Guilty Cubicles

When I was little I loved accompanying my dad to the office. He was a lawyer, and from this I gathered that lawyers were very privileged people, not because of the work they did, but because they were the kinds of people who got to have 6-foot-tall massage chairs in their parlor sized suites and refrigerators with relatively constant supplies of candy and beer. My dad saw it another way. I whiled the day away at his office pestering the secretaries, making tissue loogies in the bathroom, and depleting the candy supply in the office pantry. He always claimed to having spent the day staring out the window. At least his partners were generous enough to let him have a room with a window.

It’s only now that I realized how that is possible because I chose to spend this summer at work. In a setting that’s simultaneously alien and yet familiar, comfortable even. Next to department stores, offices are probably the most homogenized places in the modern world. Any representation of an office is instantly recognizable as such, with the endless cubicles and masses of nameless office drones. I have never had more trouble remembering people’s names. For the first couple of weeks, all I knew was the anonymous office mass.

I’ll be the first to admit to choosing an office setting to spend my last decent summer vacation in because it guaranteed money and a much needed ego boost for my resume. This is not another entry where I relentlessly bitch about office life. Yes, I’m bored out of my mind and it’s only been three weeks. I already couldn’t care less about what happens to me here because I already knows that in a few weeks it will all be over anyway. The thing is I already can’t wait for it to end so that I can swear it off. Forever. This will hopefully be the first and last time I spend my days as an office lackey. I know I’m lucky to have a paying job and even luckier to have gotten a paying job before even paying my dues as an intern, let alone a graduate. But the fact is (at the risk of sounding spoiled) I don’t have the patience or the resiliency to make it in this kind of setting. The fact is the only thing I learned from this experience is that I never want to repeat it.

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