A cubicle is a structure designed to remind workers that they will never truly be free. These days, cubicle workers have myriad distractions to keep them sane, but in ancient times (the 90s) it was very different...
Just The Facts
- A cubicle is a series of thin partition walls designed to enclose an employee in their workspace.
- The purpose of the cubicle is to ensure that the employees have nothing to distract them from their work.
- In response to this, employees must manufacture their own distractions.
- Enter cubicle accessories--toys, gadgets, etc designed to assist in procrastination.
It is easy to see the purpose of the cubicle. Employees need some barrier against the distractions of a crowded office space, but it would be far too costly to give every employee their own office to work in. Also, if every employee had their own personal office, how would you know that they are working and not masturbating constantly? And so we see the purpose of the cubicle, three thin partition walls that give the employee an illusion of privacy, so that they may better concentrate, but not any actual privacy, so that they don't constantly masturbate
Office masturbation rose by 80% after the invention of the hands free kit
The design is ingenious, allowing passing managers to peek in at their underlings whenever they like, ensuring they are doing their jobs and dedicating every conscious thought in their heads to company orientated activities.
The side effects of the cubicle, from an employee perspective, is that you are denied the dignity of an actual work space, (residing instead in the office equivilent of a doghouse) and denied the basic human need of social interaction (experiencing isolation in a room full of people). Needless to say, the cubicle is quickly seen for what it is; a prison, where you will reside until you are emotionally dead, spiritually dead and then actually dead.
Is it any wonder that cubicle dwellers seek distraction? And where do they find it? i-phone apps! Facebook! Certain comedy websites that we won't mention here! Advanced communication technology has bought us a whole plethora of ways to do things we are not strictly paid to do on company time. And, knowing this, life is good.
It would appear her degree in "straight up not giving a fuck" has paid off
However, there was a time before the internet, when porn was crudely inscribed on flattened dead trees and you actually had to pay to see movies. In these dark times, the cubicle worker had to rely on crude physical objects and the capacity of his or her imagination to keep entertained.
Here are some classic cubicle accessories that made life seem worth living in days gone by...
The Executive Toy
Surprisingly, not a dildo. I know, right?
In actuality, the executive toy is far less interesting. It is a toy. For executives. And while it may be crammed into a bodily orifice, it is not part of its design specifications. The executive toy is designed to, basically, sit there and move in a manner that amuses you for all of five seconds. It was the richer man's equivalent of the bobble-headed Jesus.
Go ahead and play with your Jesus you pauper
Executive toys became a status symbol in the mid-eighties, where status symbols were highly in demand- so much in demand that pointless movable trinkets that sat on your desk and failed to achieve anything quickly became a popular way of saying "I have a lot of money, and I have yet to discover cocaine."
Executive toys were like portable pieces of modern art, in that they were inherently worthless, uniformly soulless, and primarily bought by douchebags. The office toy would continue to evolve, exploring every aspect of trivialization, until the eventual birth of the i-phone.
The most popular Executive Toy involved a set of swinging balls. We leave you to make your own freudian analysis.
The Family Picture
It was a time before facebook, when you couldn't readily access a picture of everybody you've ever met, but after feminism, which meant you couldn't have a pin up of a naked chic washing a cool car on your cubicle wall. In this time, the classic, must-have cubicle accessory was a Picture of Your Family.
Maybe a group shot of your spouse and rugrats, or maybe your son at graduation. While it wasn't glamourous or quirky, the family picture could lift your spirits in the darkest times of your employment. No matter how much your boss was riding you, or how much the work load piled up, you could look at your family picture and say to yourself; "At least it gets me out of the house for eight hours."
Overtime? Yeah, sure.
Some people would substitute the family picture with adorable posters of kittens hanging from trees with captions like "Hang in there!" Or perhaps a clever bumper sticker that says "You don't have to be a soulless peon to work here, but it helps!". Needless to say, these people are dicks.
This is what we had before lolcats. How did we ever get by?
The Stationary Construction Set
It's not long before the mind, starved of creative outlet, begins to see a desk full of rubber bands, thumb-tacks, protractors and other boring shit as a delightful playground full of endless possibilities. Many a would-be Da Vinci has whiled away the office hours constructing mighty towers or elaborate motorways from everyday cubicle tat.
Its-a-me! Your life's work!
One of the classics is the Cubicle Crossbow. Before you could waste your time launching electronic birds at equally electronic pigs, Cubicle Crossbow was the only office-friendly way to satisfy your natural urge to kill and maim. Other than actually killing or maiming someone. For your enjoyment, please find below a step-by-step construction guide.
First, get a normal eraser, give it four tacks for legs, and use two pieces of paper clip for antlers. This is your mighty stag, bounding through the forests of Deskoria.
Second, tie together two straight edge rulers in a cross shape with an elastic band. File a small notch in either side of the upper-cross piece with a nail-file or your teeth if you're a man.
Thirdly, stretch out an appropriately sized elastic band so that you can wedge it in the two notches. The elastic band should be sufficiently taught to provide launching force. Take a pen, and load it into your "cross bow" as you would with a bow and arrow.
Finally, place your stag somewhere and let it "graze". Now, take your crossbow and go and get a coffee. Procrastinate for a good long while. Hang around the photocopier or something. You should have now let so much time pass that you've forgotten what it is you're supposed to be doing. Now return to your cubicle.
LOOK OUT! A MIGHTY STAG! SHOOT THAT BASTARD!
There! An immersive hunting experience in the safety of your own office location!
Don't do this one too often. It tends to lead to an "evaluation".
It is not commonly known that the paperback book was invented entirely so that cubicle workers could have some distracting entertainment that fitseasily under a desk. Indeed, if you sat just right, leaning back and looking down so that you could read the book balanced on your crotch, then the casual observer would merely conclude that you had lost the will to live, when in fact you were enjoying the racy fiction of your choice!
Nothing like a dead Fabio to get the pulse racing
The Doodle Pad
Pish posh, I say! Mainly because any paragraph that begins with this statement is surely going to be golden. Yes, Pish Posh! Pish Posh to your televisions and your video games and your interactive multimedia devices, because nothing, but nothing, can challenge the limitless potential of the imagination! Unless, of course, your imagination has been crushed along with your dreams and spirit, and, lets face it, if you're in a cubicle you are probably so crushed that you can't even think of a clever analogy for how crushed you are.
That'll do, I guess...
However, don't be discouraged, a boundless world of possibilities is at your fingertips. All you need is a pen and a scrap of paper. Doodling! The ultimate ubiquitous form of human expression. It can be simple or complex, humorous or clever, it can involve dongs, boners or even wieners. Yes, the doodle is the common man's way of saying "You can take my will to live, but you will never take my right to draw a pair of glasses on a dong wearing a tie."
And lets not forget the doodle's potential for biting satire on office politics...
Feel that bite, world? That's the bite of satire!