I talk (write) a lot of smack about CubicleVille, yes. I know I do. For I’ve loathed feeling closed in, trapped by such a place for what could turn out to be a long, long time. Why, I’ve seen people work 30-40 years at the same office building for the same company.
They went from this:
We’re talking practically a lifetime. A span of time within one gives birth, raises kids, welcomes grandkids, divorces, survives several car wrecks, bakes 48 birthday cakes for miscellaneous friends and family, sits in approximately 329 gazillion hours of rush hour traffic, buries two dogs, greets new neighbors, tolerates seven different CEO’s, buys/sells three houses, gains/loses a thouzillon pounds…You get the picture.
A friend of mine from high school, her mother worked at the Federal Communications Commission for nearly 35 years alone. As a secretary. I mean, when she started working her chair looked like this:
And now it looks like this:
Back then “ergonomic” was a foreign word that probably had to do with Aqua Man. Now it’s the law.
Now don’t get me wrong. I know there are
ions plenty some people who enjoy office work even on the subservient level. I know there are those who desire the stability of a 30+ year tenure so to each her/his own. But for me the very thought of playing mannequin to one or a series of companies makes me nauseous. (Therapy did not help one iota.) I just keep thinking of the very many things I could accomplish if I wasn’t tethered to an office 40 hours a week plus commute time. Plus turkey sandwich for lunch preparation time. Plus iron clothes for work time. Plus sitting on the couch weeping ’cause it’s almost Monday time.
I’ve always been fascinated by people who can work a job they’re not crazy about, that has no end in sight with a cheerful attitude. Fascinated. I think there’s something wrong with my cognitive thinking. There’s probably a gray area up there with a huge X on it right over the words “DEAD-END JOB.” I’ve never been able to fake it til I make it. No, I thrash and kvetch and bubble over.
I’m like a raisin smack in the middle of a container of cottage cheese.
What’s THIS doing here?
I tried different roads to escape from CubicleVille. I made art and sold it on the weekends. (Grueling) I wrote fiction on the side. (Frustrating) I started a resume/editing business. (Hmm, here’s two nickels to rub together) I sold the one and only house I’d ever had, took the equity and ventured into real estate. (Can you say BOOM!) I sat down and wrote a book about all the jobs I’ve had and the gory details of each. (Still hoping/waiting).
So meanwhile I’m dancing with CubicleVille again, only it’s more like a violent tango involving stepping on my own feet with dizzying twirls, dips and flips.
Every so often I remember something a wise older coworker/receptionist said to me upon observing my sheer angst:
“Bloom where you’re planted, my dear.”
I’m trying. I’m really, really trying. ‘Tis why I make fun of the whole Establishment.