In college, I used to have hopes and dreams of my post college world. What big company would I work for? What meaningful projects would I be involved with? What kind of amazingly interesting people would I meet? I would be working, but it would be what I wanted, and it would be fun. I’m not sure how everyone else would mess it up, but I would break free from the grind, and enjoy what I was doing, and look forward to getting up in the morning to start my day.
As a graduate with an IT degree, and some web knowledge I was ready for what the world had to offer. The first job was some low level web work in a small office. I had my own little corner. It was part of a double cube that I shared with someone in almost the same exact same situation. Things were shaping up nicely, and I assumed I was on my way to success.
Nothing achieved in my cube was that impressive, but that’s normal for a first job, right? You get your foot in the door, keep paying your dues, make a few friends in the industry, and prove your worth in general. Sooner or later, you would naturally move up some sort of ladder, and find yourself in a position of some worth. The things you said would matter to people within the company, and you would be able to make some important decisions.
I wish I knew how wrong I was. I’ve seen it work like that in the movies, but no, I was just wrong. For some people the cube is just a temporary stop on their path to something meaningful. Unfortunately, for many of us, it’s a very long stay in a place we’d rather not be, doing things we’d rather not do.
Having been a cubicle dweller for quite some time now, I realize just how hard it is to break free and move on to bigger and better things. It has become a trap, and a destroyer of my dreams. It manages to suffocate my thought, and extinguish my hope.
I sit here and wonder how it all went wrong, and if I should embark on a life long quest to find the creator of the office cube, and kill his mom before he is ever conceived. Yes, perhaps I’ve seen The Terminator too many times, but I am driven to this level of thought by the cube induced insanity.
The only thing that keeps me going is the fact that I see lots of other people going through the same thing. I used to think that a cube was a transitory phase of your work history. A step on the way to greatness. After meeting several 50+ year old co workers also trapped in the cube, I now realize that I’m not special. Most jobs are in a cube. There’s just not enough space for everyone to have an office, so only the top few get one.
A cubicle is not always temporary, sometimes that’s just the way it is. You have a cube job. Your dreams of an office with an actual door are now gone. You’d better get used to it, and learn to deal with your tiny surroundings. The cubicle now owns you, and your dreams will be reshaped and bent to the will of 3 little walls.