Ahhh spring, that time of year when a young man’s fancy turns to . . . thoughts of how pissed off he is that he has the second worst cubicle in the entire building.
I used to have the worst cubicle. It was on the eighth floor, it was tiny, and it was placed in such a way that it received neither natural nor artificial light. Even worse, it was right next to the office of this jackass who liked to leave his door open and have loud conversations on the speaker phone. “HONEY, I’M THINKING OF GOING TO JOE’S CRABSHACK FOR LUNCH, YOU WANNA GO?” “NO I DON’T LIKE FISH.” “THEY HAVE STUFF BESIDES FISH WOMAN!”
But then I was moved to a large cubicle on the second floor with a sweeping view of the park next door. I enjoyed glancing up from my work to see the local fat karate instructor pretending teach his pupils while surreptitiously ogling any attractive young lady who happened by.
Cubicles suck because they cut you off from all human contact while at the same time they fail to provide even a modicum of privacy. You can’t talk to your coworkers because they are separated from you by a wall, but at the same time you can’t scratch your nuts because you never know when your boss is approaching you from behind.
But this cubicle by the window was shaped perfectly so I could scratch myself without a care.
But then I was moved, without explanation, to my present dungeon. I am nowhere near the window. When I stand up to stretch I can see the trees of the park, blooming now in springtime glory and I think of the lines by Houseman:
Loveliest of trees, the cherry now
Is hung with bloom along the bough
And stands about the woodland ride
Wearing white for Eastertide
But then I remember that I can only see them when I stand (which is rare) and that I can no longer scratch my boys without glancing furtively around to make sure my actions will go unnoticed (even then I wonder if the guy on the other side of the wall can hear the subtle scritch scritch). My new cubicle is on one of the floor’s main arteries and people are constantly approaching me from behind (I just looked over my shoulder to see if there was anyone there now . . . nope, cost was clear). At that point Houseman is replaced by Eliot in my mind:
April is the cruelest month . . .
Ah, cubicle dwellers lead bitter lives.
By the way, I hope I didn’t give the impression that I spend my whole day scratching my nuts. Its 30% of my day tops.