If you think about it, it's really kinda ironic that, for all of the corporate propaganda about 'openness,' so many of us feel more closed off - more trapped - than ever before. Incidences of claustrophobia seem to have been very much on the rise in recent years, afflicting a broad swath of white-collar types. It appears that we've graduated from the more rural-sounding cabin fever to the more modern and corporate Cubicle Fever. Irrespective, the feeling sucks. The Setting They’ve issued you a cubicle, a 'Herman Miller'esque workspace. A place for you to spend at least seven hours a day; ergonomically designed to ensure that you do what you get paid to do, while occupying the least amount of floor space possible. And, I would add, with the very least amount of human interaction possible. Everyone chained to their computer screen, the silence pretty much only broken by the click-clack of many keyboards. So the feeling of isolation and confinement intensifies, after all, … [Read more...] about Cubicle Fever Warning Signs and Cures
The Cubicle Continuum
The rise of open offices has triggered a sort of “open office” revolution for a humongous amount of workplaces across the country - it feels like the death of the cubicle! The rise in the use of open offices makes sense, though, since it’s easier for people to think in open areas, easier for them to communicate, and it saves money on office furniture (like partitions). … [Read more...] about Open Offices & Open Workplace Etiquette
At some point or another, we've all found ourselves with nothing to do at work. This might be because we simply don't have any interest in the work we're doing, we're not being supervised properly, or the work we're doing is so simple that we finished it hours ago. Finding ourselves scrolling aimlessly through clickbait, wikipedia articles, and google search results, we can almost feel our souls escaping our bodies. … [Read more...] about Nothing to Do at Work? We've Got Ideas!
Does anyone here know what in the hell a buck slip is? Well, I asked around and like no one even knew what I was talking about. One friend even wondered if this was some sort of train transfer. I shouldn't have been at all surprised; after all, this term is so old, it's even aged beyond my ancient boss. And unless I hear otherwise, I'll continue in self-pity mode, and think that I'm the only cubicle continuum reader so afflicted. If you have similar experiences, I'd really appreciate your sharing them. After all, misery does indeed love company...The buck slip is a very annoying 5x7 form that he persists in perennially sending around to all of his senior staff. Basically, he writes (yup, with a pen) orders, instructions and more often than not attaches (stapled, of course) more or less relevant reports and documents. Staff names are already pre-printed, and the form is studded with various check-off boxes. I think you know the drill-'FYI', 'Reply for_________Signature', 'Return Call', … [Read more...] about Antiquated Method Used By My Boss to Assign Tasks
Aren't we just so very proud of ourselves: in a single quantum leap, or so some would have us believe, we've eradicated all forms of overt prejudice. So be it race, religion, ethnicity, color, sexual persuasion, etc., being against (or for) someone for these reasons alone just isn't considered acceptable any longer. And, while this can seem very all-American and an unassailable virtue that even the European Union would be happy about, the reality is that we are really kinda ambivalent about the whole thing. I mean, there's really no way to reconcile being for equality yet also touting affirmative action. Sure, this can be parsed and rationalized in a million ways, but let's just leave that up to the gliberals, the power elite to justify this type of social schizophrenia. And, BTW, they (like the NT Slimes, the Rockefeller Foundation, Mayor 'Mike' Bloomberg, etc. ad nauseum) are real good at having you and I pay-in every way so that they can continue to blithely pursue their social … [Read more...] about Anorexic Avant Garde – Overweight Discrimination @ Work
If we're really gonna be honest about it, we-and that means all of us, men as well as women-make a fashion statement every day that we trudge into our cubes. True, what we opt to wear (or, in this case, carry) is dictated either by necessity, personal preference, or a combination of both. And the choices we make may indeed be as much subliminal as conscious.Take what we carry, for example. True, the leather briefcase is now probably relegated to memories of your eighth grade science teacher, and the totally passe attache case is only seen as a prop for 'businessmen' in circa 1960s movies. Yet, the fact remains that almost all of us actually feel compelled to carry some form of hand luggage (for want of a better word) to work every day. So, and whether you carry a portfolio, or wear either a messenger bag or back pack, the fact is that you do lug (no pun intended) your 'stuff' to the office. Maybe it's just a security blanket, but we all seem to need one. Maybe I'm just a voyeur at … [Read more...] about What the Heck Is in Your Work Bag?
