My Year In A Cubicle

An image of a lot of cubicles that seem to go ...

An image of a lot of cubicles that seem to go on forever (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I was reminded of my year in a cubicle this week as I’m moving from an office back to cubicle life again.  I was less than fortunate to work in a tiny cubicle in 2005, for over a year.  Provence it was not. I’m not sure if people realize it but cubicle life has a subversive subculture all its own.  Ok that may be extreme but it does have strange quirks that are funny and beg to be written about.  My personal definition of cubicle:/kyoobikel. n. The vealization of previously free range human beings.  Vealize: v. To stuff or cram into a small space, to ensure efficiency and or tenderness.  The cubicle is a small space that, like torture implements of days gone by, can be made smaller and smaller and smaller as cheap companies try to squeeze more bodies into an existing space instead of obtaining larger offices.

On my first day of work I was brought into the office and there before me, stretched out like a sea of grey on a rainy day, were dozens and dozens of nondescript cubicles. To quote Eddie Izzard, they were interesting in an extraordinarily boring way.  I wondered how I would make it back to my own cubicle after lunch and wished I’d brought a sandwich from which I could at least make a bread trail.

The funny thing about cubes as they are affectionately referred to is that although one is mere feet or inches from their co-worker, people block out or pretend not to see or hear what their co-workers say and do. This is good form and good cubie etiquette. So, you can have a situation where a colleague is fighting with her boyfriend for an hour, neglecting her work all the while; cursing, tears streaming down her face complete with hushed hysterics.  She gets off the phone and turns to you saying “can you believe that!?!”  And, the correct answer is, “Oh sorry, what?  Sorry I wasn’t paying attention.”  The hysterical one, also knowing cubicle etiquette, yet knowing there is no way on earth you hadn’t heard, relates the episode in its entirety so as to maintain delicate cubie balance.

On the other hand, it is not uncommon for cube-mates, again inches away from each other, to call each other or email things they don’t want overheard. The walls do have ears my friends.

Adjusting to cubicle life was very difficult indeed. Difficult and dangerous!  During my first few weeks I nearly killed my co-workers.  Once when crossing my legs, my foot hit a metal bar, which capped off the end of the cubicle lovely I might add, which flew down and almost decapitated someone.  Another time I opened my overhead file cabinet only to knock another colleague in the head!  To avoid injury, I quickly learned that I could only move my chair up and down, not backwards and forwards, as rolling about could be hazardous. To be fair, I must explain that the cubicle I had consisted of the following: cubicle wall, about 10 inches to the back of my chair, about 10 inches to the edge of the desk and the desk backed up to the other cubicle wall.

How do people cope with such small, drab surroundings devoid of any sunlight, nature or interest of any kind?  I’m thinking of draping my new cubicle in fabric and putting down a rug. Some bring in candles, pictures, pretty lamps or a plant to simulate a homey atmosphere. Others attach wedding photos and children’s arts and craft projects to fuzzy cubicle walls. Still others light up a joint and who could blame them.

My very first cubie experience happened years ago.  I was doing temp work for a large, reputable publishing company in Manhattan.  My co-worker rose from her seat, came round to my cubie opening-there are no doors-knocked on the thin metal frame and asked if I minded if she smoked.  As this incident occurred in the late 1980s and there were no restrictions on smoking at that time (God I’m old), I said no. Of course I didn’t like it but didn’t feel I really had a choice. So there I sat, typing away in my little cube as the smoke rose and gently fell on my side of the “wall”.  I noticed that it wasn’t cigarette smoke I was smelling but marijuana. I believe I mouthed the words oh-my-God! As cubicles also do not have their own ceilings the smoke made its way out of the area and down the hall.  It was not long after that a manager visiting from Texas confronted my neighbor and promptly had her fired.

There is this weird schematic thing that happens in the cuber’s brain as it constructs walls, ceilings and doors where there are none. Cubicles more than 10 feet away are like separate continents.  Your group, your cubie family as it were, consists of those who work on the same account or project and whom you can hit with a paperclip with minimal exertion.  Paperclips are the cubie equivalent of emoticons with their tongues out or :P.  So, the comment “nice shoes, guess someone hopes to get lucky tonight” is met with  paperclip fire over the wall.

Then there is the interesting behavior that is created by the cubicle environment.  Some are as territorial as junk yard dogs. God help the cuber (cubite, cubiphile, cubilite, cubinilean?) who does not have a partition to delineate their space because there will always be someone to come around to challenge it and take it away. These hyenas of the working world are those passive aggressive among us who push the legal sized proverbial envelope when it comes to boundaries.  They are the ones who wear enough perfume to choke those within 100 foot radius (equivalent to approx 980 cubicles), play music LOUD, sing hymns to themselves, LOUDLY and open their folders and binders to ensure that at least a corner comes to rest on your countertop.  I had one person ask if she could “store” things in my overhead file (that’s when I bopped her! KIDDING!…or am I).  I had another person, who had the same amount of drawers and wall space, ask if she could hang flyers on my bulletin board!  WHY??  Oh they are slick my friends.

Other people, knowing full well that one need only whisper to be heard, TALK TO THEIR CLIENTS LIKE THIS AS IF THEY WERE HARD OF HEARING!!!  I worked with one person who did this and she managed to evade me for weeks because when I encountered her at other places like the copier or the kitchen, she spoke, not only quietly but I had to lean in to catch what she said. I would hear her start in with “MRS JONES HOW ARE YOU TODAY??? and I would drop my pen and run around to the other side of the cubicles to find out who it was.  I needed to know who was 1) annoying me but 2) breaking cardinal rule #1-to speak quietly at all times.  Because cubicles are so close together, I had a fairly good idea where the sound was coming from but was foiled every time she put the phone down. I would attempt to catch her out by going to the printer intermittently, but somehow like the Scarlet Pimpernel she would elude me.  I gave up trying altogether and then a cubie cousin saw me roll my eyes one day during a particularly piercing projection and said “that’s our Angie.”  Angie! AHA! It was her?  Big mouth by day, Little Voice by night.  It was as if putting the phone to her ear activated an unseen force in her vocal cords.  I wanted to scream over the cubicles LET THE ELECTRONICS WORK FOR YOU THAT IS WHAT THEY WERE MADE FOR!  I later found out that Angie had been made to move from her previous locale as she sat near the Vice President’s office who had his head done in by her eruptions-did I mention that cubie gossip dies hard?

We haven’t even touched on the gossip grapevine which exists in cubie life and is faster than the DSL I have at home!  When I decided to leave this job I walked about 30 feet to my supervisor’s office and by the time I walked back to my cubicle the entire office knew I was leaving.  I could actually hear my co-workers in other aisles saying “did you hear? Dana is leaving.”  But for those who have boyfriends in jail, pending foreclosures, recently suspended licenses and domestic disputes, life can be hell.  No matter how much people say they won’t tell or try to suppress, word spreads like butter.

Butter reminds me of the two worst smells one can endure in cubieland, fish and popcorn!  Lunch times were particularly taxing to the nostrils.  It seemed that the only time people ate at their desks was when they had fish for lunch and it would hit me like a punch in the face.  The smell of popcorn would commence about an hour after lunch and would hang over the cubes like a noxious cloud. If the cubicle was designed to ensure that people could focus on only that in front of them, it failed miserably because there were days when I just simply could not get any work done. Between the sounds of Angie the phone fanatic or the Jamaican hymns of save me Jesus Jessica and the combined smell of what I like to call fishcorn, my mind, like my crappy computer, would freeze! Ugh, they put you in a cube, then tell you to think outside the box!

