Monday, October 4, 2010

Keepin’ it Real – in Cubicle-World

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

Monday, July 19, 2010

Keepin’ it Real – in Cubicle-World

I’ve been feeling a little guilty about my last post.  True, I still believe that cubicle-world sucks.  And I’d rather not have a day job but, at the same time, I am incredibly lucky to have it, in this economy, when so many people are out of work, and have been for weeks, months, or a year or more.  THAT sucks!

And now that I’ve complained and whined about the stuff I don’t like at my new job, let me tell you about some of the stuff I DO like about my new job.

The people.  As a group they are great.  Very nice – the biggest wig will say hello to you in the hall, and make sure they introduce themselves to new employees.  I haven’t seen it yet, but I hear the OWNER of the company shows up from time to time and treats everyone the same – because we are all important.

I know!  You hear about that kind of attitude, but you rarely see it.  I was skeptical at first until I put that in context with some of the things that have happened in the three short months that I’ve been there.

For example, on the 3rd of July an email came out from Human Resources telling everyone to go home after they’d worked just 6 hours instead of 8.  And that the entire next week, following the Monday off, would all be casual days – jeans and tennies!  (And if you work in corporate America you know how we worker bees LOVE casual days!)

Then there’s the walking club.  The owner and the Big Wigs (and I use that term affectionately ‘cuz so far I haven’t met one I don’t like and who has not treated me with kindness and respect) are all very concerned about their employees’ health and fitness.  We have a walking club, anyone can join, we walk as a group (for safety, mainly) on Mondays and Fridays.  You keep track of how many times you walk and when you’ve got 20 walks you get a $25 gift card (I forget to where but am sure it’s somewhere cool) OR when you’ve got 40 walks you GET A DAY OFF!!!

A day off!  That’s why I don’t know where the gift card is good for - because I’m so focused on getting that extra day off!  WOOT!

The company also put on an awesome Health Fair this summer where we got free cholesterol screenings, body fat checks, blood pressure readings, and lots of swag from local businesses like a direct-to-you produce company, Weight Watchers, Jamba Juice, and so on.  And there are on-site Weight Watchers meetings for anyone who wants to join that group.  Yep, they meet right in our conference room twice a month – how convenient!

Also, there are giveaways.  On my first day I was given, in a reusable tote bag made from recycled materials (because the company is making every attempt possible to be “green”), a Paula Deen signature skillet.  It’s very cool.

Twice since then I’ve won stuff – cookware, of course, since that’s what we do at this particular company, manufacture and sell cookware.  I won some Rachael Ray products in a raffle (yep, we make her stuff, too) and then, at a tailgate party in our parking lot (where the executives did all the cooking, and they even had veggie-burgers!) I won more stuff.  Within a year or so I figure I’ll completely replace all the old stuff in my kitchen with brand new stuff!

Oh, and I guess some higher-ranking person or another is a big A’s fan because during baseball season there are free tickets every other day for every reason you can think of and sometimes for no reason at all.  AND, get this: if you win tickets and it’s an afternoon game?  You get the afternoon off.

You read that right.

You get the afternoon off to go to the baseball game.  PAID time off.  AND a free parking pass.


Birthdays are special.  Cubicles are decorated with balloons and streamers so everyone in the building can go by and extend birthday greetings, special coffee is brought in for the birthday “kid,” maybe a gift or special bakery treat, and always a card.

New babies are HUGE.  Even the male employees get baby showers (whether they like it or not) with duck-shaped cakes and gifts.  Employees who move on to jobs at other companies are sent off in style and wished well and – missed.

So, in spite of my initial complaining and the feeling-sorry-for-myself attitude, I’m quite happy at my new job.  If I have to work - and until Mike and I are old enough to collect our Social Security, and until Obama has issued us our “free health care” cards, I do have to work - well, I’m glad I work there.

Oh, and I have pictures in my cubicle now.  :-)

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