I have spent the majority of my career working in the famed and feared cubicle farm. That which the office has taught us, is where dreams go to die. Endless rows of winding walls all painted the off beige color that we associate with literally nothing exciting or happy. After nearly six years of dimly lit rooms in a maze of bleak walls and endlessly ringing phones, I was finally rewarded. Not with a raise or more vacation time but something with no intrinsic value to the outside world. My reward? a window. That’s right, my position was laterally transferred to another floor and another row of cubicles where, but by the grace of the office Gods, there was a window. With the wonderful view of the rooftop and part of the east parking lot. Only in your wildest dreams could you have imagined seeing something other than a excel spreadsheet or power point slide during your time in your cubicle. Glimpses of the outside world, no matter what parts, is a treasured thing.
Now you’re probably thinking to yourself that a window is no great achievement or innovation that deserves any real note or merit. Well let me ask you, have you ever worked a 12 to 14 hour day 5 to 6 days a week for over 3 years with no natural sunlight? Only then you have can you truly understand how truly intoxicating and blissful it is to see that giant ball of fire in its natural habitat. In the sky and not on a computer screen while you attempt to sun yourself with the light from a monitor and an inside out chip bag. With this new found transfer I am also able to stretch my legs more as I make my way to the elevator, heading down stairs to hear the inspirational words of one of our new CEOs. Who in turn is more than willing to tell me how good I have it.
Due to the rigorous (SLOW) promotion system in the corporation I work for, those who end up in charge tend to have been with the company for multiple decades. As a result they tend to, even more so, enjoy the sound of their own voice. They spent their time coming through the ranks listening to endless speeches and motivational pep talks from their bosses. Which results in one of two things, usually. They came up believing the gospel of leadership, success and mentorship they were spoon fed or they develop a complex where they must subject those below them in the corporate hierarchy to the same mindless dribble. No doubt out of some dark compulsion to punish someone for them having to listen to it for years before.
Before the speeches begin they make sure to maximize the interaction with all of us by making sure we stand up and introduce ourselves. No one really wants to hear Katie from HR stand up and introduce herself for the third time this quarter. We really don’t care about her fun facts about herself or her small town. Why? Is it because we’re all angry soulless corporate creatures who just see her as another competitor on our way to the sixth floor. Where every door is connected to an office with windows, secretaries and an open lunch schedule? Maybe some of us are. However, more than likely we truly don’t care because we already know her from working with her every day or we don’t work with her at all and couldn’t care less. We’d rather be eating our turkey sandwiches in what was supposed to be our lunch half hour as we gaze soulfully out that window. Marveling at the mildew in the window panes or the cracks in the adjacent rooftop shingles.
After 30 short years of work I can finally retire collect my social security at the age of 62 and shortly die after. To make room for the next generation to fill my cubicle. Just like the good lord intended.