Cubicle Life

Living in a cubicle city is interesting. (It’s also interesting to note that I typed “living” and not “working”… perhaps it’s time for me to think about a change of pace?)

When the only things separating you from your co-workers are five foot eight inch walls and a frosted-plastic sliding “shower door” (which, if shut, apparently indicates that you aren’t being a team player), the whole concept of “privacy” is really just a thin social construct that only works if everyone agrees that it’s important and abides by the rules. You can’t help but listen when someone sitting three feet away from you is on the phone with their doctor, but Cubicle Law dictates that you pretend that you don’t. It follows then that you don’t ask pointed questions about private conversations you’ve overheard. Since there’s not really a way to have a closed-door meeting in a six by eight space taken up mostly by desk, it also follows that you don’t barge in to someone’s space when they’re talking to somebody else and overrun their conversation.

I haven’t yet had an office with a door in my professional life, but hopefully some day I’ll be able to make a doctor’s appointment without going outside the building and using my cell phone. I also hope that the people I work with throughout my life will always understand that not only is it Cubicle Law, it’s also politeness and common sense NOT to enter my office and re-organize my files and my personal items, throwing away what they deem unnecessary, when I’m out sick.

Not that any of this has happened to me. I’m just saying.

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