In the media, cubicle jobs are always depicted as mundane and unstimulating. Commercials, sitcoms, movies–if you work in a cubicle, you hate your job. And I feel like a super mature adult because I’m finally in on the joke.
Yes, I work in a cubicle. Well my cubicle is fun because it’s a handful cubicles combined into one, so it’s like working in a secret fort with three other people. I wouldn’t say that I hate my job. Is it mundane? Yes. Is it unstimulating? Yes. But here’s the question of questions: Does it pay the bills? Yes. And that, my friends, is why people work in cubicles.
What makes cubicle jobs so horrible? I don’t think the cubicle itself makes things bad. Yeah, it’s a boring grey cubicle, but you can always decorate it. I think it’s what the cubicle means that makes working in one seem blah.
In most cases, if you’re working in a cubicle, you don’t have your dream job. Instead you have an “I’m working on it” job. Maybe you’re working toward having your own office. Maybe you’re working toward a job where half of your time is spent in a cubicle, but the other half is out in the community, or somewhere other than a giant office structure.
Thinking about this always reminds me of Jim Halpert. In one episode of The Office, Jim realizes that he’s been working at Dunder Mifflin for seven years (don’t quote me on that). He says that when he started, it was a “for now” job. And then BAM! Seven years later he’s still there. I am vowing now not to let that happen to me. Unless I can play practical jokes on my coworkers. Hmm… maybe I should go back through earlier seasons of The Office and take notes…
I know there’s not much to “get” about office humor, but now that I work in one I feel like I’m part of an elite group of people who don’t just get it, they live it. Working at a place that doesn’t challenge you or doing something that you’re not excited about is really unfulfilling. Doing both at once? That’s why movies such as Office Space exist.