When I took this job, to appease myself I promised that I would only stay as long as it took to finish my degree- about 6 months at that point. That was a year and a half ago. I'm still here. And I have moved in.
Part of the job's charm in the early days was that it came with my very own desk and a phone. I pictured myself being very busy and important, the gentle ringing of phones interrupting the clack-clacking of typing up important looking documents. Little did I know that I was more likely to develop carple tunnel syndrome from all the mouse clicking.
But I digress.
My new desk came with a series of lockable metal drawers and an overhead cabinet that also locked (at least it did after some strange man came into our "secure" building and stole my bag). And walls. Three and a half person-height walls covered with some kind of beige felt that was screaming to be covered in phone lists, notes and plaques of achievement (of the cardboard variety naturally).
But like I said, my tenure was to be very temporary. So I vowed not to get too settled. It all started innocently enough when my boyfriend gave me a framed picture of us for my desk (all together now, awww). Now there was a face on my desk. Then a series of birthday postcards, that I felt added a personal touch.
Now I look around my cubicle and I wonder when it all went so horribly wrong. It looks like my cubicle. I definitely never intended to have such ownership, it makes it feel permanent. But I prefer to think that my cubicle has more detritus than design. There are coffee cups. A poster of a Disney fairy courtesy of a work mate. A Christmas card. A puppy calendar (necessary to plan non-work related events. A visual reminder that there is in fact life outside the cubicle). Dead Gerberas- they were an attempt to cheer up my space and then they died. I like to think that they are a kind of metaphor for how I feel about working here. All totalled up- if I left tomorrow I would take...the calendar?
I look at some of the other cubicles plastered in photos and stuffed animals and inwardly, I breathe a sigh of relief. Lots of pictures and stuffed animals? Dead giveaways that you plan to spend your working life in exactly such a cubicle.I think that the beige felt walls are actually meant to stifle the screams of dispair otherwise sure to issue from each individual cubicle.
I've learned to start screaming on the inside.