Saturday, August 20, 2011

Help, I'm cubed in!

Grey, padded fabric "walls." Tan table top. Navy blue desk chair. Grey carpet. A few dark grey drawers and cabinets. Grey tissue box. Giant stacks of paper everywhere. Yeah, my cubicle at work is a pretty homey place. Not.

I watch people around me who everyday, come in the morning, sit in their cubicle and type away for eight freaking hours. Every once in a while, they'll get up and leave, sometimes to do something in the lab, sometimes to get lunch, or sometimes to just take a fresh breath of air before they go insane. Seriously, how do you NOT gouge your eyes out? How can we go from the spontaneous, fun college life to sitting in a cubicle five days a week, eigth hours a day? Is there no transition phase?

Now some people may enjoy this work life. They don't mind that they have to sit in a cubicle to get their work done. If you love your job and what you're doing, there's nothing stopping or bothering you. More power to you! I know a bunch of the people around me who love their jobs and working in a cubicle is the least of their complaints.

But honestly, if given an option between a cubicle and let's say an office with glass walls for this example, who wouldn't pick the office? Who wouldn't pick a room that has painted walls? Maybe some art work? Or windows?

The concept of a cubicle is great in theory, but in reality I feel like it really dampens the mood of the workplace. I've noticed that people are always looking for an excuse to get out of their cubicle. People love to interact with each other (well, most people do unless you're a loner. just kidding...kinda) and cubicles prevent that interaction to happen with ease.

Let's say I want to talk to the person next to me at work, maybe I have a quick question on something. Well, I can't just look over and ask the question because there's this wonderful grey wall in the way. So I get up out of my chair and walk over (which I don't mind because I will find any excuse to get out of this cubicle). First off, there's no door so there's nothing I can knock to make sure it's okay for me to "come in." Awkward. Now the person seems to be bent over and very focused, with her back towards me. I stand at the opening of the cubicle hoping she'll notice my presence. Awkward. Seems like I have no choice but to say something, so I say "hey" very softly so I don't startle her, but of course it still startles her and catches her off guard. Awkward. I say my apologies for the startle and ask if she's busy. She says yes. Awkward.

Fun fact: I hate awkward situations (although, I do enjoy creating them for other people). No one should go through so many awkward moments in a matter of two minutes. Now if we didn't work in cubicles and had normal offices, etc. all these awkward moments could've been easily avoided.

Some of you may say that the cubicle is a blank canvas to display your personality to your coworkers. If this job wasn't a temporary summer job, I would probably decorate it and give it a little personal touch. But let's be honest, there's only so much you can do to make your cubicle homey. You can put up pictures, your children's art, quotes, etc. But soon enough, your cubicle start to looks like everyone else's, just like it did before any of the "personal touches" were put up.

And yes, I've seen those pictures of people doing crazy things with their cubicle but you can only keep your cubicle wrapped in plastic wrap for so long.
I don't know what's worse: working in a cubicle or a fish bowl.
Umm, well at least you won't ever forget anything ever again.
With this job, I did realize that I could never have a job that would require me to work in a cubicle (if that wasn't obvious to you already). Well, this was my cubicle experience. What is yours? Do you work in a cubicle? Do you love or hate your cubicle? Comment and share your cubicle experience (I make it sound like it's something exotic that not many people get to do haha).

La la la,


  1. awwww dw occupy urself with other things to do during breaks : ) wow that last pic!
    what do u work as hera?

  2. I can identify with how you feel. On a more positive note, many companies now seem to be moving away from the strict, walled cubicle design, and seem to be appreciating the fact that people are not automatons. I mean, some employers even let you take naps!!! Hopefully, a more organic working model will emerge in the next decade.


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We're Hera and Naz. Both of us are full time biology majors at the lovely University of Southern Indiana. When we're not out doing nerdy school stuff, we enjoy shopping, drinking slushies, and of course, writing on this awesome blog.

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