So far outside the box you can't even see the box from here.
Tuesday, July 21, 2015
Cubical sweet cubical
I'm amazed at office buildings. To think there are thousands and thousands of buildings filled with nothing but cubical farms. What really blows my mind is that people willingly spend many hours every week in those little boxes. How does this happen?
Prisons I understand. Those folks are there against their will as a form of punishment. What terrible thing did those poor office workers do to end up in a cubical? Sure, people go home from the office every night. They even sometimes get weekends off. Big whoop. It's a part time prison so that makes it fine?
Is is for the money? I really would not know as money has never been a very strong motivator for me. It's a counter in a game I don't want to play. Money does make people do some very strange and demeaning things.
Ask a little kid what he wants to be when he grows up and they never say they want to be an office worker and live in a cubical. No, they say they want to be firefighters, astronauts, professional athletes, cowboys, or rock stars. So how come so many end up in a cubical?
Now at one time it might have made sense. In our society some jobs needed to be done in offices. That's where the office equipment and stuff was kept. There really is a lot less need for that now. A friend of mine is an engineer who once worked in an office. (one of my few friends with that sort of job) Now he brings his laptop out to his backyard near the hot tub and does his design work there. Once in a while he drives to the company to talk to the folks who bend and machine metal to make sure his designs are working.
Then there's the couple my lovely wife and I met at a marina. They were doing medical transcription from the comfort of their trawler. The work kept them fed and the boat running. He used to be a teacher up in northern Maine then one day decided he really really hated -40 weather and moved south. Eventually he and his wife decided boat life was for them.
I'm told there are people who basically go to work so they can use the high speed Internet for updating their Facebook accounts. Companies who monitor their worker's Internet usage too closely have a hard time holding onto workers.
Still, that's not much incentive in my book. The local coffee shop has high speed Internet, plus coffee, pastries, and really nice artisan sandwiches. Perhaps companies have learned to used Internet access the same way prisons use television. It's a cheap way to keep the inmates docile.
My ancestors would have understood the attraction of a cubical. It's inside work and no heavy lifting. Sure beat life starving on a Quebec potato farm. Heck, 19th century New England factory work beat farming the thin and cold rocky soils of the north.
My guess is that it wasn't too hard to fill cubicals when the alternatives were so gosh darn awful. It's like hobos who smash a store window to get arrested so they'll have a warm place in jail to spend the winter. Once folks catch onto the fact that it's possible to live outside of cubicals they are going to have a hard time to keep them filled.
. . . or not. Some prisoners are very happy with confinement and don't know what to do with freedom.
I live in an area of NH known as the Great North Woods. I'm in my dome-i-cile out in the county with my lovely wife and a varying number of family and friends
-part red neck, part hippie but all country. Experimenting and enjoying the adventure of life.