Worlds Away

My office cubicle is the typical off-color beige. The desk drawers, in keeping with the color wheel, are maroon. The shelving matches the beige walls which are bordered with what appears to be a mahogany colored trim. The carpet is a texture-less, miniature mosaic of all these colors that was probably intended less for aesthetics and more to hide the wear and tear of constant traffic.

By industry standards I’d say the size of my space is a little bigger than the norm. It’s not overly large but the 8×10 spacing gives me room to stretch my legs and not feel so boxed in. Well, on most days that is. Some days it can feel like a zoo as the 3rd floor balcony has a direct line of sight into my daily routines.

I have my Cisco VOIP desk phone, an HP Laser Jet printer, my Dell laptop with a docking station and, unlike my co-workers, I have two monitors instead of the normal single issue (I’m special, I need two). The ensemble of my hardware is complete with pens, pencils, legal pads, spirals, sticky post-it notes and a white board with a colorful array of markers. In case I have problems locating any of these necessities, fluorescent lights beam into my cubicle home with the power of a few suns.

Attached to the left side of my cubicle is another cubicle and across the aisle to my right is another. Duplicate boxes joined together like Siamese twins. Rows and rows of boxes that, from the air, I can only imagine to look like the mangled insides of a bee hive. From the ground however, it is a maze of right-angles that can easily make one feel like a rat looking for his next piece of cheese. Like most people, I try to offset the disastrous image of cubicleville with personal effects: my nook with a screen saver of Jennifer, my Christmas issued Mickey Mouse snow-ball, a half-dozen Atloid tins sitting in the corner and a full set of Dilbert books (considered sacred parchments at any large corporation). I’d really like to install a cubicle door and redo the flooring with some nice wood laminate but I’m pretty sure a war with building maintenance would not end in my favor.

For all intents & purposes, we have a nicely structured wheel of productivity here. Everything, and everyone, can be found in the appropriate places. When necessary, leisurely escapes can be made to one of our many cafeterias where en route, you can pass by the carefully manicured trees & shrubberies that, if only briefly, make you forget you’re at work. I can’t complain; all in all it’s a good place to work. I have certainly worked in lesser places.

Today however, my thoughts are little focused on work. I have ceased to care for our billion dollar website, the one-hundred plus servers I keep an eye on or any one of the major projects I should be diligently pouring myself over. Today I can only think about one thing and one thing alone: Vacation.

My mind is reeling with the conflicting variables of where I sit now and where I’ll sit in a few days. It is a conflict that creates the frictions of anticipation, drawing me that much closer into the convulsions of eustress. I am tired from the planning. I am tired from the packing and I am mortally exhausted from the excitement. My body may be at work but, like a marriage gone sour, my heart & soul is 8000 miles away.

With as much travel as I’ve done, such a trip should be considered routine by now and there’s no questioning the fact that I feel more at home in the air and on the move than I do sitting still and on the ground. None the less, each journey has its own nuances that make it unforgettable. This journey, this vacation, will be no different. Even if only for ten days, it will be nice to forget the requirements of routine and throw caution to the wind.

I will gleefully watch my food being slaughtered before I eat it. I will walk barefoot on the beach while baking in the sun. I will prove to myself once again that I cannot climb a palm tree and, unless I’m cold in my sleep, I will not wear socks. I will do all these things and more; I’m on vacation. Yes, I’m already there. I am worlds away and the confines of my cubicle only reinforce that fact. Hang tight my Filipino friends, I’ll see you soon.

One Response to Worlds Away

  1. Pingback: Death of a Cubicle | Jon Kokko

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