Monday, January 05, 2015

my my I need a 2015 post

Once upon a time, I worked in cubeland, forced to labor in the cubicle maze, the cube farm.  It's been a few years since I sat in one of those incomplete boxes (BTW, there is no good excuse for my failure to post a 2015 post yet)

Do you or someone you love spend days with their heads down wondering if working within less than three inch walls of cheap fiber is all there is to a corporate career?

There is hope. You can escape. I did.

But if you are confined during your working hours to a cubicle, please take notes. The cubicle stories make for great blog posts and even movies. 

It’s worst when you have experienced the better office life. Similar to flying a first class upgrade and having to return in economy just-keep-still-in-your-seat class. 

Having done time in a factory, the USAF and odd jobs, an office job appealed to me. My corporate world engineering job started with a shared office and then eventually my own small office. These offices came with a window and a door. I remember smoking in my office but fortunately I later dropped that awful habit completely. You don’t find cubicles with doors and a few of them masquerade with walls shorter than a track hurdle.  Back before the start of the new millennium I was sitting in a cubicle getting the creativity sucked from me daily.

Speaking of sucking - I once had a cube neighbor who would suck his soup during lunch. Oh, I like soup but hearing this guy slurp his soup was disgusting. 

Overhearing funny or interesting comments happen. But no one wants a gopher head to pop over the wall to offer you some advice regarding a topic you were just talking about on the phone. I suspect the popularity of texting and email is partly due to cubicle life.

My best engineering job came with a private office (real glass window, door). Even then, since the doors are almost always left open I could overhear Phil-the-Greek in the next office. He was fit for a role in “My Big Fat Greek Wedding”. He knew the movie well and would laugh when I brought up scenes. 

Phil's arguing and tenacity in seeking justice for any wrong he thought came his way would have won him the Nobel Prize for Pain-in-the-ass if such award existed. He once (no lie) called the postmaster of United States to complain about a damaged package or late delivery. I think he settled with a staff member's offer of a few sheets of stamps.

One afternoon I heard him arguing away and I decided to visit another co-worker or maybe harass an executive assistant. Anyway I popped in the break room on my return trip to find him there snacking leftovers from a conference meeting (once I thought of trying to live off of conference meeting leftovers). I asked about who he was arguing with earlier on the phone. He told me and then told me that he left the call on hold while he got a snack (the break room was down the hall and around a corner from his office). Seeing my dumbfounded look, he told me that the A--holes leave him on hold all the time so he was just getting even. I thought I should get him to call my home cable company for me next time. 

If you have been working on the cube farm, I would love to hear about it. 
Note: cubicle heads/figures are from The Cubes.

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