Cube World: 1.1 – Work Avoidance as Time Management


The IT guys are at it again. Talking. What do they think – people can’t hear one row of cubicles over? They must think these things are sound proof. Cubicles give some people a false sense of security – they can’t see me, so they won’t be able to hear me. Bullshit. You can hear a paperclip drop or a right-mouse click from 50 feet away.

There’s basically three types of conversations and tones associated with the Cube World: there’s the, I want EVERYONE to hear what I’m saying because what I’m saying is so interesting why wouldn’t everyone want to hear me voice. Second is the, I don’t want anyone to hear a word I’m saying so I’m going to speak quietly but I’m a dumbass who doesn’t know how to speak quietly so everyone is going to hear what I’m saying anyway voice. And finally there is the, I have to speak as quietly as possible because what I’m saying is so outrageously inappropriate that if anyone ever heard me I might be removed by security from the workplace voice. In this case even the person they’re talking to can’t hear what they’re saying because they’re speaking in a whisper so the other person is constantly asking “what?” drawing further attention to the discussion.

The IT guys fall, most often, into categories one and two. Is it really necessary to discuss the upsides and downsides of microsoft servers, email password resets, and corrupt hard-drives at vocal-volume “11?” And what do I care if you conned your step-daughter into purchasing your used laptop at an unbelievable price and she’s going to pay you in installments (it’s no wonder she hates your guts). Apparently these conversations are meant for the entire office.

In Cube World, a bad joke travels faster than Bird Flu in a Chinese village. Most times I hear the joke 3 times before the joke-goon pokes his head into my cubicle and tells me personally. I pretend to laugh as if I didn’t hear him tell it on every row before mine. Does he have to laugh at it every time?

There’s one guy here who shows up at 6:30 every morning. He boots up his computer, starts some database program, goes back to his car and sleeps for an hour. Every day. If I were pissed at the guy it would only be because I’m jealous. It’s a brilliant idea – getting paid to sleep. That guy doesn’t tell jokes – he barely talks – it’s best to keep to yourself when you got a sweet con like that going. Don’t want to draw attention to yourself, you know.

The smokers are in a world all their own. They take a break once an hour – usually for ten minutes at a time. “You gonna tell me I can’t smoke? That’s my God-given American right! My forefathers died so I could smoke in my workplace, I’m doing y’all a favor by stepping outside.” Twenty minutes a day of real work is the max out of them. If I went outside to read a book for the same amount of time they sat on their asses smoking, there’s no way I could keep my job. But if I were tearing pages out of the book and using them for rolling paper to suck down some chemicals, that’s fine. But we’re getting off track…

The work avoidance, weather it be talking, sleeping, or smoking is a daily chore in which we all participate. We each do it in our own way – I’m still honing my way – but I think I’m onto something.

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