Chattering Mind

By Valerie Reiss, filling in for Amy.

Are you or someone you love suffering from cubicle-itis? That is, are they or you spending most waking hours in a little box o’ gray?

I know, most people imagine the offices here to be perfectly feng-shuied and covered in sparkling rainbows with birds alighting on our shoulders. But alas, we’re in the same demi-boxes that you are. And thus, my compassion and empathy for cube-dwellers everywhere.

I’ve recently taken to papering my cube’s little cabinet thingy with colorful, non-holiday-themed wrapping paper (here’s a site with some cool possibilities). I just switched to a tasteful tropical bird motif with a green background. It keeps me going. I also have a little plant, an inspiring quote*, and try to keep things clean.

And below, I’ve gathered some solutions others have hatched.

– The CubeDoor (pictured above, right), a nifty device for those with 3.5 walls, sends the message that interruptions aren’t welcome and blocks visual distractions. It comes in classic, sheer, and patriotic:

– BoingBoing reports on DIY cubicle privacy involving PVC pipe:

– If you have a roomy cube and bike to work, here’s the DIY cubicle bike rack:

– A history of the cube can help you at least understand why you’re in it:

– A very amusing YouTube video on the sad beauties of cubicle life, to the tune of James Blunt’s “You’re Beautiful”:

– And some fun books: this one, Cube Chic: Take Your Office Space from Drab to Fab! is on renovating your cube to be tiki, polar, retro, etc.

– Another, The Cubicle Survival Guide: Keeping Your Cool in the Least Hospitable Environment on Earth, is a humorous approach to cube life.

* That quote on my desk: “Finish each day and be done with it. You have done what you could, some blunders and absurdities no doubt crept in, forget them as soon as you can. Tomorrow is a new day, you shall begin it well and serenely.” — Ralph Waldo Emerson

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