I just got back into the cubical work environment. My company is not as starchy as most corporate headache companies I’ve read about, but there is something to learn from working for a larger company. Here’s what I’ve figured out in my first month:
1. Cubicles are AWESOME
Do not believe anyone that says cubical life is horrible. I have 5.5 sq ft of privacy. I can hang whatever photos or knickknacks I want on to the beige, carpeted walls. If I scrunch up, bend just right and use my feet as a pillow, I can sleep under my desk for an afternoon nap. You can also throw a foam ball into the masses of walls and no one will ever know you did it.
2. Know where the first aid kit is
I’ve needed it twice. Once because I was fucking around with a razor sharp knife and the second time because I was imitating what I was doing the first time when I was fucking around with the razor sharp knife.
3. Take the Stairs
Our CEO is a big fan of taking the stairs. If you see him in the stairwell; bonus points. If you are getting on the elevator and he is getting off, ask him, “Is the short cut to the stairs?” or tell him that you are working on a MythBuster’s interactive exhibit and ask if he’s got a tape measure on him.
4. Saying “fuck” is bad
The word fuck travels through cubical walls and office doors. Cutting most of your finger off is not an excuse for cursing. The best you can do is stand up on your desk and say, “Hey! Watch the language,” and hope your VP is at lunch.
5. Having a blog is bad
A blog can be dangerous. Especially when it is mine. What may have helped to get you hired is now a liability. Be careful about writing things that may offend the bald guy in the office or posting photos of you doing dumb shit at the workplace. Do not write about how hot co-workers daughters are! Especially the CEO's. I mean smoking hot.
6. All the good sites are blocked
For years I heard friends lamenting about not being able to get their personal e-mail or visit their favorite website. I told them to suck it up and wait until they got home. Now it is different. I’d say that 50% of the sites I attempt to visit are blocked for some reason. Sure, I can look at the Google cache, but it’s such a pain. It’s not like I am trying to look at porn (mostly.) I’m sure there is a good reason why the sites are blocked, but I’m not about to question why for fear of being monitored. I’ve read about work-arounds to get Gmail or proxies to go to blocked sites, but it’s my first couple of weeks and I do not want the internet lecture just yet.
7. Lunch is a pain
I love to eat. I love to go out to lunch. So does everyone else. Everyone else cannot decide on one place to go to. Everyone else cannot fit in one car to go to lunch. Inevitably what happens is that three people are upset they were not told about lunch, two people couldn’t go at a certain time because of meetings, two other people didn’t like where we were going in the first place and one person predicted the food would be bad and was right. In the end, only one person is happy and that is because they ran into the CEO in the stairwell as they were going to the cafeteria to eat crappy lunch alone.
8. Steno pads are better than a Palm Pilot.
That is a half truth. I cannot get my palm to sync with our Groupwise mail system. I’m not sure if I don’t like Groupwise or if I just need to get used to it. It’s just hard to hold a PalmPilot and fake looking at a task list that isn’t there while playing solitaire when everyone at the meeting knows that Palm and Groupwise don’t mix. Now, if I could get on an internet site that had helpful software so that my Palm and Groupwise could talk, that would be great. Sadly, those sites are blocked.
9. Nametags are a crutch
We wear nametags at work. This is great when you are walking down the hall and need to say hello to someone. This is bad when you have to recall someone’s name at a meeting and are forced to describe them by what shirt their nametag was attached to. Hint: avoid the word cleavage when describing what the person looked like. Especially when it is a guy.
10. You are only the “new guy” for a very short time. Make a good impression.
Show up early – failed
Don’t be late to meetings- failed
Don’t make fun of your boss’ bald head - failed
Don’t get caught staring – failed
Don’t say fuck really loud – failed
Don’t make a “women are bad drivers” comment in front of your VP – failed
Keep whistling down to a minimum – failed
Don’t go out drinking and dancing at Skully’s your first week of work and then roll in at 9:04am the next day- Failed
Don’t do the above again tomorrow – Pre-failed