It was always at these times that the office stalker would come around.  You know the one, every office has one-that person ready to pounce on you at the coffee machine or printer. If you don’t know someone like this but notice that you lose the will to live around someone?  That’s the one. You don’t know her but she somehow believes she is your good friend, or biggest fan-scary!  She attempts to elicit information about your private life and does not or chooses not to pick up on subtle cues such as when you turn around and leave her talking to herself or when you start stapling your own fingers together to avoid the pain of her conversation, gossip and insult to injury, bad breath.  She has an uncanny sixth sense and knows the perfectly worst time to come round and literally hangs off the side of your cubie like an office monkey.  “Hey, Dana, what’s wrong? (she frowns for me)”  Uh, nothing? ” Oh, I saw you just sitting there and I know you are always so busy.” Oh my God what the &#^% do you want now?  I say in my head.  Outwardly, blank stare. Blink. “Oh ok, well I’m going to lunch, talk to you later.”  Slow nod, big sigh.

Back to food though.  There is one word. One word that is magical in the cubicle world.  One word that turns the grey to all the colors of a kaleidoscope.  One thing that makes it all seem, habitable, manageable, at least for one brief shimmering moment………..cake. “Cake? Did someone say cake? Suzy, Joe, there’s cake in the conference room, hurry up!” And all round the office that little word is sprinkled over cubicles like fairy dust and one can see heads popping up faster than a whac-a-mole carnival game…ahh cubie cake, thank God, I can make it through another day.


Filed under Musings

298 responses to “My Year In A Cubicle

  1. Invest in a screaming monkey slingshot. It helps keep the office stalkers at bay. I also like to stare at a place about four inches to the left of their eyes as they speak. They get creeped out after one conversation and leave me alone.

  2. I laughed out loud several times. I never had this experience but you really brought it to life for me!

  3. lol, I had pretty good laugh on this one. But after my laughter settled down, I started feeling kinda..mmm…called out 😦
    I’m a consultant that gives recommendations to businesses on how to cut waste and improve productivity. My job task requires me to come up with solutions that usually make employees very upset, unfortunately. The first recommendation I always give is to do away with offices and replace them with no-wall cubicles. It’s a no brainer recommendation because of its immense benefits. I’ll just list few of them here:
    1. Employee-to-square footage ratio goes up dramatically
    2. Insurance goes down
    3. More employees actually work full 8hours
    4. Huge reduction in inappropriate web pages
    5. Almost 100% reduction in porn related issues
    6. Reduction of sexual harassment suit claims, and other misc claims.
    There are few exceptions to the rule, so you still need offices, but for most part cubicle is the way to go 😦 I’m sure there are lots of fun benefits to being close to some cube mates…I hope.

    • Wow! had no idea you did that-so it’s you!!!!!! lol

      Thought this was a safe, non-controversial one too lol I guess the only difference is the human factor. If it’s hard to find someone to go on vacation with who won’t get on your nerves, would be very hard to get along with everyone when thrown together. Backing up though-inappropriate and porn sites? I get blocked from legit work sites can’t believe people access them and aren’t fired. Cubicles are good for the bottom line but hardly feng shui. Hey, since you are the expert here, can you not decorate them at least in say, island, beach, mountain and rainforest themes? Maybe have built in fishtanks? LOL!!

      • lol, I guess you just have a way of finding yourself in a middle of a controversy every now and You would be amazed how many people surf porn at work. In almost all cases they do get notified and warned against it, before they get fired. You really gotta be an addict or a really dumb person to get fired over something like that.

        I will make one promise here. If by some crazy coincidence, I get invited to your company, I promise I’ll do all I can to put you in a nice corner office with a nice little coral reef tank with finding Nemo theme πŸ™‚
        I hope you had a great day at work!



    • If my office made me work in a room with other people with no barriers, I would quit the next day. I share an office with one person and that’s enough. Introverts can’t function without walls – we need our space!

    • Anonymous

      I beg to differ on #3. Most employees in my cube farm seem to spend more time socializing with and interrupting each other than working a full 8.

  4. oooh, almost forgot to hit the like button πŸ™‚

  5. Thanks for the comments and the likes!!

  6. Dave N

    I ‘tend’ a cube farm and believe me every situation described happens over and over again, every day.

  7. Dave N

    Had a manager request I move someones computer equipment from one side of her cube to the other while she was on vacation, so she would face her co-worker. Got an email when she returned from vacation – “Why the ***** is my computer on the other side, I cajn’t work facing her?”
    A couple of days later her manager came to me looking perplexed – “Can you move ********’s computer stuff back, it’s my fault, I thought it was a good idea but should have known I’d get into trouble, my wife always tells me not to try thinking like a woman!”

  8. Peacebeing

    Thanks for giving me a really good laugh today…even though I read this one when you first wrote it, it never fails to crack me up. : )

    By the way, Chris9911, although people in cubicles may be giving the company a full 8 hours of work I’ll bet most if not many of those employees find their very small space more like a sweatshop (factory) than a typical office setting. Being happy in one’s job produces less employee absences and better quality work. Happiness is not overrated!

  9. mkultra76

    I second the screaming monkey slingshot toy. Those are loads of fun.

  10. well, you pretty much summed up my work experience. “Ugh, they put you in a cube, then tell you to think outside the box!” — good point!

  11. great post
    please read and comment

  12. Awesome read. I will now have a new perspective every time I visit my company’s corporate offices while also feeling more sympathy for my cubicle dwelling friends!

    • Thanks for reading it! You might want to bring them some donuts or a screaming monkey or beach ball as has been suggested in this comment section-you know, a little glimmer of hope from the office dwellers! : )

  13. So true it hurts! Everything you said I can relate to. Luckily I’ve left my cube 5 years ago and so far so good, have avoided one like the plague since. I even took a office in a closet, happily, over a cube! Awesome post!

  14. SO TRUE!! ALL OF IT!! I laughed so hard.

  15. Not yet been placed in a cubicle to work. Uh, from the way it looks, i would prefer not to be ‘jailed’ in one πŸ˜€ But i must say, if placed in a cubicle, away from others, one can complete one week’s work πŸ™‚

  16. I am nostalgic for my cube at my last job (never in my wildest dreams did I think I’d admit that!) as I am now in solitary confinement in a huge office. I thought I’d die when they stuck me in a cube big enough for a hamster with another person in there with me. I didn’t die (wait, maybe I AM dead and this is hell.) I always had toys (smiling dinosaur, a slinky, rubber band gun) and colorful/interesting/goofy news taped where people could see it. I was also in charge of making rubber band balls. I almost took out the head of the department throwing one into another cubicle.

  17. Wow, I have spent about 25 years in a cubicle… before that just a desk, that was before cubicles became more popular. The downside (or sometimes the upside!) for me has been being able to listen to every other conversation among the 30 other cubicles nearby. The upside, is communicating and befriending the 5 or so cube-mates contiguous with my cube, or across the aisle. Fun times in Cube-Land.

    • Yes! I remember that too, just rows of desks before the cubicles. Do you find that sometimes all those sounds just blend together and you can’t make a single conversation out? I agree though, when I was in this particular cube, I became very good friends with my cube-mates. Its really an intimate environment and you get to know people quickly. Thanks for reading the post!

