If you’ve ever worked in a cubicle, you understand just how isolating, yet completely exposed you are. Sure, you can’t see those you sit by, but you can hear everything they do. Whether it is clipping their nails, toasting their breakfast, or sharing way too much information on a phone call, we’ve all had the opportunity to have these people as our neighbors.
As I approach my 17th year in a cube, I thought I’d roll out some of my favorite neighbors I’ve had over the years. If you thought you were the only one who had to sit by someone that microwaved fish at lunch, or eggs in the morning, think again.
- The Candy Man: Typically walks around with a jar of unwrapped candy, bribing people for attention or assistance. Or maybe bribing them with germs; who knows who has touched that candy.
- The Sugar Momma: Desk is littered (literally) with enough candy and treats to feed a large group of seven-year old’s. Not only does the candy serve to entice people to come and gossip, but it is the mouse version of heaven.
- Note: when the mice come, don’t use a piece of chocolate on a sticky trap in an effort to capture a mouse. It doesn’t work, and you may never touch chocolate again because you’ll think of teeth marks and mouse hair. (*gag*)
- The Chronic Over Committer: This person wants to do all and be all, often looking for gold stars for being a charitable person. Often alienates team by lack of communication; team often dreams of finding a hole to push them in.
- The New Guy/Girl: Shows up with rose-colored glasses. Nervously tells everyone that “it isn’t that bad.” Co-workers secretly bet on the date the new guy/girl finally breaks. (Spoiler alert: it’s six months.)
- The Clipper: Desk is riddled with a years’ worth of weekly finger nail clippings.
- Note: It is prudent to check the pencil drawer of The Clipper if you are inheriting their desk. You may find more nail clippings among the office supplies they left behind. (No, I’m not joking.)
- The Overshare – Almost Retired Version: Most likely to share any and all medical issues, including bleeding from the rectum. (No, I’m not joking.)
- The Man of God: Rests arms on religious texts while working. Takes wife to Las Vegas and returns complaining about the dancing women near his dinner table. Also, overheard saying he can’t wait for the world to burn. (May I suggest you do a bit more research before your next vacation? YOU WENT TO VEGAS! What did you expect to see?)
- The Lock-Jaw Stewer: Can’t let go of perceived injustices. Gets speeding ticket and proceeds to talk about it for weeks. And weeks. And weeks…
- The Unknown Pharmaceutical Rep: This person is most likely to carry around a backpack full of prescriptions for everything imaginable.
- Note: The first person I met that fell into this category was a small town, farm boy type, that was near retirement and was counting down the days. Nowadays, I’m sure the Unknown Rep could be anyone, or everyone, in your cube farm.
- The Attention Getter – Whale Tail Version: Makes a point to sit at desk in such a way that anyone passing by cannot proceed down the aisle without noticing the glittery thong above her pants.
- Note: This person is also known to make flirtation and inappropriate comments to the VP. *awkward*
- he Nosey-Nate: Listens to peripheral conversations, and uses info to persuade others to focus on what s/he needs from you. This person is also most likely to act as if everyone is their buddy. Ugh.
- The Overshare – Trouble Children Version: Yells at kids over the phone. Details all infractions and potential consequences. Typically one of the most introverted people you sit by.
- The Freeloader(s): Trolls from cube to cube looking for free candy and baked goods. I used to work with a man that would wash his face in the drinking fountains, and later you’d see him trolling for goodies. Um, yuck.
- The Bathroom Talker: Continues calls (and makes calls) while in a stall without regard for those that would like to use the bathroom in peace without hearing the details of your roller derby club. (Seriously, why can’t these people just play games on their smart phones like the rest of us?)