As I mentioned in a recent article, I found a new job and have headed back to the land of cubicles! For those of you who’re unfamiliar with this place, I will give you a brief explanation of this land so you can appreciate the preparations those of us in the Land of Cubicles must undertake. (Yes, some of this article is written tongue in cheek)
What is the Land of Cubicles?
This is a place to which many travel to make a living. It can be a land of many dangers that one must be prepared for! It can be a hostile land, filled with obstacles that hinder your progress in achieving the goals set for you in making the living you set out to gain. It can be a germ-infested place, sometimes only second to the public education system. Quite often, those who venture into the Land of Cubicles are stripped of any means of self-defense. The Land of Cubicles has also been known to have a draining effect on those who enter it; draining the energy, happiness and life out of those who enter, replacing them with frustration and gloom.
Like I said, some of this is presented entirely tongue in cheek, but all of those things are real. Below are some ways I prepare for the Land of Cubicles.
We all have various obstacles that can make life in the Land of Cubicles challenging. Finding ways to mitigate them is important. I drive further than I care to, and when the weather is even slightly poor, it can take hours to get to or from the Land of Cubicles. To minimize the frustration of traffic, I listen to podcasts or dictate notes for ideas on articles. Another obstacle for me noise. I think people forget that cubicles are not a soundproof box. To overcome this obstacle, at times I will listen to music. Yes, it’s still noise, but it drowns out the personal conversations that I really don’t want to hear.
Many companies have started to tell their employees that if they’re sick, to stay home. Not everyone listens, so making sure one washes their hands often, as well as having some hand sanitizer available, is a good idea. I had a coworker once who kept a can of Lysol at his desk. Anytime anyone coughed near him, he let it fly!
Weapons Free Zones
Here is something to consider; if you take away domestic violence, the vast majority of violence happens at someone’s place of employment. If you go to a mall, there are shoppers there, but the clerks and cashiers work there. If you go to a school, there are students there, but the teachers and administration work there. I could go on and on, but you get the point.
Most companies are weapons free zones. For liability reasons, I can understand why. I just started at my current company and I have no idea if the person I am replacing was fired and left angrily. There is also always a chance that a past or present employee can become disgruntled or that domestic violence could break out at work by an angry spouse who came to visit. Because of this, I have made a point of knowing multiple ways out of the building. I have also made note of things I can use as impromptu weapons, like scissors, fire extinguishers and others.
Ok, maybe “soul draining” is a little overboard, but spending too much time locked away in a cubicle is not healthy. To make the time in the Land of Cubicles bearable, I listen to music, and actually take lunch breaks. I don’t just eat while I am working. Some people personalize their work space, by bringing in photos from home. This really isn’t my thing, not because I am not proud of my wife and family. Heck if it wasn’t for Trudee I probably wouldn’t have anything on the walls at home either. The point is, do what it takes to make your time in the Land of Cubicles bearable. I normally eat at home or bring in my lunch, but one thing I have done is treat myself with breakfast or lunch out on Friday’s to celebrate having made it through another week!
I usually keep a good sized car kit in the car, just in case I need to make my way home with it, or if I had to stay put at work for an extended time due to an emergency. I do, however, keep some special preps for use inside the building. Here are some items I keep with me that I use more frequently than the kit that stays with the car.
• Lip Balm
• Smalls bills
• Spare change
• Hand sanitizer
• Water bottle
• Swiss Army Knife
• Over-the-counter meds
• Small first aid kit
• Eye drops
• Reading material
• Music and headphones
Do you spend time in the Land of Cubicles? If so, what do you do to survive there?
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