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An Ode To The Cubicle

An Ode To The Cubicle

I love cubicles. OK you can probably spot the sarcasm there.

For  some reason I  spent a portion of my life in them. I guess it suited me at the time. I was highly skilled at what I did and there was a sort of ego pay off from being so skilled that I did like.

But now I feel it is something I could never do again. It’s not a life for me. All week, what was important to me was not work; it was getting to Friday afternoon.

One of the things that most people can relate to is the dread they feel on Sunday afternoon. As the weekend comes to a close, around about 4pm, people start looking forward to the start of the work week. Time to get a few shirts ironed, stuff like that.

On the last day I worked, or indeed had to work for others, it was the best feeling in the world. I remember it clearly. A cool but sunny April afternoon. A feeling of great relief that I no longer had to do the hamster wheel mode of life. I had done enough of that.

No more getting up and 7:21, the very last minute I could get up and still catch the 8am train. This was a precise calculation and everything need to be carefully lined up for this. Bang.. number 1, it’s wolf down the weetbix – you have 5 minutes to put everything in the bowl and shovel it in. Then it’s the shower. Shampoo and shave and brush you teeth while in the shower. It’s all about 7 minutes. Out of the shower, dry off and dress. Out the door by 10 to 8.

Catch the train – hopefully there will be a seat. If there is, I open up the laptop and try to ignore everyone else on the train. If there isn’t, it’s wait until we get into town, trying to occupy my mind.

By about 20 to nine I’m at my cubicle. This is my world until around quarter past 5. For the last year I worked, from the moment I got in, at around 8:30 all I did was wait to go home.

Usually I got to go home by about 6ish. What that meant is that all of the time between  7:21am and 6 pm was dedicated to getting to work and getting home from work. My time of each day was the 5 hours between 6pm and 11pm before bed. Wednesday is hump day because once you are over that hump we all know that there are fewer work days in front of us (for this week) than behind us.

Friday afternoon is the best time. – longest time between finishing work and starting work again.

If you do the standard life plan, do your university until about 21 ish and start your career at around 22 then retire at 65 that is 43 years of this dreadful life. Assuming 4 weeks holiday every year, that is 2064 weeks of your life spent this way. Two thousand and sixty four Sundays feeling the creeping dread that work is approaching.

You can’t escape that creeping dread by the way. OK, go out to a BBQ on Sunday and get home late – then it’s damn, I’m going to have to iron my shirts at 11pm or get up early to do it. One way or another it gets you.

So in the end, I left working in cubicles behind. It’s not that I don’t like work. I love what I do. It’s that I don’t like cubicles, I don’t like commuting, I don’t like dress codes and other conduct rules and I don’t like 9 to 5. I am not a millenial, but I am taking a path that millenials are increasingly taking – freelancing. If you can’t stand your job, you should try it some time.


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