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February 28, 1986

February 28, 1986

september 27, 1989

claudia olander

regional manager - west central indiana

born:

birthplace:

1987/04/04

chicago, illinois

age:

height:

partner:

alignment:

alma mater:

35

5' 11"

unmarried

lawful impure

northwestern university

BA, 2004

salary:

$221,000 + $176,600

base + bonus (2021)

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signature:

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overview

Claudia Olander (Born April 4, 1982) is the current regional manager of the West-Central Indiana Region and the former Coordinating Director for Special Projects. As the person ultimately accountable for the financial success of the large, five-hundred-million-dollar region, Claudia is downright vicious in her managerial authority and justifies her no-nonsense attitude as a necessary means to enforce the demands of her job. In reality, however, she mostly puts on a tough facade to disguise her own insecurities and somewhat fragile personality. 

Upon first introduction, Claudia is affable and deadpan even when informing her subordinates exactly how terrible she's just made their lives. She is a slave to PR, and takes her reputation and that of WonderMart very seriously. But despite her apathetic arrogance and the horrible way she treats the employees of Store #1309, Claudia lives a deeply unhappy life, tirelessly enduring an obstructive rat race she struggles to navigate, with people who disrespect her at all levels.

While on the surface, Claudia comes off as a morally bankrupt tyrant, she genuinely did start her job with optimism for change, even if she was broken by the system. She frames herself as a straight-up villain who silently and secretly bears the guilt of her actions, bottling her emotions into an unhealthy shopping obsession and a thick veneer of snark. In fact, she is rarely seen in anything other than her expensive suits, flashy accessories, and designer shoes, and has trouble phrasing her compliments in any manner other than a thinly-veiled insult.

early life & education

Claudia grew up in the wealthy suburb of Naperville on the outskirts of Chicago. Her parents were the owners of a reasonably successful chain of dry-cleaners across the city, a business her parents and grandparents had been building for nearly 75 years. Before attending Northwestern she went to school at the prestigious Hopkin's Academy. It was here that she developed anorexia after she lost a particularly vengeful student body election, where her competitor secretly spread an ironic smear job calling Claudia "too fat for a woman representing the student body." 

While she was in school, Claudia worked for her parents' at their flagship cleaners and watched idly as newer corporate chains slowly stole their customers, threatening the closure of many of her family's locations. After her father turned down a rival cleaners' generous offer to purchase and absorb the business, the owner's representative secretly provided Claudia a life lesson. The woman claimed that the only way to make any real money in this world, was to "stop fighting the inevitable," and "embrace it." Soon enough, Claudia began embezzling money from the shop, eventually stealing nearly $100,000 from the business, which served as the last nail in the coffin for her family's local legacy. Claudia, unsurprisingly, showed little remorse for her parents losing their business, instead blaming her father due to his failure to entertain the original purchase offer, completely ignoring the factor her own actions played in its demise.

career

Claudia started at WonderMart as an intern in 2013. She showed considerable promise as a merchandise planner, and like most of her colleagues, thought of WonderMart as a corporate structure to climb, eager to impress anyone higher up in order to get somewhere. Despite her wide array of skills and knowledge, Claudia's superiors still treated her like a rookie, ignoring her desires to move up. Claudia's ambition was especially hampered by her immediate boss, an egotistical, manipulative, callous executive named Dimitri.

 

Despite Claudia's industrious determination, Dimitri never wasted an opportunity to veto Claudia's ideas, often in a humiliating manner, covering up his own incompetence with meaningless buzz words and obstructive bureaucracy while directing blame to his own subordinates. Claudia's patience for Dimitri's antics boiled over, however, when Dimitri began implicating Claudia not only in his own insensitivity, but his own destructive mismanagement. After threatening to expose his ham-fisted ineptitude to Ethics, Dimitri, now genuinely concerned for his reputation, retaliated quietly, downsizing Claudia's department and reassigning her to middle-management where she was less capable of causing damage, i.e. drawing unwanted attention.

 

After five years at Head Office, Claudia, having narrowly deflected the brunt of Dimitri's wrath, was now reassigned for field work, a lateral-demotion that, while intended to demoralize Claudia, proved surprisingly fitting for her skillset. Channeling her inner authoritative ambition, Claudia reluctantly, yet assertively, commandeered the only vacant management position she could find: Regional Manager for Region #85, a forgettable stretch of suburban sprawl an hour west of Indianapolis.

 

After practically setting up shop overnight, Claudia's sharp tongue and no-nonsense approach to management won the submission of most of her new and confused subordinates, with the exception of Carl Kirkman, who loudly opposed her sudden and unexplained arrival. Not long after, the title became official, and Claudia was now Regional Manager.

personality & traits

Claudia comes off as incredibly confident, professional, and arrogant. She is often mean, stone-cold, and manipulative towards her employees, and for the most part cares more about the reputation of the company more than the welfare of the people who work for her. Despite her flamboyant appearance and vibrant clothing — punctuated by her outrageously vulgar sarcasm — Claudia is actually a highly competent administrator, and does her job extremely well. 