      • Thanks Dana, and I did enjoy you post about cubicles, what a life!! And about the sound levels, sometimes it blurs together in a chorus??… I have several poems on my wordpress site about office life… not surprising though considering I spend more time there than at home ( or so it seems ). I just wrote one called Alien Concepts…. in some ways CubeLand is an alien landscape (posted 3/26/2012)

  18. You are stand-up-comic funny. I work as a proctor, that is policing people who are writing exams. Part of that is supplying a comfortable, QUIET place to write for the students. Unfortunately for me I opened your post during one of those 4.5hr exams. I had to plug my nose, my mouth and every other orifice I could find so I would LOL!!! Oh that hurts. Great stuff, brilliant lady! You have a new follower.

    • Wow, thanks very much! I loved your comment, it made me laugh to think of you in such a quiet place stifling laughter-don’t things seem funnier when you have to hold it in? Really appreciate your kind words!

  19. Reminds me of Maria Bamford and her bit about being a temp and office cake

    • I was going to mention that when I started working there, there was a birthday every day and sometimes twice a day and all one could hear was “haaapy biiiirthdaaaay toooo youuuuuuu!” It drove me nuts! Thanks for reading the post!

  20. Simply brilliant! Even though my own cube is a bit more spacious, I can relate.:)

  21. I’m reading this from my cubicle at work. I laughed, but now I’m depressed. πŸ˜›

    • Ha! You cracked me up when I was in my cubicle today! Glad I made you laugh though, chin up! πŸ™‚ Thanks for reading my blog!

  22. Memories by the Smile Professional Photography

    So true, and quite funny! So glad not to be in my cube any more!!

    • We cubites wave to you as you roam freely out there, with a little glint in our eyes of “save us!!” lol Thanks for the compliment and for checking out the blog!

  23. I am moving from my own office space to a cubicle when our company moves in a few months… Sounds almost like a demotion! Even though I don’t do it often, there’s something I like about having the option to shut my door.

    • That is it exactly, options!! Always nice to feel you have them. I hope the transition isn’t a painful one! I brought in a nice lamp, pictures of gorgeous places in Italy I’ve been to and a sign that says Life Is Good which I sometimes need to repeat! Good luck with the move and thanks for your comment!

      • Good thinking… I like the extra decor touches! I will have to do something similar to give that cube some life. Maybe a bunch of plants?

  24. So true! I’m one year into my first cube job and I’m not a fan. Congrats on bring pressed!!

    • Thanks very much! I hope it gets easier for you. I think I need to start a cubicle support group! I got a beautiful picture of a Greek island scene for my first cubicle, it helped…a bit πŸ™‚

  25. it’s funny how office cultures have similarities, if not totally the same, regardless of country location. I’ve just left my small cube and am now transferred to a bigger and better cube. but still, a cube. LOL

    • Funny the things that excite us right? Bigger cube yay!! I am currently in one that is larger than the one I write about. It has high walls so I can decorate more but I do miss the sunshine my previous window provided! Thanks for reading the post!

  26. Brilliant, brilliant, brilliant! Back to the office after a year on the open road…love this blog! Nice work.

  27. Great post! Unfortunately I can relate. And here’s another twist…A guy two cubes away from me regularly passes gas, loudly, as if he were alone at home on his couch! As if that’s not bad enough he squeaks out a polite “excuse me” every time. He is also one of two “loud sneezers”…you know what I mean.
    Great stuff, congrats!!!

    • LMAO! That is so funny and so disgusting at the same time. That happened to me at the gym once, ungodly smells as I’m gasping for air on the elliptical. I had to give up. But when you’re tethered to your cubicle? I think you need the Screaming Monkey that TransparentGuy talked about. I know I’m getting one. Or, when he says “excuse me” say “NO!” Thanks for the compliment and taking the time to read my post!

    • Hahahaha… That’s just so eeew! I dislike people that pass gas so frequently! Is there a name for people like me? Like sectarinism or something? Lol. Seriously though, that must be rather infuriating. I know I’d lose it!

  28. To funny and a good read. What you call a “whac-a-mole carnival game” we call prairie dogging, when ever some major event happens in the office and everyone stands up to look over the cube walls to see what is going on, its like the prairie dog exhibit at the zoo when they pop out of their holes in the ground.

  29. I once worked as a long-term temp at Verizon. They needed someone to do all the work that the dept. secretary hadn’t been doing because she felt it was beneath her. I was planted at a desk that was in a half cubicle. The desk space was mostly taken by the enormous fax machine. i had a one foot square of space to work in. The dept. secretary was constantly coming over and telling me to move. I hate cubicle life.

  30. Writer

    A fun read! I work in a cube tooβ€”luckily with walls of a descent height and accordion doors. My cousins have dubbed it my “officle.”

    • Writer

      decent, if I could spell today.

      • lol! Thanks for reading the post and for your comment. I love “officle” almost conjurs up warm memories of a popsicle on a summers day. Never saw a cubicle with accordian doors-I’m heading to Lowes right now : )

  31. Love your synopsis of cubicle life…thanks for the laugh!! I once liked the office culture when I first joined the workforce, but it wore on me. We had a person die in their cubicle right after a meeting…some people kept working (?)…so weird. And yes, everyone was into everyone else’s beeswax. The person that burnt the popcorn was usually on the sh!t list all day. I’m ruined now that I work in a virtual office, I can’t imagine cubicle life ever again.

    • Gasp! That is horrible. So your memory is of death,quiet banter and people typing away as they cart the poor soul out of the office! How bizarre! I’ve been toying with a post idea about this as I’ve read a couple of articles in the news about similar occurences. God forbid we stop the wheels of progress! LOL@ the sh#t list “It’s Bob again. Thanks Bob, geesh” : )

      • oops, almost forgot to say thank you! Really appreciate the comment, compliment and your humor!

      • To your point, hey at least I got his last minute approval on that TPS report, lol! But in all seriousness (I’m not that much of an ice queen) out of 10 people standing around…only a couple of people freaked (like me) and called 911. Reading all the comments here, I can honestly see why people disconnect from each other as a coping mechanism.

  32. I feel your pain. I have a small office right outside a sea of cubes, and all I hear all day is a constant drone of voices. Usually I turn my radio on, but the drone is far superior. My office is not all that…it’s tiny, & it’s used as a storage area for retired computers. There are 3 cpu towers, 1 monitor & 1 keyboard sitting on the floor & taking up space. Gotta love Corporate America…lol!

    • Now I feel your pain, that office sounds awful! Yes, makes one feel as if they are steerage class! Thanks for reading my post, I appreciate it.

  33. Sid

    You’ve nailed it !!! Absolutely spot on !!!
    I thought that such a mundane cubicle life was customary only in India, supposedly the country everyone outsources to. But this knowledge of an entirely similar setting elsewhere (I am assuming that you are from the US) is sheer glee. The glee is not because you also suffer the same crappy cubicle-world, but because I now know that I can freely and openly share my woes of cubicle-life online and people would actually read and understand it.. πŸ™‚

    A very nice read…rather a MUST-read. Thanks and keep posting.. πŸ™‚

    • Thank you!! Oh you are definitely not alone. Yes I’m in the States and we’ve had cubicles here for decades! Enjoy the glee and yes, write about those things that you find: amusing, ridiculous, moving… I’m really trying not to censor myself and just go with whatever comes. Good luck with your writing and thank you so much for your comments/compliments they are much appreciated!

