Helping you survive working in a cube.  Every day.

Cubicle Hall of Fame and Stories

CUBICLE HALL OF FAME

link_icon_dilbert_120x90.gif (5530 bytes)

Dilbert: Clearly, Dilbert is the hero of all cubicle dwellers for his insightful commentary on the challenges of working in a cubicle. 

nessman.jpg (21171 bytes)

Les Nessman from WKRP in Cincinnati: He actually aspired to be in a cubicle.  Les sat at a desk in an open room and had to put tape down on the floor to pretend like he had an office.  He even insisted that people knock and "open the door" when they wanted to interact with him.

Peter Gibbons in the movie "Office Space" (1999): The main character in this movie (played by Ron Livingston) freaks out and starts acting erratically.  One day, he goes fishing instead of to work only to return to his cube to disembowel his fish and in one of my favorite scenes, he knocks down a wall in his cube to give him an unobstructed view of the window.

 
CUBE STORIES

SUBMIT YOUR STORY FOR INCLUSION IN THE CUBICLE STORY HALL OF FAME

Send an email to cubeguy@cubeguy.com

Homeboyyy, St. Louis, MO:  At one telecommunications firm where I worked, I was forced to sit in a cubicle with my boss for my first few days on the job until he found somewhere else for me to sit. Before he was able to find a cubicle for me, he was fired for sexual harassment and quietly left the company without informing anyone (even me) of the situation. Not knowing where to go or what to do, I stayed put and no one ever directed me to evacuate his cube. Since there was no one for me to report to and nothing for me to do, I sat in that cube and essentially shuffled papers around for several weeks. I even went to the IT department and had the cube outfitted with top-notch computer gear. Eventually, people that were aware of my situation started to assign work to me and I did the work even though I never really reported to any of them. After about a year of sitting in this cube and doing work for anyone that asked, I went to Human Resources to inquire about another position that was available in the firm. They told me that the position about which I was asking was not a "Director level" position but that there was another Director level position available for me if I wanted it. It then dawned on me that they thought that I was a Director when I was actually just a low-level manager. As it turned out, this company assigned the size and location of your cube to you according to your rank and seniority, and the particular cube I had inherited happened to be assigned to Directors only. Since I sat in this cube for a year, they assumed I was a Director and so I became one!

Cube Farm - to the extreme!, Herndon, VA:  I was working with a friend on a project in her cubicle the other day.  While we were discussing the project, her neighbor started making pig noises.  Evidently, this is a regular occurrence that happens after she eats certain foods or something.  This was probably the third time I had heard it.  This time was much louder than any other time I had experienced.  I had to run out of my co-workers cube and halfway down the hall before I could let out the laughter that was causing me to bust at the seams.  My co-worker was shortly behind me, dying from laughter also.

Gotta go now!, Herndon, Virginia: My cube neighbor has a mini-waterfall on her desk. It has created a constant need for me to use the men's room every half hour. And she leaves it on when she leaves!

Bitter About Being a Cubicle, Northern Virginia: My cube is right outside an actual office, and so other workers assume that I must be the assistant to the person inside the office.  Well, I'm not his assistant. Each time someone asks to see this person's schedule or tries to  book an appointment, I gently remind him/her I'm not his assistant. I also started putting up signs stating that I wasn't this person's assistant and the location of his actual assistant.  However, people still insist on standing outside my cube and asking me questions about that person inside the office.  My favorite is when they ask if he's in his office.  Dude, the door is open to this guy's office, just look in, why do they need to ask me?  Sometimes, people will stand 5-10 minutes outside my cube just to ask me if he's in his office. Oh boy, I make them wait. I do not turn around until I'm good and ready and sometimes I don't turn around at all. Admitting defeat, they finally walk away. Why couldn't they have just knocked on the damn door or looked into the office, which is two feet away from my cube?

Anonymous, Northern Virginia: There is a woman with just a touch of trash (more like a gut punch) in the cube next to mine.  I cannot even begin to explain the hell in which I am subjected to on behalf of her.  She smells bad all the time, and she uses a lot of deodorant to cover her smell up, resulting in FlounderFlower scent, all damn day.  I cannot even begin to explain how utterly disgusting it is.  It is almost like cleaning with bleach, and walking into a sewage treatment tank spilloff area - everyday of my life.  She also uses a space heater in July, because god forbid she cool off enough to not smell bad.  I know this may sound funny, and like I am making it up, but seriously, I wish I was.  I am actually applying at other companies to escape the aroma.  My last cellmate actually put in a transfer, and listed her "regional odor" as a reason for transfer.  I, unfortunately, am not that cruel.  I feel even worse for her husband.  I cannot wait until she goes on vacation.

M, Massachusetts: One of the managers in our area has a habit of yammering incessantly to someone in their cube. When it gets to be too much and you can tell the victim just wants him to leave, we place a "911" call to the victim. Usually, since the idiot manager is just blathering away about nothing important, he will move on. Unfortunately, to find another victim, usually.

Anonymous, New York: Deliver me from cubicle hell!!! There is a woman who sits in the next cubicle from me who is just an incredibly stupid person.  She used to be a constant source of amusement throughout the day when she was first hired.   But now that she has been with the company a year and a half and I still overhear her mispronounce the company name when she answers the phone, she is just plain irritating.  The stupidist thing I ever heard her say happened last Christmas when our boss gave us snowglobes that played little tunes when you wind them.  Mine played Beethoven's Fur Elise, when she heard it she exclaimed, "Oh, I like that!"   When I told her it was Fur Elise by Beethoven, she replied, "I don't know who sings it, I just like it."

J.A., St. Petersburg, FL: A friend of mine found a huge unused piece of cubicle wall and placed it over his cubicle to block out lots of noise and increase his privacy.  Unfortunately, there are workplace safety regulations that discourage, okay, prohibit doing this.

Anonymous, Northern Virginia:  The consulting division of a large German software company has a rule that each employee is limited to only one (1) personal item in their cubicle or office.  In protest of this rule, one crafty consultant had a velvet portrait of himself commissioned and he proudly displays this work of art in his cube, much to the delight of his co-workers.  Inside sources say the company is crafting a new policy that would impose size restrictions on the one (1) personal effect each employee is permitted to display but that this new policy would not be applied retroactively.

C.B., Potomac, MD:  My boss at one Internet start-up walked up behind me and, unbeknownst to me, was reading my computer screen over my shoulder as I composed my resignation letter that I planned to present to him later that week.

Also, once I was standing outside a friend's cube talking about what a jerk our boss was being. Since his office was down the hall, I was speaking quietly but not whispering. After hearing some papers rustling in the unoccupied cube next to us, I peered over its wall to see my boss sitting in there arranging some papers he had just copied and trying to pretend he didn't hear what I had just said.