Cubicle Bingo

When I first saw this headline, my immediate reaction was “yes, I truly believe in my tiny Grinch-sized heart that they are.”

I do believe my coworkers are killing me. Slowly, methodically, kinda like Chinese water torture.

But I believe all of humanity is trying to push me over the edge, so yeah, my coworkers are probably in on it too. Anyway, here’s the upshot of the article, which is based on the findings of some study at Tel Aviv University.

“The first thing the researchers discovered is that office conditions matter. A lot. In particular, the risk of death seemed to be correlated with the perceived niceness of co-workers, as less friendly colleagues were associated with a higher risk of dying.”

Now, my co-workers are nice, so that’s not what kills me.  In fact, I’m probably the least nice employee in my cube farm. No, they kill me in other inane ways. And from talking with other friends and perusing this website here, I know that this is not totally an uncommon phenomenon. (And yes, I’m sure I have some super annoying work habits of my own, but someone will just have to start their own damn blog and write about those.)

So I’ve put together a little something I call Cubicle Bingo to start the week. Put a paperclip aside every time you hear or encounter one of the situations below (all of which, I have personally been privy to over the last five years. I’m not making up any of them). At the end of the day, gather up your paperclips and that’s how many drinks you should have at happy hour. Good luck!

  • Someone burps loudly.
  • Someone clips their nails over the trashcan.
  • Someone talks on the phone with their “mummy.”
  • Someone chastises and belittles their husband on the phone.
  • Someone crunches potato chips — loudly.
  • Someone clears their throat repeatedly.
  • Someone talks to themselves.
  • Someone snores.
  • Someone works on their fantasy league — loudly.
  • Someone clicks their pen….repeatedly.
  • Someone eats something really smelly for lunch.
  • Someone’s cell phone ring tone goes off again and again and they are nowhere to be found.
  • Someone is curling her hair. At her desk.
  • Someone slurps coffee all morning long.
  • Someone complains loudly about how damn cold the office is (OK, you got me. That one is all me.)
  • Two words: GUM. SNAPPING.


Did I Just See a Polar Bear Walk by My Cube in a Snuggy?

I’m very sorry that I did not post last night. I spent some couples time with my Country-Time-Buffet dinner-companion-for-life XFE, and fell asleep a bit early. I know. I’m a bad blogger. I’m hanging my head contritely. But today I want to address an issue slightly more serious than my bad blogging habits.

Gentle Reader,

There is an epidemic going on of….well….epidemic proportions. In offices all across America, people (especially women) are freezing while the sun shines hotly outside. Yes, despite the fact that there is a drought and heat wave embracing most of the country, our corporate masters are keeping the interiors of offices at a brisk 50 degrees at the tail end of July. I went outside yesterday into 91 degree heat to go buy a Venti-sized hot tea to cup my cold hands around.

I have a confession to make—I have purposely printed unnecessary documents just to warm my hands on the freshly printed warm pages. I have two sweaters in my cube, one to wear under my suit blazer, and the other to cover my legs. I have an illegal electric heating pad (we’re not allowed to have those, or personal heaters, in our cubes.)

My cube yesterday afternoon: One gray wool sweater, one scalding hot tea (I burned my tongue on it) and my illegal heating pad.

I would wear pants and long-sleeves to work, but I’m afraid of the stinky sweat this would cause during my commute (a 10-minute walk to the metro, about 5 minutes standing outside on a platform, 20 minutes in a hopefully-but-not-always air conditioned metro car, and 3 minute walk to work). Nobody should have to live like this.

I’ve seen all kinds of coping mechanisms here in cube-land. People wearing Snuggies, even. You know what outfits go with a Snuggy? None. That’s what. No outfit looks good covered with a Snuggy.

Why do the powers that be do this to us? It does nothing for my productivity when I’m going outside to thaw off, or have to stop typing to warm my hands on the heating pad in my lap.

Why do they try to overcompensate for the sweltering air outside by creating icicles inside? It’s not like we have a revolving door letting the heat out every time someone comes in. It’s an office building!

Thanks No really, that's a website and it's hi-lar-ious. Go check it out. But then come back here, please. Thanks.

And, it’s not very environmentally friendly or economical, especially at a time when gas prices are through the roof. We put all this effort into not wasting and recycling paper, only to destroy forests of trees to crank up the AC to Arctic levels. It must cost corporate America a lot of money to maintain this frigid environment. I’d rather raise the temperature a few degrees and get a raise with all the wonderful cost savings. (By the way, you aren’t saving money or energy if I’m using an electric heating pad to stay warm.)

Denver has tackled this issue head-on. A couple of years ago, Mayor John Hickenlooper decreed that all city buildings should raise the thermostat four degrees. “It saves money, it’s benevolent to the environment and it makes people happy, right? It’s more comfortable. What’s not to like?” he says.

Indeed, Hickenlooper, indeed. (Pretty fun name, by the way. Congrats on that)

Office-induced hypothermia is a serious problem. Not as serious as restless leg syndrome, perhaps, but almost. And perhaps, I propose, more pervasive. Maybe I should start a telethon for it. We could use the money to buy every office worker one of these or some of these.

Is it cold in your office? Have any coping mechanisms you want to share? How many sweaters do you have stashed in your cube?