  34. So spot on – very funny! I have a cubicle/office job but I recently moved and now get to work my same “office job” from the comfort of my own home a few states away. So much better. I mentally nodded my head to everything you described. One time, we were told that upper management was coming around the next day so we had to remove all personal pictures, sports memorabilia, personal items, and so on. Basically we we were robots, showing no emotion, no personality, no soul. That’s office life for ya!

    • ooh sounds terrible! Reminds me of the Jetsons and the cogs! I envy you working from home. Whenever I’ve gotten to do it I loved it. Funny thing is I work harder from home to “prove” that I’m working! Thanks for the great comment, I appreciate it!

  35. Fun and well thought through! Still, I do thank the stars that I won’t ever get a cubicle-job.

  36. mmm. Serve me up some fishcorn. Flashbacks to Office Space abound!

  37. trail-hike-life

    I work from home. I feel left out. I think I’ll install a cubicle this weekend!

  38. I spent 8 years in cubicle land working for multiple employers. Finally, finally I’m in a place where everyone has his/her own office. It’s like a dream, honestly.

    My first stint in cubicle land was spent in a renovated textile mill with the original brick walls, wood beams overhead & wood support beams throughout the space, beautiful original hardwood floors… and permanant cubicles. We used to throw a beach ball around at random times, shoot rubber bands at one another over the cubicle walls, and throw paper balls/paper clips/ink pen clips/kush balls at unsuspecting co-workers. That place wasn’t half bad really.

    My next two cubicle homes were managed by Big Brother and staffed by a plethora of Jamaica Jessicas and Angies-on-and-off-the-phone. I couldn’t wait to get out of either place.

    I hate cubicles. I get far more work done in an office than I ever did in a cubicle. Co-workers in cubicle land are far too distracting.

  39. This was hilarious! Rarely do I come across a post that actually makes me laugh out loud. I love this quote: “Ugh, they put you in a cube, then tell you to think outside the box!” I use to wonder about it when I was new to the cubicle world myself. The sea of grey depressed me. I’m in a cubicle that goes only half way up, so not as bad as the full on cubes – those are reserved for people with higher positions. I didn’t realize how much I’ve gotten use to and how people from other cubicle land’s deal encounter similar scenarios.

    • I cracked up when I read your reply and that one is assigned a shorter or longer cubicle wall based on their position. How many more ways can they find to differentiate between us and them lol So funny! So glad you liked it and I made you laugh!

  40. I worked in a call centre which was pretty much the same experince – i did write about it and won a prize, so go for it.

    • Wow, congratulations! How does one win a prize? Thanks for reading my version πŸ™‚

      • I wrote a short story about my exerience and used it for a short story competition called Scotlan Into The New Future. The story was included in an anthology along woth the other joint winners. .

  41. Such a great post, so true it actually hurts!!!

    • lol Love “it actually hurts” Thanks so much, glad it made sense to you, you never know if people will think you’re nuts, ya know?

  42. Grant Nevin

    I forgot my fish lunch box was still open the other day …I went into an hour long meeting. When I returned I found the lunch box closed and in my bottom drawer lol …now I understand.

  43. Great post, and congrats on the freshly pressed.

  44. I know someone entering cubicle life. I will have to save this in case it gets crazy. Did you ever want to shout Prairie Dog to watch the heads pop up?

    • Never thought of that before I got the comments today but you are absolutely right! Thanks for reading the post, I appreciate it!

  45. I loved your insight into ‘cube life’, which I have never experienced. The whack-a-mole image I have in my head made me laugh out loud! Very funny!

    • lol thank you!! I had that image in my head and had no idea what it was called. I had to do a Google search of carnival games before I could add it to the story! Thanks for the compliments! So glad I made you laugh πŸ˜€

  46. Fishcorn! LMAO. I too, am not a fan of those smells. One of my cubes was *right* beside the kitchen once. You understand my pain.

    • I do indeed! I always take lunch later, between 1-2 ish. Don’t you hate when you start smelling lunch at 11am? I was still finishing breakfast at that time! Thanks for your comment and for taking the time to read my post!

  47. I would like to thank the WordPress academy and everyone who “got” me and liked this post! It is ironic that I learned of being Freshly Pressed while sitting in my cubicle at work, without the ability to squeal with joy or skip around like a nut! I could hardly contain myself or focus on work! To think, my big plan for the evening was to come home and clean my house! Who knew this morning that I’d be reading one fantastic comment after the next. This has been an amazing experience and I appreciate that everyone took the time to read my humble post(s). I hope everyone on WordPress gets to experience this! (they have started playing the music, I don’t have long before they cut to commercial) This has been very validating and helps me stay true to myself as a writer. Thank you, thank you, thank you!!!

  48. wittypixaday

    hahahaha. nice. so true. that was my life 7 month ago for 5 years before I got laid off in September of 2011…& I know what you mean about cake..been there. lol.

    thank you for your insight. lol

  49. very entertaining. you could do what i did once a long time ago….fake a window….it was hilarious…I cut out favorite landscape pictures and put borders around them….Each pane had it’s own beautiful distant world…haha

    Great post and congrats

  50. Haha, brilliant! Do I work with you? I write about cubiclel life often, and the world of IT. I must say, you nailed it. Congrats on being freshly pressed. Well-deserved.

  51. Laugh out loud funny, while still poignant and revealing. As one writer to another, kudos! Great post.

  52. wildhorseperilousp

    Just had to share (FB) as I spent many years in “cube” life myself. Actually, I was happier in cube life then the office where the control freak boss tried to take away all the cubes. It felt like being in school with all desks just a few feet apart lined up in rows. It didn’t last very long for me, anyway, I transferred out to a different department. Yeah, and this was the over 50 yr old married male boss with 2 little boys that was carrying on a torrid affair with one of my 20 something coworkers (previously chastised for misappropriating estate sale items/funds for the State of Oregon). Ah yes, memories of government corruption and mismanagement floated back to me when I read this blog about cubicles. My last cube was luxurious, I had a window and a large aisle between the next maze of cubes, so only one other cubie inhabitant on either side of me. Had to laugh at this cube life story though, it’s true, rubber band and paper clip wars were a good natured form of communication.

    • I have read this comment at least a couple of times and enjoyed it fully-how on earth I didn’t respond I don’t know. So sorry about that! It sounds like you experienced it all in a very Knots Landing sort of way! I had a big cubicle near a window once, makes one feel as if they’ve arrived lol! Thank you so much for sharing it on Facebook, I really appreciate it and that you took the time to read and comment!!

  53. Nice recollection. Way to finish it with surviving the day with cubie cake. Everything you wrote has happened to me once or more, especially the feeling that other cubes are entirely different worlds. I call the one in front of me… I face a blank partition how’s that for concentration, I can always imagine that behind those walls is Mordor.

    • Thanks for reading it and your comment-as I said above, not sure how I missed your response and sorry it’s taken so long to comment! I can’t believe they expect us to be creative when faced with a blank partition. It’s mind numbing….but hey, you’re using imagination and fantasy (Modor), whatever gets you through the day right?

  54. gogirldiet

    So true!! When I had a cubicle job at least there were windows. And the cubicle groups were called communities and the managers had the title of Community Leader. Never again will I live that cubicle life.

    • wildhorseperilousp

      Me either, RETIRED! I was an investigator, like doing the research, but now find myself on a ranch with 9 horses, 3 dogs and several cats. I try to spend each sunny day (sometimes rare in Oregon) outside!

