Cubicle neighbors can be the highlights of the workday, or they can be your worst enemy. They can serve as pleasant distractions or be annoyingly distracting. Many of us spend at least eight hours per day in their presence, so we must make the most of the time. Otherwise, we’ll go postal/retail/restaurant/whichever industry you want to call it.
In my last place of employment, I was regaled with the rhythmic clicking of a cubicle neighbor who trimmed his fingernails at his desk. Why he chose to practice this form of hygiene at the office is beyond me. I can’t help but wonder about the fate of the fingernail clippings. Are they scattered across his desk? Did they land in the wastebasket? Or (and I shudder to think), did they join a collection?
My current joy is hearing the employee on the other side of my wall belch throughout the day. He snacks constantly, and, from what I can deduce, he does not make healthy choices – thus, the burping. He also fails to excuse himself, which makes it so much worse.
I often tell myself that if I don’t laugh, I’ll go crazy. Clichés such as this abound in the corporate world. Falling back on them isn’t the worst idea, if it allows me to get through the workday. “Look at the bright side.” “Make the best of it.” “Take it one day at a time.” I had to make light of a recent situation of my inept boss keeping me on the phone for 90 minutes while I modified an Excel sheet, sent him the updates, and revised each of the nine tabs per his instruction. While I cradled the phone in my neck and sent him about twelve emails of revisions, he placed me on mute so he could watch “Homeland.” Nice.
I complain incessantly about my job, but I need to stop. Instead of whining, I need to be proactive and dedicate more time to the job search (applying to one or two jobs per week probably won’t cut it). Move forward! That will by my motto (or cliché) for 2014.