Wednesday, September 19, 2012

The working life: My cubicle brand

There was some muckety-muck from Upstairs in our little corner of the building the other day. He commented on my co-worker's cubicle, which is adorned with photos of her dog and paintings of dogs and dog memorabilia.

Another co-worker has his university stuff: lots of Gopher paraphanalia, Greek jokes (he is Greek), and a few Star Wars action figures, aka "dolls."

Yet another has photos of her children and of London. A small replica of a London red phone booth. English stuff.

The muckety-muck looked at my cubicle.

I have a plant. That HR gave me on my first day. That I thought, "Oh GREAT. Now I have to water a plant. Why couldn't they have given me chocolate?"

I would never give someone a plant. Why not just give her a puppy? It's the same level of unwanted, unrequested responsibility. IF WANTED A PLANT IN MY CUBICLE, I WOULD GET MY OWN!

But they were just trying to be nice. I have to remember that.

I have a plant. And a phone. A stapler. A calendar. The calendar, I brought from home.

But that's it.

The muckety- muck asked, "Where's your stuff?"

I answered, "I'm here to work."

My boss liked that answer, but the MM said, "I like to know something about a person. I look at the books, the plaques."

Yeah. Those are things you get when you have AN OFFICE. Honestly - each job I've gotten has been worse than the previous. I have gone from a window office with my own secretary (although it was a pain in the neck to write my letters and memos longhand and give them to her to type) to a window office with no secretary but a computer to a cubicle in a converted, window-less warehouse where you were advised not to walk to your car alone after dark to a cubicle with natural light. So maybe this new cubicle is a step up.

In the meantime, there are empty offices.

But my co-workers and I do not rate those offices. We do not even rate phones with caller ID. You have to be a higher level than we are. (I KNOW! Because caller ID certainly isn't something that would help us do our job better!)

So the MM thinks people should reveal themselves at work via their office/cubicle decor.

I think it's nobody's business. What do you think?


Fijufic said...

Decorate your office as you wish. My office is full of guitars and pictures of my family,art, plants and the beach....GO figure?

elke said...

My cube contained my nameplate (official issue), and my plaque from a company-supported industry course I completed. I'm rather doo-dad resistant at home, too.

deb said...

Oh, bring in the cats with a couple bags and boxes for them to play with...then see how they like your 'decorations'!

webb said...

A couple of photos and one (ONE)knick knack would make you seem more approachable ... and ditch the darn plant!

Anonymous said...

I'm with you - nothing wrong with separating work and play. If he wants to know you better, he might try talking - are you invited to his office to see what you can learn from his possessions?


Gaylin said...

To decorate or not to decorate, that is the question.

I think it should be up to you. I don't have much personal stuff at work because I don't have the space. And I am the front desk receptionist - it would look very tacky to have my personal 'stuff' all over the front desk.

Let the plant die . . .

Jen on the Edge said...

While I agree that it's no one's business how you decorate, I agree with other commenters that one or two photos or knick knacks might not be a bad thing.

Anonymous said...

Bring in a picture, an 'artifact' or two, that make YOU smile & feel good. Make your cubicle like your personal little home away from home space, since you're spending a lot of time there.
White Chocolate my office--granted I'm working out of my home--I have a Christmas cactus that is a descendant from Grandma Stasek's Christmas cactus. It is a constant reminder of all of the hard work and struggles that the previous generations in our family have gone through, and their courage. Daily, I think of the amazing foundation they've created for the following generations and I'll never take for granted all of the fabulous values that have been imparted to us, generation after generation. I love my 'petals from the past' plant.

Class factotum said...

I like deb's idea the best: to take the cats to work.

WC, I have some of G Stasek's roses. I got them from Aunt Rita. They will not die.

LPC said...

I'm busting my butt at work and haven't done thing one to my actual office since I arrived 11.5 months ago. People comment. But I care about design, so I'd want to do it nicely, and that, of course, would take time.

Class factotum said...

LPC, it would be a pain in the neck for me to do much, as I take the bus to work and don't feel like carrying stuff. So I am going to be austere, I suppose. And mysterious.

John0 Juanderlust said...

Some inexpensive picture frames come with a sample picture of kids or family, or the Virginia farm. That guy is up to no good.

Anonymous said...

I felt ashamed upon reading this post. Why shouldn't I, I've got tons of scratches of papers on my desk, hoping to be noticed by my boss to buy office cubicles bigger than what we have now.