A Sarcastic Account of Cubicle Life

I have recently become a member of the community we shall from here on out refer to as “The Cubies.”

Dictionary.com defines “cubicle” as:

Main Entry:
cubicle [kyoo-bi-kuhl] Show IPA/ˈkyubɪkəl/ Show Spelled
Part of Speech: noun
Definition: office compartment
Synonyms: booth, cell, chamber, cubbyhole, desk, nook, office, pigeonhole, room, stall, work area

You’ll notice the synonyms include the likes of “cell,” “chamber,” “pigeonhole,” and “stall.”  These words, it turns out, can also be used to describe things like “prison,” “jail,” “barn,” and “torture.”  So, just to be clear, it has been established that a “cubicle” is akin to being confined.  Now, why would anyone say that?

Perhaps I’m an optimist.  You see, I sit at a lovely little cubicle roughly the size of a dog kennel, where I am surrounded by happy pictures of smiling loved ones – an ever present reminder that there is actually natural light somewhere out there beyond the flourescents of my ceiling.  Occasionally I treat myself to a piece of candy from a little tin I bought while in France.  Those few minutes of producing licorice-flavored saliva are pure solice.  Sometimes I even let myself have more than one.

Then, as I turn slightly to my left, I get a barrier-free view of the entrance to the men’s restroom.  It’s such a relief knowing that in our priveledged society, where sinks and hand towels are available for all, a large number of the male population wishes to instead respect the needs of the Earth by saving water and paper and instead opting for not washing their hands at all.

Turning a bit further, just behind me lies a long stretch of hallway. Due to my special location, right at the end of everyone’s path of walking, virtually everything I do on my computer is privvy to all.  I’m seriously considering purchasing a projector and a white sheet so the Cubies down at the other end of the floor don’t feel left out.

It’s this location, in fact, that also gives passerby the distinct, albeit false, impression that I am the information desk.  On a near daily basis, I am asked about how to install printers, which of those printers are color, and whereabouts they are located.  Being so close to the restrooms also makes me a specialist on their wherabouts, and truly, I’m blessed.  How else would my fingers get their exercise but for the opportunity to point every which way multiple times a week?

As the appointed information desk consultant, I also lend out my office supplies to those in need.  It’s especially thrilling when they are handed back to me in entirely different states than when I lent them out.  Why, just a few days ago, a fellow Cubie returned my pen dripping with some unknown wet substance!  So sweet!  I can’t imagine how boring my day would have been if I didn’t have to take the time to bathe in antibacterial hand wash!

The Cubies are quiet, which does allow for substantial work efficiency.  However, while sound does not penetrate, smell certainly does.  Sometimes I find myself missing the distinct suffocating scent of my great aunt, so I’m immensely grateful when the Cubie just a few rows away sprays a similar smelling perfume that quickly envelops me in memories of cheek pinching and jello molds.  There’s no place like home!

And of course, we can’t forget about those extra special Cubies who believe that personal bubbles are a thing of the past.  I just love feeling closer to my coworkers as they lean down over my shoulder to watch me demonstrate some function or other on my computer for them.  Team bonding is just so invaluable!

I truly hope that everyone gets to experience The Cubies at least once in their lifetime.  It’s a special experience that is both ever-changing and never forgotten.  And while Dictionary.com seems to believe “cubicle” is synonymous with the likes of being imprisoned, I feel far more strongly that “cubicle” is more like a home; a place where you can feel safe and oh-so-close to your neighbors.  Who could ask for anything more?!?


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