      • Glad to hear the two of you made it out! The ranch sounds lovely! Gogirl, thank you for your comment and for reading the post, I appreciate it! Sorry so long for my response 😦

      • wildhorseperilousp

        hey, I don’t look at this site very often either. Love the cube life comments. Makes us all feel a bit better about our own issues with cubes and cube mates, and in a humourous way.

  55. Reblogged this on Serenity and commented:
    To commemorate my 1-year anniversary with Morgan Stanley on the May 18, 2012 – an interesting article on “My Year In A Cubicle”.

    • wildhorseperilousp

      The men that do that horrible swallowing their snot noise, constantly, are really irritating. I finally couldn’t take it anymore, so gross, I stood up and said could you stop doing that!!! And he says, “what?”. I asked him if he had allergies, and then he said, oh, yeah, my wife is always complaining about that. But, u know what, he stopped!

      • OMG! We have one of those now…really disgusting! Congrats to you for getting him to cease and desist! One giant step for cube dwellers everywhere!

      • wildhorseperilousp

        Dana, I’m glad I finally said something to him in a civil voice. Most people that do that snot swallowing, do it automatically, subconscious habit and are often unaware. Point being, open communication can resolve a lot of cube neighbour irritations. He stopped immediately! I really think he needed to get a good allergy medicine too! Approach the offender in a kind manner and you may be pleasantly surprised to find out that the offense was not done intentionally!

      • I unfortuately know someone very well who makes that noise and I tried what you said but alas it did not work! Glad it worked out well for you though and in a very civil way too, that’s great!

      • wildhorseperilousp

        Well, his wife had mentioned it to him, so I guess my office mate had all ready been trained and had manners. I really think that some of these snot gurglers have allergies and need to address it. If your snot offender did not respond appropriately, I would recommend speaking to your manager. I’d first record the offender, those little digital recorders pick up sounds very effectively. First tell the manager about the problem and if the manager seems reluctant to do anything about it, then play your recording for him. I always believe that having prepared yourself well for any negotiation (arming yourself with facts) will help your case. Good luck and let me know if you try this tactic.

  56. This is absolutely amusing. I work in a tiny office space, no cubicles thank god, but I can totally relate to that. People sing to themselves out loud and sometimes you wonder where the ghostly whine came from. Yelling into phones seem a common practice everywhere – but I’ll assume our phones are really bad then. The smell of tuna or some other fried food pervades the space like a poisonous gas, and things like “chocolates” or “cream puffs in the conference room” never fails to bring enthusiasm back to the crowd. I couldn’t help laughing as I kept reading – thanks for making my bad day so much better! I’ll be back for more laughs, please keep writing! πŸ™‚

    • Aww so glad you felt better after reading it, that’s amazing! Love your comments and I think you understand completely. Do you find that with the singing, it’s the same song over and over? lol Thanks for the encouragement!

      • Totally! This nice chap facing me in office sings “Fixing a broken heart” every day, and “You’re Beautiful” every other day! Great ain’t it =X

  57. Reblogged this on Secrets of Network Marketing and commented:
    Another reason you should consider starting your own network marketing business!!!

  58. I thought that my current cubicle here in Australia was small but what I have read described first in the blog and then in all the amazing comments has me awestruck. Someone talked about Prairie Dogs and I have no idea what they are but I have always thought that people popping up to see what is happening in other cubicles or to have cross-cubicle discussions look like meerkats. (Not sure if you ever saw the doco ‘Meerkat Manor’ in the States.)

    Sounds like someone should be writing a book on Cubicle Etiquette. The fish smells sound a bit off – the popcorn would be a bit tantalising but people would not eat popcorn at work here. Cake is also the magic word though.

    • I thought Meerkats and Prairie Dogs were one in the same, but alas I’ve had a quick Google search and found that there are some differences-we are on the same page there! Yes we had Meerkat Manor, I actually learned about it whilst in that very cubicle I described as my cubie-mate and now friend was the one who told me about the show! Hmmm a book about etiquette. My family and friend would be laughing now as I’m always complaining about the lack thereof! Thanks for the suggestion and really glad you liked the post!

  59. girltherapy

    Brilliant – I loved your post. I would love a cubicle. I work in a culture of hot – desking and so never have my own space. I constantly have to pack away my computer and files etc and re-set them up. I don’t have the luxury of customising any space with personal touches. I am now pining for a cubicle:)

    • Wow! And I didn’t think it could get any worse that cubicles! I had to look up “hot-desking.” That is awful, how cheap can they get! As someone who has had to go from office to office at times, I know the feeling of having to pack it all up and set it all up again somewhere else. I hope you get your cubicle!! Thanks for the kind comments and for checking out my post : )

      • We have this too for certain people at my company but they call it hoteling (hotel’ing ?). Can’t reserve a hotel cube for more than 30 days and if you’re out one day, it’s up for grabs. What a piece of crap! πŸ˜‰

  60. Inhumane as cubical life can be I miss it sometimes. I miss the social aspect of having people around me. Being in an office is nice but quite lonely.

    I used to work in a massive cubical farm that spread over five floors of an office building. There was always someone to gossip to. There was always something interesting going on. There was always someone wanting to escape for a sneaky coffee. And there was always a close team atmosphere (even if there was always someone we all mutually disliked).

    But I prefer the paycheque that is attached to working in an office to what I used to earn in the cubical farm *cheeky grin*

    Great post πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚ Congratulations on being freshly pressed.

    • Thank you very much! This has been an amazing experience….I hear what you’re saying and it’s true, especially on that scale I would imagine. You know who to go to for the scoop, who has gum and who will make the necessary cappucino run!

  61. Pingback: Weekend Link Love | Julianna Yu's Blog

  62. Oh dear Dana – you completely summed up my life at work!! Even though we’re all crammed in together, we’ve actually become LESS sociable and now sit there plugged into our iPods.
    I agree with your whole post and think the following should also be banned from cubby-world:
    1) Loud talkers, 2) parmesan cheese, 3) oranges and mandarines 4) people who sniff instead of blowing their noses. 5) people who are ill. They should go home otherwise it just ‘does the rounds’ of the office. 6) people who slurp their tea and then go “ahhh” after each slurp. 7) people who take their smelly shoes off, 8) apple munchers, 9) people who play the drums in their spare time and constantly tap on everything sub-conciously.
    Yep, that would clear up my little world. πŸ™‚

    • Hysterical! I especially like numbers 2, 4 (I always have visions of throwing a box of tissues at their heads-is that bad?) 6, definitely and 8 drives me nuts as well….what about people who spend half the day in their handbags making those scraping and crinkly noises or those who seem to be perpetually opening up pieces of candy that are wrapped in very loud candy wrappers! Oh yes and 9 the tapping of the pen arrggghhhhh!! Thanks so much for your comments, glad you liked the post!

      • Hahaha!!! Yes throwing a box of tissues would be an appropriated response!! I’m sure my ‘nickname’ at cubby-world must be “The Glarer”. LOL.

  63. yosephvera

    Ugh, they put you in a cube, then tell you to think outside the box! LOL

  64. Reblogged this on Make Something Every Day and commented:
    For Jackie M…

  65. I think cubicles are lonely little places to be.

  66. purpleowltree1234

    You make me SO grateful for my life …my cube-free life!!! ❀ Thank you! Gratitude is happiness. :o)

    • Very glad I can bring some happiness your way via my drab cubicle existence lol I actually don’t mind my current cubicle, it has more space and I’ve pimped it with a pretty lamp, pictures of Italy and a Life Is Good sign : ) Also the people around me are very quiet. Thanks for reading my post and following!

