Wednesday, February 21, 2007

The Seventh Circle of Hell...Cubicle World

Working, as I do, in a rat's maze of cubicles, has given me a new appreciation for the evil genius who invented the "cubicle". Cubicles, it is said, are meant to create a world of collaboration among the congenial colleagues that come, lunch pails in hand, into the wonderful, open-space world of just about every bureacracy on earth. What these mauve and grey colored jungles actually do is create a world of sounds, sights and smells from which you, as a cubicle worker, can never, ever fucking escape. It makes matters monumentally worse when the cubicle village is ringed, as it generally is, by the offices (with CLOSING DOORS) occupied by the elite in our pathetic world: management.

Can't you see it? What they've got going here is a caste system based on the hierarchy of rank that has been awarded to those who kiss ass the very best by those who have kissed ass before them. Dating back to the stone age I see an unbroken string of lips pressed to asses in an obsequious frenzy of groveling. The currency of this evil culture is privacy. If you are important you get to close your door on the teeming unwashed whenever you want.

"I can't stand to see your sorry, loser asses anymore", smartly translates to: "Sorry, my door's going to be closed for a bit, I've got a conference call that requires my attention."

"What a bunch of saps you all are, how I loathe your pathetic insignifigance", becomes: "I've got to close the door for a bit to work on your evaluations".

And finally, the exercising of the true perk of being in the monstrous elite class known as management, "I'm going to take a little nap now and there's not a fucking thing you can do about it. Get back to work!" becomes: "Please don't disturb, I've gotten an assignment from senior staff that has to be done by COB".

So the rest of us sit, cheek to jowl, awash in each other's funk and personal crises without one iota of a sense of self-respect while our feeble-minded managers sit, like so many Jabba The Hutts, behind the blessing of a closed door. I picture them all in their self-important "manager meetings" behind those same closed doors blithely sharing stories and chuckling at their own grossly misplaced sense of importance.

But for me, one of the worst of the cubicle world affronts is having to listen to the pointless "small talk" that passes for communication in the world of cubicle-ites. The favorite topic, hands down, is the weather. Punctuated, as all good cubicle banter is, by the ALWAYS misplaced fake laugh firing off like some kind of mutant machine gun. "Whew is it hot out there - heh, heh, heh; heh, heh it's too cold for me; Holy Mackerel heh, heh, it's not cold enough; wow! How about all that snow? heh, heh, heh; sure would love a heh, heh, snow day; oooooo, how are we going to drive if the weather gets worse heh, heh, heh; have you been outside heh, heh; Is it warm out? Need my coat? Didn't remember my hat, and boy was I sorry HEH, HEH, HEH!" On and on and on and Oh....MY....GAWD! SHUT THE FUCK UP YOU INSIPID MORONS!! Christ Almighty!! What did I do to deserve to be trapped in this wasteland? Let me say this here and now: people who are not funny (which is the VAST majority of humanity) relinquish all rights to polite protocol when they insist on foisting their NOT FUNNY shit on the rest of us. "How's about this one, dorkwad: YOU'RE NOT FUCKING FUNNY! HEH! HEH! FUCKING HEH!!!"

Then there are the lucky bastards that can actually manage to escape into sweet, sweet sleep while trapped in Cubicle Hell. Who cares if everyone can hear you snoring? See your slobbering drool hanging out of the corner of your mouth? Motherfucker, you've ESCAPED! Escaped the mindless, soul-searing "chit-chat", escaped the burps and the farts and the personal crises played out endlessly within earshot of all of us when some poor sap has to make a phone call. "Luann, honey, drawing a pentagram on your teacher's car with an Exacto blade is not good judgement, now is it? Hello? Hello? Hellooooooo?" Awkward silence as we all peer ever more intently at the glow of our computer screens and pray for the day to end. Or for the bitch to shut up. Or both.

Cubicles were created for one thing: to make office workers feel like the unappreciated drones that we are. Privacy? Rats don't need privacy! Peace and quiet? You can get that somewhere else. Here you're one of the many, the proletariat, the underclass. If listening to some slob slurp his coffee and scrape the bottom of a styrofoam cup for 15 minutes to get the last drop of oatmeal every single fucking day makes you want to jump out the window, then dude you best start puckering up 'cause those offices don't come cheap.

Bend over bitch!

1 comment:

Paul "Paul" Rosa (NY City), 45. said...

Ha, love it! Especially the bit about the fake machine-gun laugh and the Exacto knife.

You are right, funny madam - Unfortunately, virtually EVERYONE thinks they have a good sense of humor, but over 95% of them are wrong. Maybe 99%.....