In all lines of work, we have those experienced folks whom we look to for support and for advice. Mentors. They’ve been around the block and they’re here to let you know how things work. They are the best.

Usually.

Then, sometimes, you work with someone like old Joe Malone here. His heart is in the right place (though it might be the size of a basketball by now). A true work horse, always at work early, always willing to stay late, keeps everyone on schedule for breaks and lunches. And sometimes he (or she) can be adorably racist or sexist. It’s like having your crazy uncle over for Thanksgiving, except it happens daily and you have to spend hours near this person. You quickly learn the art of damage control as well as mind reading. You try to prevent Joe from spouting something, and you know how to make sure it doesn’t escalate if the words actually leave his mouth.

To the sages and wise ones that lead by example: thank you.

To the Joes of the world: I think the boss said he had an assignment in the back room for you, away from the customers and other staff. Mind checking it out?