Monday, February 23, 2009

The Corporate Monday

All on this earth must toil for their living, from the tiny wren to the mighty elephant. And yes, the lowly human also must toil to live upon the earth. So, here I am, a lowly human facing yet another Monday morning. It is a stone cold fact that I have faced a total of 2,194 Monday mornings since I began working at age fourteen. The overwhelming majority of those Mondays were mornings when I had to return to work.

Humans have invented cube farms to inhabit during business hours. At first glance they seem like an ideal solution but every word spoken, even whispered, is heard for rows around. All coughing and sneezing, and the germs, are shared equally. Eating and gossiping and conducting personal business are automatically amplified for all to hear. No company business is heard, especially something impacting your responsibilities - that sound does not escape into the cube farm environment, thus insuring you will be caught entirely off guard when reality hits.

Tall people have unfair advantage in the cube world. They can look directly down into your cube by merely standing up. Short people do have a mobility advantage by moving among the rows unseen by all seated employees.

Working in the modern cube farm, you often observe people popping up and down like prairie dogs through out the day. The movement of a big boss can be tracked from afar as all cube dwellers disappear in waves ahead of his progress through a given department. If startling news makes the rounds via email or word of mouth, cube dwellers are often observed popping up and down accompanied by calls of "What? What!"

Inhabiting the cube farms are the modern coworkers, the people you spend more time with than your own family - people with impaired personal hygiene; troublemakers; slackers; gossips; nosy nellies, and bastards.

The corporate environment that spawned cube farms is not a new structure, but in its current iteration, it sucks. The best and brightest do not rise to the top. In fact, it is often the worst who get promoted up the ladder simply to get them out of the way so real work can be accomplished.

Sometimes you are forced to work with people whose very existence irritates you. If you are not feeling strong and in control of your emotions on any given day, it is best to call in sick or take a vacation day rather than chance a kerfuffle with the cube farm's MIP, most irritating person. It can only go badly for you otherwise.

When every day at your job seems like another Monday, you know you should retire.

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