 

While her management philosophy can be seen as counter-productive and morally abrasive, Claudia is also responsible for singlehandedly pulling in some of the most consistent sales in the country and her region is probably the most unified in the entire state, making her far too valuable to the company to let go. She is also not without integrity as she does genuinely honor the ethical concerns of her profession, particularly instances of potential lawsuit concerns, and is reluctant to be associated with union busting or retaliation unless absolute necessary.

 

As feared as she is, however, Claudia is genuinely disgusted with the state of WonderMart's inept upper management, even if her complicity outweighs her animosity most of the time. She claims to be an advocate for each and every one of her employees, even though she (for the most part) doesn't give a damn about a single one of them and doesn't interact with them unless she has to.

In general, her aggressive practices and malevolence do more harm than good for her employees, which she doesn't seem to care one whit about. She rationalizes this behavior as a way to keep her stores out of the destructive aim of upper management, telling herself that she will fix WonderMart's endemic issues with due process that leads to better conditions in the first place. And if she can fix the system in the future, who the hell cares about the people that are already being screwed?

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"Why is it so hard for you people to understand? You're like preschoolers! 'Where's my present?', 'Pay attention to me', 'Give me a raise', 'Fix the heat', 'Replace the plumbing'. 
Do I look like your goddamn mommy? Grow the fuck up!"

character tropes

  • 0% Approval Rating: With the more likely exception of her frenemies at corporate, almost everyone who works for her cannot stand Claudia, with good reason. As such, whenever her subordinates, usually Carl, get one over her, it's quite cathartic.

  • The Dilbert Principle: Averted. While she's a heartless hatchet-woman who isn't above trimming the fat, she's a kickass manager from a business perspective (even Carl will admit this from time to time).

  • Belligerent Sexual Tension: With Carl. As much as they dislike each other, the two are always virtually on the brink of passionately hate-fucking. As carl puts it, "Claudia is a selfish, horrible, self-promoting, secretly drop dead sexy, dictator of a manager. And uh...it's a pretty effective combination..."

  • Desk Jockey: Carl accuses her of being this, and he's right. She constantly turns up at a random store for a day to let the employees know they can see her whenever they want, then promptly disappears, with her very large and expensive-looking purse in tow, not to be seen for weeks.

  • Everyone Has Standards: As unpleasant and tight-arsed as she is, Claudia is disgusted by how bloated and sclerotic the hierarchy at the company really is and how most of the executives involved in company-wide directives have never even worked in the stores they're responsible for managing.

  • The Fashionista: If it's not the suede Louboutin pumps, then it's the Gucci sunglasses and yellow gold accessories; if it's none of the above, then it's the seriously bitching Mercedes S-Class. And if her conspicuous consumption wasn't enough, she even has a vanity license plate which reads "Queen C", an abbreviation her employees almost universally claim stands for "Queen Cunt".

  • Faux Affably Evil: Oh boy, does she know how to turn on the charm.

  • Iron Lady: Claudia is stone-cold, but she perceives herself as needing to be to handle the endlessly demanding professional conflicts of her job.

  • Jerkass Has a Point: Although Carl is quick to criticize her tactics and war with her authority, Claudia is never hesitant to remind him that everything she does, she only does to keep herself and her associates employed, and that also means keeping the region afloat.

  • Karma Houdini: While Claudia's toxicity could've otherwise gotten her fired years ago, complaints against her are almost always swept under the rug due to her "irreplaceable effectiveness" at maintaining fiscal responsibility. Meanwhile, Carl is thanklessly assigned to damage control, with everyone blaming him for the constant mess she makes. Carl lampshades this by asking, "How do you keep getting away with this shit?"

  • Manipulative Bastard: Claudia displayed shades of this during her quick takeover of the region, quickly landing upon the things the employees needed to accept her sudden, unexplained arrival (for most, a pizza party did it). 

  • Mock Millionaire: Subverted. Even despite her deeply concerning online shopping obsession, she is paid seriously well as regional manager, and has no trouble financing her extravagances.

    • Claudia: "Let me tell you what real life is like. The men dry up, and the nights get cold. The only calls on your machine are from collection agencies about that pair of Bronx & Banco stilettos you never even wore. Everyone you know hates you. Your own sister drops your calls. But at least they think you look hot.​.."

  • Reassigned to Antarctica: Inverted as the rare unwanted reassignment that's turns out to be a reward. Claudia's demotion to regional management seemed to have been a perfect punishment on paper, until she realized she was not only happier in the field, but pretty damn good at it too. She might be a borderline Thatcher-esque tyrant who thrives in deadpan snark, but there's no denying she's utterlly merciless in her success.

  • Surrounded by Idiots: The demands of her job include dealing with the repulsive oafs of upper management while Carl undermines her authority at every turn.