  67. Cubicles make me feel like cytoplasm in a cell.

    • Awww, not even a nucleus? I would think the cube would be the cell wall and the “space” or lack thereof the cytoplasm? Come on, be the nucleus!!! LOL. They don’t make one feel human that’s for sure!

      • True, it wold seem more like I’d be the nucleus from the outside, but on the inside cubicles make me feel like slime inside….and cytoplasm is closer to slime, although I’m sure the nucleus has some sludge to it too.

  68. While funny, this is so real and almost reminds me of facebook which to me is virtual cubes. LOL Loved this. Blessings. Dr. Sherry.

    • Thank you Dr Sherry! Yes, more isolation on FB, especially since the Timeline when people can only post to certain groups of people. You know where you stand whereas before everyone was counted as the same. I appreciate your comments.

  69. Thank God he made TEXANS!


  70. Reblogged this on luvsiesous and commented:
    Thank God for Texans!

    What would the world do, if Texans rolled over and let terrorists rule?


  71. You write brilliantly, with wit and charm. I had a number of laugh out loud moments reading your blog post. You should write comedy shows, maybe you already do?

    • Oh wow, thank you! I’d always wondered if I could write in a comedy group setting. I’m not a comedian but love the idea of bouncing ideas off other people to create something new! Thanks for your kind words πŸ™‚

  72. I too have been told that I should try comedy. Ill never really do it, but you should. find an open mic night in your area and give it a shot. try local bars, colleges, and of course comedy clubs. Ill keep my comedy for my friends and relatives, go out and see what you can become, even just for the fun and excitement. I have sent some light atricles to afew magazines and papers in the past with no luck in getting published. But i did get a poem in the my senior yearbook! maybe i should have persuid the idea when i was young.

  73. The cake thing in the office – so true!! We all come alive for cake!!

  74. I haven’t worked in a cubicle before but it would probably drive me nuts. I have to have variety.

    • Sometimes cubicles have too much variety by way of personality quirks, habits, smells and sounds! Thanks for checking out the post!

      • purpleowltree1234

        Hey Dana, if you ever write a book or a sit com about anything actually, let us know!! In the meantime I’ll be basking in the quirkiness and humour of your world here. :o) Love from Rach

  75. megacolby

    Reblogged this on Colby is Mega.

  76. Had a good laugh reading this. I realized I’ve been working in a cube all my work life. Thanks for this amusing entry.

  77. I’ve always wished our office would turn our working spaces into cubicles. At the moment, we are using tables. But after reading this, I think I will never see my office table the same way again. I’ll love it more now lol

    • Careful what you wish for πŸ™‚ I worked on Wall Street in one of my other lives and we had counters that ran the width of the building and there were many rows of them. Kind of makes it feel like family when it’s that close. Thanks for reading my post!

  78. Rai

    Fucking cubicles. It’s like a glass house.

  79. bkr12

    This is hysterical and brought back a lot of bad memories from the 90s when I was stuck in cubicle world for a while myself. Especially the stinky lunches – who in the hell eats a fish lunch in an open plan office. There were a few times I wanted to stand up and just tip the lunch over their heads. And don’t even get me started on the co-workers who liked to kick off their shoes like they were on holiday or something, stinking out the whole office. The working environment is a strictly ‘shoes-on’ environment in my book.

    I really enjoyed reading this funny post!

  80. I was lucky enough to go from cube slave to telecommuting one year when my car was totaled. I’d roll out of bed at 4:30 am and work straight though till 10 am or so – got all my ‘8 hours of work’ done in that amount of ‘actual time’ – so much for office efficiency.
    Now I coach writers & write fiction for a living, thank god.

  81. I haven’t had to work in a cubicle yet, and I’m really hoping I won’t have to. You did an excellent job of documenting it, I laughed out loud. Congrats on Freshly Pressed, and I’m pressing the follow button! πŸ™‚

  82. Vikki blahs

    Why dont you see the postive sides of it…..I love the privacy I have got because of cubicles…no one can peek in to see what I am doing…I have got
    a large desk to spread out my things….hang important,inspiring and beautiful things on walls…your discussions wont attract attention of entire office(a gathering of 2-3 ppl)…..its more like a study room at home where I can get my quite and customised atmosphere….and if u ever feel bored just standup and u can talk to frnds over the wall…from what I observed from your article…your miseries(not exactly, but say discomforts) are more due to your camaraderie and their habits..than the cubicle itself…which equally will be there in the absence of cubicles…

  83. your post reminds me of my office life 2 years ago….same stuff as you went through lol.

  84. I loved your post! It brought back many memories of the time I worked in a cube farm. We made it bearable by putting up personal touches – everything from photos and posters to wallpaper borders and fabric swags. And then some brilliant soul up in corporate said that anything not in a 5×7 frame was banned and that we could only have 2 or 3 of them (I forget the exact number, but it was little). There was almost a riot! Yes, the wallpaper and “curtains” were over the top, but only three pictures and no toys or plants? Inconceivable! Now, I’m a nurse working at a hospital, and I would kill to have my own two inches of space with a computer so I could chart. It would beat trying to jostle for the limited space at the nurses’ station or charting in the rooms, awkwardly typing with my back to the patient and feeling them trying to read over my shoulder.

  85. Amazing post!
    I was in a cubicle job for a year. And i got into so much trouble and the lack of space got me all depressed. I tried everything to make my cubicle more happier, with decorations and even a tiny bookshelf on the floor for people to come by and read. After a year of going thru with this, I couldn’t take the depression anymore and eventually didn’t care about the money anymore. Left the my crammed corporate prison and went back to being a graphic designer. Less pay but more happiness.

    • Wow so you really get to be creative now, that’s great! Instead of SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder) it sounds like you had CAD (Cubicle Affective Disorder)! I have two things to say…You’re Free, You’re Free!!!! Thank you for reading my post!


    Absolutely brilliant post! This line sums up cubicle life brilliantly; “Ugh, they put you in a cube, then tell you to think outside the box!”.

    • I do love that line : ) It’s true-made to feel as ordinary and boring as absolutely possible but then expected to shine, be creative, bring something special to the company! Thanks so much, really glad you liked it!

  87. Zoe

    I just started cubicle life, ha ha. Is it weird that I was sort of excited to be in an isolated cubicle at first (I came from retail).

  88. Great post. So sad that I can relate to so much of your post. Cubes have never made anyone more productive. The only improvements that have come from them is that I think we’re all a little better at using ‘Alt + Tab’.

    • haha, to hide what you’re doing? I agree, it takes a lot more concentration to tune out other noises and conversations than simply focusing on what you’re doing. Glad you liked it! I really appreciate the comment.

  89. This post brings back the memory of escaping my boring IT job and you describe the environment so well! Thankfully I’ll never have to sit in a cubical ever again!

