I work in a sea of cubicles. There are literally over 100 of them housing a vast sea of workers. It looks like a shanty town with plants growing above the walls and coats hung in the doorways and despite the gray padded, half- walls, there is absolutely no privacy. You can hear anything and everything that goes on in shanty town. There are 2 public areas in the place. One is a little kitchenette with a sink, three microwave ovens, two toasters and 17 coffee makers. No one is allowed to have a coffee maker in their cubicle so instead of spending a buck in the cafeteria, they bring in little single cup coffee makers and litter the kitchen with them. There is also a shared refrigerator that has every strain of deadly bacteria living within. Thefts are common from this germ box by someone that I can only assume is making their own penicillin. The kitchen also is home to two vending machines, one with Pepsi in it and the other with various snacks. The snack machine is regularly covered in post it notes with the amounts of money lost in the machine and a phone extension that the snack machine God should call when he is ready to refund the 85 cents.
The second space is the mail room although it is actually more like an indentation off the hallway since the door way is three quarters of the width of the wall. One of the walls is covered in mailboxes labeled alphabetically. There are also three fax machines and several antiquated printers in the space as well as an electric pencil sharpener. Yes, sometimes I feel like I am working in the 70’s. The funny thing about this space is that people go in there and use it as a private area. People will make persona cell phone calls or meet to discuss personal issues. I know this because when I go in to get my mail I can hear them talking about personal issues. The weirdest part is that they will give you dirty looks as if you are intruding. If anything they are intruding on my right not to know their business. I don’t want to know that your girlfriend is a bitch or why you are getting divorced for the third time. I don’t want to listen to people talking to their mothers about what they want for dinner because it makes me wonder why you are still living with your mother when you are 38 years old and have a good job. I don’t want to wonder about those things. So please, it is bad enough that I have to hear about your pencil engraving company across the cubicle wall, but allow me the escape from your personal details when I am getting my mail.