I live in a cubicle for almost seven hours everyday. It is grey, it is compact, it is comfortable. It is decorated with fluorescent lamps and sucking vents. It is complete with black, compressed wood furniture with computers lined up and a constant punching of keys reminding you of organic life behind binary inventions. My chair is ergonomic; it keeps me focused and productive without feeling the need to get up too much. I have to adjust it everyday, not sure who sits on it after I leave work.
The cubicle weather is always the same. My space is warmer than others, it has to do with three lit up serial screens even though I actively use only one. The other two give an impression that my plate is full, which it is. The extra screens also come in handy when I wish to look away from what I do. Distraction within a distraction.
My work is a willing aberration. I come here everyday to play with my logical, educated self. It helps me to think, to create, to grow, to interact and to learn. It is seriously not for money though it is a factor. It is for the combined art of giving away a piece of your mind to a unique idea and receiving a payment not for your idea but for your time. It is interesting how the two are (dis)connected in our modern world.
Often, I feel the cubicle is my home. The smallness, the simplicity is highly functional, rationally alluring. As if I am in the company of a straightforward, intellectual, transparent person willing to listen. It is unconditional, consistent day after day waiting for me to spew all my ideas into something meaningful and long-lasting. It has no reason to be altered to please anyone. It is strictly for business. Once I am here, I am clear about what needs to be accomplished. There are no complications or a hidden agenda – only an unhindered mind willing to do hard work.
I have heard a lot of people complain about their workplace, office politics, missed deadlines and absence of motivation. I used to be like that when I was unwilling to work because of a flawed, dynamic system. It changed after I realized the importance of this limited but uninterrupted, guarded space which I did not necessarily want but need to generate results in spite of the existing limitations and intrusion.
If one needs to enjoy the scenery, there is always a door that leads to the outside world, or a break room that is lined with snacks and coffee machines. But for a complete harmony with a mind in motion, nothing can beat a silent cubicle with a waiting whiteboard and a blinking screen.
While none of us will remember our days in office when we are on our deathbed, a part of us will be immortal in whatever we created and supported here. Our work will remain as white spaces between the important chapters of our lives, invisible yet necessary. I will try to be mindful of that.
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