I had some dreams ... they were klowns in my koffee.

(With apologies to Carly Simon)

This is my journey through job transition from a toxic environment to a better life. Join me for a few thoughts and a few laughs along the way.
What are "klowns in my koffee"? They are the factors large and small that make you less than you are. A "klown" can be a grossly incompetent boss,
a short-sighted policy or a moronic coworker. They won't kill you, at least not immediately, but they abrade the soul
as you scrape past them to get through the day. Sometimes it's best to dump them out of the cup.


Day 326 - Death by Cubicle

Daily Kup (My Life in the Thaw)
The lawn chairs that I should have stored in the garage in November are starting to peak out from the snow. There's a constant drip-drip-drip from the eaves. Rivulets are forming below the gutters, flowing down the driveway into the street, and then rushing to our downhill neighbor's soggy backyard to form what we lovingly call "Lake Pickerell" in honor of the people who have done everything short of sandbags and magic crystals to prevent this from happening every year.

Princess Potatohead, in the optimistic style of one who has not seen a half-century of winters, has declared the arrival of Spring. "Mom," she says. "You can start gardening. I will look for butterflies."
Attila the Son, to whom opposition is an orientation and not a lifestyle choice, responds to any mention of going outside with, "I don't need a coat!" As the temperature is 40 degrees -- not balmy in any locations except Antarctica and Mars -- moms insist on coats, only to know that outer garments flap unzipped and later get stuffed into backpacks as soon as the corner is turned.

Will there be more snow? Of course. Mid-February is not the end of winter's grasp in the Upper Midwest. But it's that whisper of Spring as children's bulky snow boots stomp through the fragile ice shell of puddles that awakens the little part of our hearts that remembers a green leaf and a soft breeze.

Where are those seed catalogs?

At Least She Doesn't Have to Answer the Email Backlog
I don't want to die in a cubicle. Last Saturday, a security guard found a middle-aged Los Angeles county compliance auditor slumped in her cubicle. She'd been dead for a day.

Doesn't this really touch on the greatest fears of anyone who has every had a cubicle-based job? It could only be worse if co-workers had pinned notes on the body or if she had been munched on by the cafeteria mouse overnight.
Some people are probably OK with dying at work -- martyrs, gigolos, and George Mallory come to mind.

It's not hard to imagine that an artist might want to be found in front of a glorious piece of original art or that an orchestra conductor might want to draw a last breath while being churlish to a violinist. But none of these professions work in cubicles.

For a few years, my office was a cubicle on the edge of the Sales Department. Their little Sales heads would pop up and over as their tiny paws gripped the top edge of the short divider walls. The phone would ring and down they went into their tunnels.

The man sitting in the cube next to mine was so shy and detached that he would email me if he had something to say. I sat within six feet of him for three years, rarely physically saw him, and never knew if the clicking sounds all day were him clipping his nails or if he had a Geiger counter.

'I don't want to die in my cubicle' is second only to 'I don't want to die all alone and be eaten by my cats' as the mantra of our culture of separation and isolation. And yet we have never been more connected through our media.

Wouldn't it be sad and disturbing if this woman's absence was noticed more on Facebook than when she didn't go home?


Kim Barron said...

I got a seed catalog a couple days ago. My tomatoes did really well last year and I want to plant some again this year. And I think I'll expand the little garden area. Someday I'll have you over.

I've always one to worry that no one would notice if I died. I don't think it has much to do with the 'times we're in'. I think everyone wants to know there is someone that cares enough to notice them.

Burning Khrome said...

Well said! I remember making a pact with my best friend in Junior High School that we would pledge to attend each other's funerals so that at least there would be some attendance.

We can all see the flaw in the "each other's" part of the logic, but the concept still applies.

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