Professional Dog Crate

One thing that I really hate with a passion is the cubicle.

Or what I like to call…..the Professional Dog Crate

So for those of us who aren’t blessed enough to live in one of these horrid spaces for 8 hours a day, let me explain why they are so detestible. Imagine leaving your beautiful home and coming in to work, only to sit in an 8x8 box. Hunched over and staring at a PC all day long. It reminds me of how my dog must have felt before he was mature enough to be left to his own devices in the house alone. I used to crate him. Poor dog.

We get crated at work. The average entry level employee to mid level manager sits in a cubicle to do their work. Some places have rows and rows of cubicles lined up — just like dog crates in a pet store. Then to make matters worse, the exterior walls are typically lined with offices. So managers can walk out and keep an eye on their “pets”. OK, so perhaps I’m being a bit facetious. Let’s get to the question at hand.

Do you want to spend your life in a cubicle?

I know some really awesome people who have spent a good portion (10+ years) working for “good companies”. They’ve spent that entire time in a cubicle. The average full time employee puts in 40 hours a week. So at 52 weeks in a year, that’s 2080 hours spent in a box. That’s just after one year! Imagine how fast that adds up. After 10 years you’ve put in more than 20,000 hours in your work crate. Assuming you haven’t progressed high enough up the food chain to warrant an office (the holy grail of workplace real estate) you’re still going to be in a cube for a while.

Imagine if you worked for yourself

I’m guilty of having been “crated” for most of my career, which is why I am a subject matter expert on cubicles. I’ve neatly arranged stuffed animals on my shelf, put up photos and tried to position calendars and dry erase boards so I could look productive. After some time I realized that this was pointless. The whole concept of decorating a cubicle is utterly rediculous. It is merely people trying to humanize and add warmth to a small space that we are borrowing from our employer.

Since I’ve stepped up my writing and blogging, in adition to other online ventures, I’ve realized there is a world outside the cubicle. Sure, I still have an employer, and quite frankly it’s the best job I’ve ever had. Some companies are just fantastic to work for — and I love my employer as much as one can. But I want freedom. I want the ability to walk outside without having to take my Blackberry with me, constantly wondering if I’m going to get an email. Or having the luxury of taking an extended lunch without the inevitable “Where’d you go?”

Jobs are just that. A job. Something we do to earn a wage so we can pay our bills. The cubicle is a side effect of that. Jobs should be something we do while we work toward our passion. The thing that truly gives us the freedom to be who we want to be.

But that’s a different blog post.

Peter O'Neal