Wednesday, September 28, 2005

CUBE CULTURE

I’ve written about office cubes before. Now I’m going to write about them again. Some of you may think I am writing about ‘work’ but I’m not. As all bloggers know no one should ever write about work. If you write about work you will get fired. That is why I am not writing about work I am writing about office cubes as a general topic. So there.

I just moved desks at my office and inherited someone’s old cube. I’m pretty fascinated by how some people take cube culture so seriously. One woman on the floor has a cube full of birdhouses in various sizes. Another guy’s cube is a shrine to the New York Mets. Just the other day I walked down the hall to drop off a form at someone’s cube and she had a hot plate bubbling apple cider, tiny pumpkins lined up on her cube wall and was fluffing a frilly throw pillow on her chair. It was like a mini B&B.

These observations of cube culture aren’t criticisms. In fact I could probably benefit from a little expression in my cube instead of the current barren wasteland it currently is. The desk I inherited on Monday was big and dusty – no fault to its previous owner it just was. I immediately introduced myself to the cube mates around me. I felt like it was freshman year wondering who liked what kind of music, who stayed up late at night and more importantly who might eat lunch with me on my first day. I started using Windex like a madman to remove all the dust and then promptly stopped afraid my new cube mates would think I was a compulsive neat freak.

Under the desk I inherited were the following items:

- 1 pair of black, ladies shoes
- 5 Sweet N’ Low sugar packets
- Pistachio shells
- 1 rubbery wipe board
- massive amounts of change mostly pennies
- a good amount of soy sauce packets
- plastic utensils

And finally a huge amount of various, unrecognizable, Ergonomic office items including footrests and back and elbow pads and wrist holders. It was like a custom made cube meant for Stephen Hawking. Totally bizarre. I contemplated trying to figure out all the items and their purpose but instead stuffed them in an empty copy paper box and left them at the end of the hall.

Overall the transition as a whole went pretty smoothly even if it took most the day. It shouldn’t have taken that long but I don’t know what was wrong with me. I think I was resisting the transition to some degree. I’ve never been good with transition despite how minor. I spent half the day walking from my old desk back to my new one (just down the hall) back to my old desk and then back again to my new one. Each time I carried only three items at a time. Three pencils. A notebook. Then back again.

In first grade my teacher wrote a comment in the ‘additional comments and observations’ section of my report card. She wrote ‘I’ve observed that K resists transition’. She also wrote, ‘K is often oversensitive to other people’s reactions. She tends to think people are yelling or angry with her’. Stupid first grade.

So far day two in my new digs has gone pretty well. Now if I could only get all these people to stop yelling at me.

9 Comments:

At 5:06 PM, Blogger catsteevens said...

"....a hot plate bubbling apple cider, tiny pumpkins lined up on her cube wall and was fluffing a frilly throw pillow on her chair. It was like a mini B&B."
Muwahahaha. That was too funny, and cute :)

Someone the other day was in my cube and told me that it had a "home" feeling. Silly as it may sound, I was very proud of that.

 
At 10:27 PM, Blogger alissa said...

In my last job, I never even bothered to change the name plate on the outside of the cube from that of the previous resident to my own.

 
At 3:39 PM, Blogger Big D said...

well - - here's an interesting approach to cube life:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/hanako/43282922/

 
At 12:41 AM, Blogger Bridget Jones said...

I've been told my cube is very homey, colorful and peaceful to be in.

Loved that!

 
At 5:12 PM, Blogger M-m-m-m-m-m-m-Momo said...

YOU ARE MARRIED!!!! Yay KDunk, yay Eliot!!!!

Sorry, babes, I've been awol. Congratulations. Will scrawl thru archives to catch up. xoxoxoxoxx

 
At 6:55 AM, Blogger FuntimeBen said...

Okay, so I've narrowed it down - Either McGyver used to have your cubicle or Paula Abdoul did.

 
At 8:21 AM, Blogger angelissima said...

I'm also mystified by "cube culture". I abhor any sort of collectable kitch, dismissing it as dust catchers.
I've never decorated a cube. I dunno it seems too revealing or something.
Plus, what happens if you are fired or suddenly decide to quit? You have to stand there, with the whole office whispering while you remove all of the Garfield comics and Gary Larsen date cube keepers tacked all over. Another thing, WHY do people insist on decorating their cubes for the holidays?? WHAT is up with that?
I guess I'm a closet Jehovah's Witness...but man, that is just ODD.

 
At 8:24 AM, Blogger angelissima said...

addendum:
hehe I just realized that my post sounds like a personal experience...I've always felt uncomfortable watching someone who has just been "let go" de-decorate their cube. How humiliating!

 
At 1:34 AM, Blogger Mrs. N said...

My husband works for a major corporation based in Japan, and he's been told more than once to clear his cube of all kitch and only one or two photos of family. Evidentally, his boss's boss's bosses think that a decorated cube means that too much time is being sacrificed to environment instead of invested in work. Your day of moving seems to... support that theory.

 

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