Posts Tagged ‘cubicle’

sick days cube vultures
Given the circumstances of Typhoid Mildred’s recent departure, people have been more restrained than usual in their cube plundering.

Usually the vultures descend quickly and start scooping up staplers, rulers, mousepads – anything that isn’t bolted to the floor.

Of course it’s just a matter of time. Once someone makes a move and unplugs her desk fan, all bets are off.

The larger issue will be who gets Mildred’s cube. It has indirect light and a partial view of a corner of a window, so in Hamish terms, it’s a very desirable piece of real estate.

Word is that the lobbying for her cube has already started on the QT. Innocent emails of inquiry to Clark and casual hints dropped at the water fountain.

It’s kind of creepy. Her seat isn’t even cold yet.

While I have no intention of claiming a stake (it’s a fixer up ‘er and likely haunted) I do have an interest in who gets it.

My worse case scenario has Otto moving in. Or Farook. Or Mike. In fact, when I think about it, there’s no one in the office that I can imagine being able to co-exist with for any length of time. I’m not sure what that says about them – or me.

I might be okay with a photocopier. It’s hard to say. They can be noisy and draw a crowd.

Mildred wasn’t the most engaging neighbour but she was quiet, professional and made me laugh. Plus, she kept other people out of our corner of the office. And she made me tea once.

Oh. My. God… I miss Mildred!

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Like everywhere, we’ve had our fair share of layoff rumours. I’ve tried not to think about it, but this week, I saw 10 sure signs that downsizing is on its way…

1. We received a memo telling us how to contact The Employee Assistance Program.

2. Every time I go to the printer to pick up an order sheet, there’s a stack of resumes in the tray.

3. Lunchroom talk has switched from “Who will win Idol” to “How much seniority I have.”

4. I asked my boss Clark about scheduling my next performance review. He laughed and punched me on the shoulder.

5. The supply cabinet hasn’t been restocked and won’t be “for the foreseeable future.”

6. A skid of empty boxes arrived on our floor.

7. Everybody is actually working. And working hard.

8. At any given hour you can hear someone crying in a stall in the men’s room.

9. We were six chairs short at our staff meeting. Clark’s take? “That’ll sort itself out in time.”

10. We’ve been told that our summer vacation requests have been put on hold but we should go ahead and make any plans we like.

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Mary Margaret brought her five-year-old daughter to the office today.

Everyone fussed all over her and cracked out the usual old chestnuts.

“So, you must be the new customer service representative.”

“We’re hiring them young these days.”

“Can I show you where the coffee is?”

The kid look horrified. And rightly so…

I don’t have children and I’m no expert on early childhood education but I don’t think children should be exposed to cubicles, recycled air and office politics until they’re at least old enough to smoke.

It seems cruel.

“Hey, kid, look what’s waiting for you in 20 years: Stale coffee, staff meetings and a tiny horse stall all your own. Enjoy your freedom while you can!”

This is more traumatic than walking in on your parents having sex…

Then again, maybe it isn’t quite that bad…

Maybe it’s possible that seeing all the mind-numbing paper pushing first hand will drive the kid to aspire to bigger and better things.

I sure hope so.

In any case, Mini-Mary Margaret seemed to fit right in. She sat in her mother’s chair, plunked away on the computer and even forwarded me a joke email. A chip off the old block.

She even cried when we ran out of cookies.

Maybe we should just get her business cards printed now. Looks like she has a future at Hamish Industries.

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Arrive at work to find Farook from Accounting measuring my cubicle. He looks trapped. Trapped in my cubicle.

I say “Good morning, Farook.”

He says my cube is 3 square inches wider than his. And that I’m late.

I was hoping for “Good morning, Alan.”

Email from Farook. We need to talk about my cubicle. Something about “favoritism” and “standards.”


Farook arrives at my cubicle. He asks if I got his email. I say “Yes.” He sighs painfully. I smile politely. He storms off.

I’m in the bathroom. Next thing I know, Farook is standing behind me. He demands to speak about my extra 3 inches. I suggest this might not be the appropriate venue and zip up quickly.

Farook enters my cube and takes some digital photos.

Back from lunch to discover Farook in my cubicle with Trudy from Human Resources and my boss, Clark. Clark looks tired and annoyed. There is a lot of measuring and debate.

Email from Farook telling me that none of this is personal. He trusts I understand.

Memo from Trudy. Customer service cubicles are being reconfigured due to “irregularities.” Workers arrive Monday. We are advised to box files, disconnect computers and be prepared for minor inconveniences next week.

Revised floor plan arrives from Trudy.

Near riot as staff argue about changes to the cubes. Typhoid Mildred calls Farook a “bleeding eedjit.” Nutless Tom laughs. Mary Margaret cries. Otto demands to be moved closer to the washroom. Pandemonium ensues…

Turns out the only two who aren’t affected by the move – me and Farook.

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I met with Trudy from HR to finish some outstanding paperwork and “touch base.”

Everything was going tickety boo until I made a joke. I said it was funny that Hamish Industries makes windows and doors, but my cubicle had neither.

So Trudy set me straight on Hamish hierarchy.

General office staff don’t get doors or windows. Period.

Supervisors with less than 5 years experience get indirect sunlight. Supervisors with 5 years experience get an office with a window — when one comes free. And that can take years. But they don’t get doors.

Managers get offices with windows and doors — but not corner offices. That would be wrong. The exception is managers with 20 years of service. They get corner offices – but only on the south east side of the building.

Directors get corner offices with 3 windows, one door, and a hand job.

(She was speaking quickly so it may have been intercom, not hand job… I can’t be sure).

Vice presidents get corner offices with board tables, 3-5 windows, private washrooms and reserved parking. And, apparently, I’m not entitled to know what a CEO gets. That’s confidential.

I’ll try to avoid Trudy in future. Good thing her office doesn’t have a window. After 10 minutes with her I’d have jumped out of it.

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