Most of us have, at one time or another in our careers, been quite disgusted with the hypocrisy, mendacity and generic mean-spiritedness that we encounter. And the workspace, for all of its subdued lighting, central air, and other amenities, may as well be a reptile house instead of an office. It’s always at these times, when we feel the most vulnerable, that we tend to idealize other jobs. You know the drill - ‘I wish that I worked in Hawaii, even as a dish jockey’. ‘Home Depot doesn’t seem so bad, and hey, I might even learn a thing or two’. True, most of us do, however, stop just short of wanting to work at McDonalds. Yet of all the jobs that many mid-careerists find very appealing – at least from afar - is that of being a tour guide in some exotic clime. No, I don’t mean standing around musty, and often bloody relics at, let’s say, the Bullfight Museum in Madrid. Or even acting like a shave-headed Russian mafioso, while showing … [Read more...] about Tour Guide: A Job In Heaven or Hell?
If anyone in Major League Baseball seemed to stand in stark contradiction to the corporate fat cat owners, and their armies of accountants and attorneys, it was always Joe Torre. Yup, good ole Joe who, despite the fact that he's a millionaire many times over, possessed what can best be described as that 'common touch' we in America love so much. While the standard M.O. of the Steinbrenners and others of their gizzillionaire ilk is to operate on the profit uber alles mentality, Joe appeared to stand for principles, for leadership, and above all for loyalty.Yet to many, including not only baseball fans, but sportscasters and even players, Torre's previous populist persona has been besmirched by the revelations he recently made in his new book. True, and while the entire bio isn't all that kiss and tell, Torre does take a good number of swipes at not only the Yankee management, but at some players as well. Probably everyone can either agree with, or at least understand, Torre's taking on … [Read more...] about Joe Torre and Corporate Loyalty
Just as George Orwell predicted in his negative utopian classic '1984,' Big Brother has arrived! Not just overnight, but slowly, ever so slowly, the new corporate mindset, with its' over-obsession on worker accountability, has slithered into the workplace. Of course, and as we all know, HR, aka the Thought Police, has become not just a separate profession, but really one of the most prolific and powerful, yet stunningly unproductive, industries known to the modern American workplace.In fact, it's these corporate cops, and their big business bosses, that we have to thank for the hypocrisy of political correctness, the ever-increasing number of employee regulations that we're subjected to, and the like. It's damned ironic, if you think about it, that our employers, while perenially whining about the bottom line, can still have the gall to sink millions-yeah, milliions!-into every type of techno-crap for really only one reason, and that's to better monitor the workforce. And all under the … [Read more...] about Time Cards Out. Hand Geometry In. Hello 1984!
"The market plummeted yesterday, the Dow is down at the opening today, and the blah blah company is merging with the ump-de-ump bank. Major layoffs are expected...". Corporate greed or media screed? Too bad for us, but we've got an unhealthy dose of both. Headlines and talking points that I'm sure we're all equally sick of hearing and reading about. And, as the media vigorously stirs this pot with a vengeance, greatly contributing to the climate of uncertainty, they-no surprise-end up as the real winners. 'Cause the more they hype and exploit every situation, the more their listenership expands and their readership increases. You don't need a CPA to tell you that the media reaps a financial windfall, and a power bonanza, each and every time they scare us.So we all begin to worry, to wonder if our jobs are really as secure as we thought they were, just a few short weeks ago. More to the point, however, is the confidence level of the companies that we work for. Sure, we all expect … [Read more...] about Financial Fiasco: 6 Career Safeguards