  90. The funniest blog post I’ve read in years!!

  91. Janalyn Voigt

    You took me back to my five years in cubeland. Thank you for reminding me why I left. πŸ™‚

  92. Steven Sawyer

    GREAT POST! Weren’t you the one who kept coming to my cubicle and complain because I had a cube next to a window? Haven’t you ever gotten over that? Truth be known, I would have traded my window cube in a heartbeat for your cube next to the snack machine. Wonderful blog. I’m going to plug this on my Facebook and Twitter pages. I may even write a tale of my own cube life. Thanks for sharing this. Gotta go. Gotta move my Stan Musial statue off my desk before our office stalker sees it on my desk. She’s a Cleveland Indians fan and I’ll never hear the end of it if I don’t put it out of sight. We’re not supposed to have sports statues on our desks anyway! :>)

    • LOL, your comment was hilarious! For a minute there I was asking myself if I actually worked with you! Glad you enjoyed the piece and thanks so much for sharing it with your fans! Definitely write about your experiences, so many stories so little time!

    • Steven Sawyer

      Never seen this many replies to a post in all my blogging days. You struck a nerve with working folks.

  93. You know you’ve written a thought-inspiring article when it takes much more than a few seconds to scroll down the comments section. Nice post indeed!!! I’ve now decided that I will NOT be working at a desk job that involves being stuck in a cubicle all day, I can’t even imagine…

  94. Haha, you made me feel, along with you, the hell of being a cubie – well done and congratulations on being freshly pressed!

  95. I think office cubicles must be a very American thing. I’ve worked in open plan offices in London for 20+ years and never seen an office with high-sided cubicles. How does anyone share ideas???!

    • By email : ) Or, in conference rooms I suppose. Also depends on the type of work one does. I’m assuming that very creative companies wouldn’t have cubicles but I haven’t studied this.

  96. Love this idea,cubicles is the place which looks like an peaceful office where we can work together.

  97. Wonderful idea and good explanation.cubicle life has a subversive subculture.I liked it verymuch.

  98. Wow, this was one funny post. Thanks for the laughs! I’m forwarding the link to some other folks.

  99. Except for the marijuana part, you basically hit my employer and its cubicle farm on head.
    “We haven’t even touched on the gossip grapevine which exists in cubie life and is faster than the DSL I have at home!” So damn true.

    Thanks for letting me know I’m not alone πŸ™‚

    • Anytime! Thank you for your comment and for reading the piece! Funny how something so boring and/or annoying can make a story. That part really happened it was unbelievable to me how my leaving made it back to my desk as I got there myself!

  100. marginalessays

    I work in an open office with co-workers. My “office space” is smaller than a personal cubicle. We somehow make it work.

  101. This is sooo funny! So are some of the comments!

  102. This post cracked me up! Congrats on being Freshly Pressed. I used to work in an office with cubicles years back, and you had the weird quirks described down pat. I don’t have a cubicle where I work now, but wish I did so I could have some semblance of privacy.

    You’ve got a new follower! (And yes, how sad is it to get excited when cake or some other dessert gets brought to the office? LOL)

  103. Thank you so much for writing this. It’s exactly how I feel. It’s funny to me that I’m reading and commenting on this as I sit in my own cubicle! How’s that for irony? A friend of mine who used to work here called it “The Evil Empire”. I thought it was just her term of endearment but after staying here for almost 3 years, I’ve realized that she’s quite right…although I’d much rather work for Darth Vader. I’m working on trying to get out of the cube life…hopefully sooner!

    Oh and it’s not just cake. Food in the general sense pretty much gets everyone out of their cubes and into the conference room! =)

  104. This was really funny! Cake Cake Cake… yessss so delicious ❀ Thanks for sharing! I'm new to this whole "blog" thing, in fact, I just wrote my first blog today! So i'm going to use your blog as an example! πŸ™‚

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  106. scintillatebrightly

    And here I’m wondering if this is the life I should return to. Thanks for reminding me of all that I was missing,

  107. lucieloves

    You made me miss my cubicle days – the gossip, the popcorn, the silent killer farts! Nice post!

  108. i loved this post. well only managers have a cube in our office but i think i can relate to what you were saying about the types of people one has to work with in the office. you deserve getting freshly pressed. hope to read more from you.

  109. glittermouse

    It’s stuff like this that makes me glad I have never worked in an office, let alone an open-plan one πŸ™‚

  110. Mohammad Ali Bandial

    Im SO glad you mentioned the bit about eating in the cubicle, its HORRIBLE! The smell permanently becomes another being inside that tight compressed space, and I have to spend a lot of time with my face inside my shirt like a ninja and pray that my new smelly cubie leaves:P
    hehe but there are good times too, i just can’t/dont want to remember them:P

  111. Mohammad Ali Bandial

    Reblogged this on monty bandial's two cents … and commented:
    Captures in truest essence, the cramped up claustrophobic life in an office cubicle

  112. Okay, I totally blame you for making such a great post and making me smiling by myself the entire time I read your post. SUCH A GREAT POST! I love the way you tell your life in a cubie – as you call it. I guess, every employees in the whole world have experiences with their teeny tiny cubie..

  113. Loved your post… its was really fun read!! More so cos i work in a cubicle myself πŸ™‚

  114. dani

    you people from USA live a hell of a life over there. I can not relate to this Cubicle thing but it sounds horrible. Funny to read horrible to live.

  115. Great post. I remember visiting an open plan office of town planners. They had increased the height of their cubicles so that the office was quite literally a darkened maze, with no natural light reaching from the windows. I fully expected to meet a Minotaur as I negotiated my way around.

  116. greetings from india, have the cubicle experience thanks to the BPO industry landing on our shores. killer article, humorous and hits the nail on the head. what i like is that uve taken a seemingly mundane fact of life and made it quite entertaining…thanks πŸ™‚

  117. Hahahaha LMFO .. Office Stalkers πŸ™‚

  118. Great post! Reminded me of my cubicle life just a few years ago. Probably the most outrageous thing I overheard from those so-called “privacy” partitions was a co-worker wailing how 1) she was pregnant and 2) wasn’t sure which guy was the father!

  119. I’m SO glad I haven’t had to deal with this yet other than the semester I had an internship–and no one was in the cubes around me, so it was almost like an office. Working full time for that same company now but in a different location and my entire office–probably intended for at least 20 people–currently only houses about six, so we all have our own offices and it’s amazing. I have been completely spoiled–I don’t know what I’m going to do one day when I will inevitably have to go back to the cube!

  120. Great post!! I have worked in a cubicle before, but I am SO thankful for an office these days. And I can totally relate on the word cake…in the midst of a boring, uneventful work day, to hear the word cake is like seeing a mirage in the desert or hearing a halleluiah chorus of angels singing. It is most definitely motivation to make it through another day. Halleluiah for cake! LOL!!

    • You and I are definitely on the same page. It is a mirage in a desert of boring, mundane days! So funny when it’s someone’s birthday and people slowly move in for the kill even when they don’t know the person. Must-get-cake!

  121. I’m happy I never had to suffer the cubicle, most of my places of work go for the open landscape, once you get use to the noice from your co-workers it’s a very nice way of working.

    • I’ve done the same and yes can be very fun and interactive. I think it depends on the type of work you do and if you’re dealing with confidential information.

  122. So funny!! The best conclusion I’ve come across in while, great writing.

  123. juanita

    my 21 year old son went on his first “real” job interview – some kind of processing center. He was taken into a field of cubes. He said it freaked him out, he suddenly felt like he couldn’t get air. He told the interviewer he had to go to the bathroom, and he walked out to his car and drove away.

    He says he’s happy to paint stair railings and playground equipment at the welfare projects.

