blue Shark –The speed demon of the shark world. Maybe the co-worker that Alt+ Tabs psychotically fast.
  • Wobbegong Shark – Just about the ugliest shark imaginable…. No comment.

If you weren’t convinced of my love for sharks yet, let me just say I didn’t have to look up a single fact to write this post (save for how to spell Wobbegong – I’m not a machine). And just doing so has brought back a lot of memories and has me more excited than ever for SHARK WEEK!

Did I leave your favorite shark off the list? Do you have any more shark-employee comparisons to add to the list? Use that comments section and add away!

Great White Shark image credit to kqedquest, Hammerhead Shark image credit to * cris *, and Tiger Shark image credit to WIlly Volk.


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  1. KB

    Love shark week and love the post Jeff! Reading the descriptions immediately had me putting my colleagues into shark categories. 🙂

  2. Cybernetic SAM

    I LOVE SHARK WEEK!!!! I have always told Joe that would be the coolest way to go out… between two massive jaws of a great white! it would make a hell of a story, Q:”Dude! how’d she go?” A:” She bite the dust wrestling a 2-ton shark, it was one hell of a fight!” 🙂 Any way great post Jeff! I miss television for this alone, I wish I could pipe in cable just for shark week!

    • Cybernetic SAM

      Oh and if I had to pick what kind of shark I would be…. probably a Bull Shark, because they don’t have mercy for anything. It’s kill KILL KILL! The Bull Shark doesn’t fall victim to anything EVER! Or, a THRESHER SHARK because they have huge creepy eyes and a wicked sharp razor tail, the ultimate in shark badassery!

      • Joseph Giorgi

        Congratulations on choosing the most PAINFUL and AGONIZING death in the entire world as your final exit. While you’re being torn to shreds by a prehistoric monster, be sure to think of me — I’ll be reclining in a beach chair and sipping a Corona, far from the dangerous waters you were so eager to swim in.

    • JPorretto

      I know that if that’s how you go, I’d end every time I told the story with “….AND IT WAS AWESOME!!!!…..may she rest in peace….”

  3. Scooby

    Jeff- Shark Week?! I am NOT the only nerd who loves SW @ QLP. SWEET!

    Jay: baby nurse shark. Not for its biological demeanor…. but for all the crying he did last week over his “lost shoes”. Whatcha’ got “TP”?

  4. Peemo

    Shark week is the business.

    Now to find the time to watch it!

    • JPorretto

      You MAKE the time for shark week!

      • Peemo

        I wish!

        I’ve got a s*itload of kids. iCarly and Yo Gabba Gabba dominate the airwaves.

  5. amy

    Great post Jeff!

    I never would’ve thought of you as “a bona-fide shark aficionado”, the things we learn about a person in a blog!! I loved the comparisons between sharks and co-workers, very clever. With my junk food drawer, I guess I fall into the Tiger Shark category (no license plates in my drawer though 😉 )

    • JPorretto

      I’m like an onion, and this blog just peels back the layers =)

      You and me both on the junk drawer. I get nervous when I start running low…

  6. Mandy Kilinskis

    LK is a Blue Shark. No question.

    • LK

      Haha thats the first thing Jeff told me when I read this.

      Just because I can Alt Tab at the speed of lightning…

  7. Joseph Giorgi

    Excellent post, sir! Clearly, you know your sharks. Seriously, it’s impressive that you didn’t have to look up a single shark fact to put this post together.

    I love how you mentioned that tiger sharks will eat anything, including “license plates.” Any Jaws reference is a good reference in my book. 😉

    You’ll have to let me know if any Shark Week episodes this year are a “must see.” I don’t have cable, so I’ll have to pay like $2 or $3 per episode through XBox Live if I want to watch. I don’t really want to watch ALL of them, but I’m hoping to catch at least one or two.

    • JPorretto

      YES! DING DING DING! We have a winner! Someone caught the Jaws reference! I have no prize for you except the recognition of a job well done.

      Will do on the “must sees.”

      • Cybernetic SAM

        ACTUALLY the shark that I said I wanted to be (the bull shark) is the actual shark that inspired Jaws… They chose to go with a great white for it’s sheer size and intimidation factor. The Bull Shark attacks that constantly occurred off the East coast, India, Australia, and in fresh water were the muse to the shark fiction due to their violent nature and their lack of compassion for anything.

    • Cybernetic SAM

      That’s it!!!! I challenge both of you to a shark challenge trivia hour!!!

  8. Tony Promo

    I didn’t make any comments because I didn’t see a “hater shark” listed that steals people’s new Nike SB’s and pretends that “someone else” did it for an entire day. Nice mandals today, btw. Are those Old Navy? I thought I saw an ad where they were on sale for $3 this weekend. I hope you stocked up and also thought of Bret when you walked by the “GRAPHIC TEES ONLY $5 THIS WEEKEND” table.

    • Scooby

      They are from Old Navy… and what’s wrong with that? You wear camisoles from target instead of dego-t’s and we let it go by. Camisoles that match the color of your stank laces, I may add. Don’t thow stones in a glass house brother. Maybe you should start watching shark week and learn more about remoras. Its ok, we’ll accept you T.P. and if not, there are a few states that will.

      • Tony Promo

        Being the elitist liberal scum that I am, I’ve never set foot inside a Target. You also lost me on the camisoles/remoras thing.

        Also, you messed up the “stones/glass house” saying. Here’s a new one “don’t throw stones to hide your hands”.

  9. Amanda

    Excellent post Jeff! I love watching all kinds of animal shows on Discovery channel. I hope I get to watch some shark week.

    I guess I’d be a Blue Shark too….samples can make anyone Alt Tab like a shark! 😉

  10. Lauren

    I love shark week!!! AND now I know who’s desk I need to raid the next time I want some junk food! 🙂

  11. Jill Tooley

    Awesome post, Jeff! Is there a shark that pays super-close attention to detail and tends to be a hermit (whether or not the latter is intentional)? Because that would definitely be me. In shark form. 😉

  12. Kyle

    Shark Week is pretty awesome, but sadly I won’t be able to watch this year because I’m without cable for the next month or two until I’m back in school. =/

    Regardless, this was a fun post to read. I always enjoy abstract workplace comparisons like this. Great stuff, Jeff.

  13. Jana Quinn

    Shark Week transforms my irrational fear of sharks into a highly informed fear of sharks. I have respect for our natural predators, and I don’t go more than ankle-deep in saltwater.

    That said, sharks are pretty awesome, and their strengths cover a wide spectrum of skills. It’s interesting to note that they’re not all huge, superfast man-eaters. Similarly, those who are goal-driven do not achieve their goals with all the same tactics.

    To this day, minor seconds give me the creeps…

    • JPorretto

      Sprinkle in some Augmented 5ths and you have a recipe for a classic horror tune…

  14. Jen

    Great Post Jeff, I love Shark Week!

    I think my favorite are Lemon Sharks. They’re the social feeders, right? I always see them on t.v. in big groups snacking on chum.

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