Tuesday, April 20, 2010

In which I try NOT to lose my little mind at work.

I work in a cube farm.

kinda like this - image from here
If you don't work in a cube farm, I'm sure you're familiar with such things.  Lots O Cubes.  Lots O Crappe.  All the same.  No doors, except for the privileged few.  And little privacy.

image from here
Cubes make you feel like little drones.

Drones try to do their work.  We really do.  But this does require that the other drones cooperate, and sometimes that doesn't happen.

(Now comes the part where I may offend some people.)

I work next to a cube that has 2 occupants - one is an American guy, one is an Indian guy.  These folks are very nice.  But Monday the American guy was out, and his Indian cube-mate took advantage of the situation to play his favorite music. 

Cube etiquette calls for quiet.  I feel that music should be listened to with headphones, or be so soft it's not noticed by others.  This music, while not loud, invaded my brain.  It made me CRAZY.

Here is the disclaimer:  while I like Indian food very much, I just can't stand Indian music.  (I also don't like rap, hip hop, and most country music.  I am not culturally specific in my distaste.)  I guess you like what you've grown up with.  I grew up with the Beatles and Mozart and Bob Dylan and Arethra and Chopin and Joan Baez and jazz and Motown and show tunes and the Rolling Stones and opera, and I love all of those.  I'm ignorant about music of certain cultures; I freely admit this.  I expect we all are somewhat ignorant this way.

Indian music really sets my teeth on edge.  To me, it's like a combination of The Chipmunks nasally singing acompanied by a really squeaky door AND someone who is learning to play the clarinet or the saxaphone and practicing it 2 feet away for hours. eeeEEEEEEEEEEeeeeeeeee   All of it in a minor key.  And I really can't tune it out because I only have one working ear, and using my mp3 player means I can't hear my phone - or someone creeping up behind me.  Argh.

And today the American guy is working from home again.


I may snap.


  1. Is he the type that you can talk to? Just tell him that it's bothering you. Perhaps you could tell him that you have a concentration problem or something. Maybe make it sound like it is YOUR problem rather than HIS. Anyway, it sounds like he is just rude!!!

  2. I'd snap too. Ugh! The high pitched music would make me a little edgy. Grab your ipod and ear buds!

  3. It is SO annoying when common courtesy isn't practiced in the workplace. You have enough challenges at home without having to put up with this kind of nonsense.

    Having worked in various kinds of offices during my secretarial 'career' from 1962-85, then 1994-96 (when cubes became the norm) I marvel at my amazing good fortune for most of my career to have had either a private office or a large private bit of space (without walls). [Plus, we were honored on 'Secretary's Day' and taken to lunch! It was kind of a Golden Era, even though we had to wear business attire and high heels.]

    So I look back with great nostalgia on those days and I sympathize with today's office workers in those cubes.

    It may make you feel a little better, however, if you Google "Offices of the 1930s" and click on the first item in the Directory, where they show photos of rows of desks butted up next to each other with no privacy at all. This was common even into the 1960s. (I shudder to think about those noisy manual typewriters and reams of carbon paper -and no photocopy machines and no air conditioning!)

    Therefore when modern office buildings were built in 'my' time, I thought we had advanced to a new era of giving everyone more privacy and a pleasant work environment in order to increase productivity!

    However, it seems we're returning to the no-privacy policy and cramped personal space.

    There should be some kind of rule that the music should be kept VERY quiet or listened to with head phones!

    I always enjoy reading your blog!

  4. That's just rude. Perhaps you could have a gentle word with him. If you don't and you're anything like me then you'll leave it till just before you're ready to kill him and will explode in rage.

    I hate inconsideration like that. We have a room at work which is the space where we can cook/eat and this one guy always but ALWAYS leaves his rubbish where he was sitting which is even more annoying since some of the time he has to walk by the bin to get out. We have tried asking him to move it (which he always does), I got so annoyed one day I put all his rubbish in a bag and took it out to him and asked if he would like to dispose of it (which he apologetically did) and we even stuffed his rubbish into his personal drawer in the room one day but still he continues. If you ever read about someone being found dead at work with a used coffee cup or sandwich wrapper hanging out of their mouth then it means I've finally snapped.