  124. baleandtwine

    don’t forget ice cream sundae day in the conference rm… You brought back so many always sounds like a cocktail party when the cubies starting getting restless. I recently saw the smallest cubicle ever and it stopped me in my tracks, I wasn’t sure whether to laugh or to yell. congrats on FP

    • Thanks very much, it’s been an amazing experience. That is very true about the party atmosphere, like just before the weekend or a holiday. I worked for an insurance company and was told that before I’d gotten there they had carts and went around making everyone ice cream sundaes. I don’t know, sounds too good to be true lol. You should have taken a picture of it and posted it. It sounds like the one I wrote about.

  125. Been there. Done that. Still stuck. Yes, I still live in a cubicle. I can definitely understand what it’s like despite the fact that my cubicle land is smaller and the cubicles are slightly bigger. I at least have a window.

  126. Until now I am working in a 4-person office room, but soon my department moves to “open space” too.
    Well, I will try to see it from the funny side, like you described!

  127. fiftyin2012

    Loved your post, so funny and I can relate as some one who has been in the cubicle sub-culture. I also have been subjected to the cloffice, which is a cross between a closet and an office wanna be!

  128. 303 likes? holy crap! If I would have known Dana’s blog was gonna go “postal” like this, I probably would have commented something really nice and pretty in the beginning…lol

    • lol, no worries, I know you’ve got my back!

      • I was wondering why I was getting high traffic on my blog page, when I haven’t done anything to it for almost a full

      • wow, nice!! Glad to help lol

      • I knew something was very strange when I got over 500 hits over the I think lot folks that went over probably assumed I was a jerk or something, but probably got disappointed when they saw the
        I’m still laughing over the fact that you got Pressed on the ONE blog where I left a controversial
        I am having a lot of fun, and I definitely appreciate your help!
        Oh, by the way, I’m only leaving you good fun comments from now

      • I thought oh no, he’s gonna die when he sees which one is getting all the attention-500 hits wow, did they leave any comments?

      • yeah, a handful, also added about 5 more followers, too πŸ™‚
        Hey, I know exactly what you are thinking right now. You are laughing at my “huge” 500 hits number…lol. I know you are, don’t deny it!
        You gotta blog about this experience, its just way too cool!

      • Just did ‘) And no, definitely not laughing as that will seem a lot now that I’ve been relegated lol

      • I thought, oh no, he’s going to die when he sees this! 500 hits wow, did they leave any comments? Makes me feel famous, but alas they’ve moved me to page two-I just finished writing about the experience, I’ll post in a sec

      • oh and, yes, i got your back “sista”! Thanks for sending your overflow traffic my

  129. Liz

    Great post! Both my parents worked in cubicles in the 80s and some of my earliest memories are visiting them at work. Seems like cubicle work could either be hair-tearing-out-inducing or fodder for great comedy… or both.

    • Thanks very much and yes, definitely both lol Cherish the memories. I remember going to work with my mother. Didn’t it seem so exciting then!

  130. Alyssa

    Guess what? Am also stuck here in my cubicle. Hehe πŸ™‚ … Nice point of view by the way. πŸ™‚

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    • Aww 😦 You need the screaming monkey that transparentguy talked about!

      Thanks very much, means a lot!

    • I really never realized how universal this is and how many people are dealing with cubicle life. Waving to you from my own. Thanks for reading it and really glad you liked it!

  131. CAKE is the magic word in my office too…..

  132. Great post. Gives me an idea of what it must be like to work in an office.

    My workspace is a tennis court. A bit bigger than a cubicle.

  133. I’ve never worked in a cubicle; the only point of reference for me is “Office Space;” thank you for the insight. I think “CAKE!” will awaken excitement in any work situation, though. I know it does at my school!

    • Definitely! Who doesn’t like a treat. Never seen Office Space but a few here have mentioned it. Going to have to check it out now. Thanks for checking out my post!

  134. I spent two an a half years in a cubicle office, and this pretty much summed up my depressing experience! I remember the looks of disgust if you didn’t bring it cakes when it was your birthday (I still think that’s a bit of a backwards idea, but hey). Also the longing in peoples eyes when you came back from holiday, and opened up your bag in the hope that you would produce a bag of sweets for which they could fatten themselves up on for the day.

    Nice way to make light of a horrifying experience =)

    • You must be from England Debbie. That is the only place I’ve ever known people to bring in their own cakes for their birthday! And then to get the looks to boot! Crazy. People are bored and desperate for distraction in that atmosphere!

  135. What’s missing here (not from your post) but in the comments, particularly from Chris9911, is a reflection that different people are suited to different work environments. His recommendations are not evidence-based, and may work for the short-term bottom line, but treating people like machines is unlikely to help much in the long-term. Evidence is that those with an introverted temperament struggle to be productive in open-plan environments.

    All that said, great read, thanks!

    • Thank you for the thoughtful comment and so glad you liked the post! The problem is that they come up with solutions for those who pay them to do so….which gives me a great idea for a new business….cubicle consultant. We come in and redecorate the space and the employees pay us! Sorry, went off on a tangent there. The funny thing is that HR Departments know that people have different working/personality styles and one would think they would use that to their advantage but they go with the institutional approach unfortunately!

  136. Man I can totally relate to this whole blog. I have worked many a customer service job, too many in fact, where we were herded like sheep into our grey, soul less cubicles with nothing but a metal file cabinet above our heads, computer screen in front of our face, and a telephone to our right or left. And cubie etiquette you nailed it right on! Also the smell of popcorn and fish, and lunch rooms with dirty microwaves, refrigerators where your food gets stolen if you don’t label it. Been there and done that and I never want to go back! Corporate Hell!

    • You summed it up nicely. Another admirer of the fishcorn I see! I can’t remember what it was advertising but there was a commerical that showed one mundane item of life after another and every time I saw it I wanted to scream. Your description of the cubicle does the same lol. Sorry to bring back bad memories for you. Hope you’re off to greener pastures.

  137. Alan Arqueza

    NASA to mission control WordPress Cubicle has landed.
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  138. travellerkalpit

    its awesome and please visit to my blog as well. I am new on wordpress that’s why i need you all there.

  139. lijiujiu

    Excellent post. I work in a cube too. I appreciate your efforts behind that. Have a great day!

  140. Your cubicle world doesn’t seems ideal.
    Even though people tend to follow their dreams nowadays (especially after hearing all successful and ispirational stories), at the end of the day the economic climate makes us all to take any job there is, at any conditions and any space just to pay the bill and survive from one month to another.
    Thank you for sharing your story, showing the reality of the cubicle…
    Also I enjoy to read about the internal communication, how people even so close to each other prefare to use technical devises instead of natural, human communication / interaction…

  141. Pingback: Reblog: My Year In A Cubicle « Channel the Alley

  142. Loving your post – Congrats on being FP! I went from cube land to being in a fish bowl at work (in a Receptionist position behind safety glass).

  143. Pingback: Versatile Blogger Award | rustic recluse

  144. Liz Reloaded

    Reblogged this on Marketblue's Blog and commented:
    …Algo similar con la realidad es solo coincidencia….. jajajaja

  145. Groovy webpage praises for composing this. I liked it on WordPress|Just linked this to Myspace|I emailed this to a coworker…thanks for sharing}

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  147. Anonymous

    I don’t see a problem on my side but thanks for the heads up and for reading the post!

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  154. Cake can only go so far though, lol. cubicles shouldn’t be a cell. I’ve had a few jobs where they were very well implemented.

  155. Pingback: Pass The Love: It’s Blogging Awards Season! – Life on High

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