Monday, October 4, 2010

Cubicle World Sucks, Comrades!

Back, by popular demand, this post was originally published on:

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

“Cubicle-World Sucks, Comrades

I couldn’t very well say that while I was smugly self-employed because, well, it just seemed cruel, not to mention just plain mean.

But now that I’ve re-joined the ranks of the employed, and am again spending my days in a cubicle like so many of you, I’m just gonna come right out and say it:

Cubicle-world sucks, Comrades!

Not only do I occupy a cubicle again but someone besides me now controls every hour of my workday.  No more lunch in the garden with my cats.  No more tossing a load of laundry into the washer anytime I want, and then taking a blissful 20 minutes to hang it on the line, outside, where the sun shines and the birds are singing.

No more sitting on the patio in the mid-afternoon to watch the bees coming and going, enjoying their busy humming.  No more naps on the daybed in the front bedroom sharing the sun spot with two cats.

Now I sit sit in a 4 foot by 4 foot square with 3.25 walls, two work surfaces, a shelf and a cabinet surrounded by metal and plastic and industrial-strength carpeting, everything in shades of brown, grey, or black.

I’m still new there so don’t know all the little idiosyncracies of the company yet, but I have already noticed the lack of decoration in the halls separating our little cubies.  Seems there’s some kind of managerial decree against posters, flyers, or anything else.  The hard outer walls are quite plain, too; not even a clock to be seen.   The lack of clocks forced me to bring in a tiny clock of my own because I stopped wearing a watch years ago, and I refuse to start again.  I depend on my Groupwise calendar to remind me of meetings, and I use my little clock to let me know when it’s time to go to lunch, or home.

Employees ARE encouraged to decorate – a bit – in their own cubies, with family photos and a trip souvenir or two.   I have noticed a few cubicles that are quite crowded with its occupant’s personal treasures but those same people have mentioned that they’ve been called “packrat” or told that their cubicles are “messy.”  Yet they keep everything anyway.

I like that bit of rebellion. 

So far I have not taken in anything personal except a tote bag that my mom got for me on her recent trip to  visit my sister in Australia.  It’s bright greens and purples and has a kangaroo on it.  I keep my walking shoes and socks in it and hang it from my coathook.

It’s the one bright spot in my little cubie.  So far.  I do plan to eventually take in some photos.  Really.  Every morning as I’m getting ready to go to work I think about quickly printing out some photos to take in and display but then I leave without doing it.

I’m just not reconciled to cubicle-world.

Not yet anyway.

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