Peeves for the cube farm

I probably have a headache coming on, because I’m extra irritated by the usual range of inconveniences that are part and parcel of life on the cube farm:

Tagged.. Or not. To pass from public space in the building to company space, you have to have a security badge. It must be on you at all times. It’s kind of like having to have a dog license pinned to you all day. (Extra bonus peeve for forgetting it at the end of the day and walking around the grocery store wondering why everyone knows your name.) Anyway, if you forget it in the morning you can’t get into the building at all without a security sweep, and if you leave it at your desk you can’t get back to your desk after you run to the cafeteria. Or to the ladies room. And I say ladies’ room and not men’s room, not because it’s the room I use (though it is) but because it’s universally ladies banging on the door and then apologizing for having left their badge at their desk. (That might have something to do with the design of the badge clips, or to women’s fashions, and probably both.)  Needing the badge is irritating. The people who don’t wear the badge like they’re supposed to is even more irritating.

The bleeping door.  As you might have guessed from the above, I sit right next to a security door. Which means that all day long, I am listening to the high pitched beep, followed by the click of the lock release and the chung-chung of the door handle (sometimes repeated, if someone tries to open the door before the lock finishes releasing). And then a second later there’s the catch of the door closing and the click of the door lock. All. Day. Long. You know, except for when it’s someone banging because they forgot their key.

Bobbing heads. I’m close to the door. So you know what else I’m close to? The walkway. With every coming and going there is the bobbing of heads going by, right through my peripheral vision. Usually one at a time. Sometimes in fast-moving ones and twos. Most – but not all – manage to pass without feeling the need to engage me in conversation. And sometimes an entire group of people will stroll by, having a long, loud, drawn-out meeting as they walk, totally oblivious to the fact that I’m working here.  These are usually also the people who will get as far as the restrooms, and decide to congregate Right Outside The Door to talk for a while. (Um, hello? First off, you’re blocking traffic, and second off, it’s creepy to be hovering outside the restrooms. Don’t be creepers, move along.)

Noisy neighbors.  The unfortunate thing with cubes is that they don’t do much for noise. (Like, right now — when it’s after 5 and everything is getting “quieter” than the usual din — I am still listening to the printer that’s on its last legs whining and squeaking while it prints, and my cube neighbor blabbing on the phone, and someone near me getting an email, and someone humming a few spaces over.) Some people like noise when they’re thinking, and some don’t, and no thought to “grouping like people together” (in terms of sound preference or temperature tolerance or anything else that would keep people from going bonkers on each other) goes into seat assignments. There is a guy, two aisles over, who only has one tone of voice. LOUD.  Seriously, if he whispers (or if he would, because he doesn’t) it would be a stage whisper; you’d still hear it in the cheap seats in the back. I know every detail of every conversation he has, whether either of us wants me to or not (and I don’t). There’s a girl two cubes over who’s sweet as can be, but one of these days I might have to kill her. She is incapable of thinking without fiddling with some kind of noisemaker. She had some kind of swag thing from a conference that made this loud clicking sound when she’d spin it – and she would spin it incessantly – and it drove me so nuts that she finally surrendered it to me to throw away. Now she just jingles her massive set of keys, which unfortunately I can’t really take away from her.

Mobile phone evolution

Seriously? Take it with you! Image via Wikipedia

Loud and abandoned cells. A whole subcategory of noisy neighbors are the people with obnoxious ringtones. And invariably, these are the people who leave their phones behind when they go to meetings. OK, fine, you can’t always take the phone with you everywhere you go (or you shouldn’t … I’ve left my phone behind too, because I refuse to be one of those bathroom phone call people.) But (1) my ringer is not loud enough to Wake.The.Dead and (2) when I’m not actually ON the phone, it’s in my purse so the ring is even further muffled.  I don’t know why she needs a ringer so loud you can hear it in other parts of the state or what kind of mental-block about taking her phone with her this one girl has… nor do I know how her family always knows exactly when she’ll have wandered away so they can call right then, but it’s positively uncanny.  I’m encouraged to know that I’m not the only person around here who fantasizes about throwing her phone out the window.

Um. Yeah. I need to get promoted into an office, so I can shut all the distractions and ambient noise out on days like this. Or, you know… I need to get this horrendous project behind me. One of those. Maybe both?


About aka gringita
Flotsam generator. Amateur photographer. Avid traveler. Christ follower.

One Response to Peeves for the cube farm

  1. This post oddly makes me miss working in an office. All those quirks you mentioned are universal – and, like you, I had a cubicle once that was inconveniently located next to a high-traffic area and was prone to the same loud conversations, slow strolls, and occasional interruptions from well-intentioned (but nonetheless ingratiating) coworkers whose cell phones would ring obnoxiously loudly whenever they left them behind.

    You know, on second thought…I don’t miss it a bit.


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