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CUBICLE CRISIS Monologue

Monologue performed April 20, 2012 as part of ECT’s Eclectic Voices Monologues Show, “All Over Again”.

CUBICLE CRISIS
By Jeff Folschinsky

EMPLOYEE
I don’t know why they decided that we needed them but for some reason management got a bug up their butt and we got them. I’m talking about the new cubicles of course. I mean, you’re the police so I’m sure you knew that, and it’s not like it’s any big secret. It’s all that people have been bitching about for the last month but I just wanted to make sure. After all, what’s the use in going through all of this if you if don’t know the root cause of the problem.

I mean it seems kind of silly when you hear me talking about it. You’re probably thinking to yourself, they’re just cubicles, what the big deal? But you have no idea how bad of a decision this was, and it’s not like they didn’t have fair warning.

They had set up a demo unit a few months before they came in to see what everyone thought, and the decision was pretty unanimous; everyone hated them, and I do mean everyone. I’m not saying that for dramatic effect, there really wasn’t one single person that had a nice thing to say about them. Of course, instead of admitting they had a bad idea and just dropping the whole thing, management decided to put together a “blue ribbon panel” to give out a survey, so they could correctly judge people’s reaction; and guess what? People said they hated them again. I mean, it’s not enough for people to say they hate something to your face; you have to have it in writing too? And the stupid idiots still decided to get them anyway.

I don’t know what the hell was going through their heads but everyone here is pretty sure someone was getting a kick back. I know that’s not really nice thing to say with out proof but can you think of any other reason? I mean the stubbornness that was displayed by management as they went through with this stupid endeavor was truly amazing. It was like watching a german tank punch it’s way through Belgium. You saw it coming and you knew it was going to end badly for everyone, but the only thing you can think do is just get the hell out of it’s way.

That description is very apt by the way, because the day that the new cubicles arrived came with all the subtlety of a full on invasion. Fortunately they gave everyone the day off in an attempt to alleviate some of the mounting tension. Some people came in anyway with the excuse that they had forgotten something and needed pick it up. That was unfortunate for management because you better believe their camera phones came out and before you could say Facebook, well, their pictures were on Facebook. There were about a hundred comments in less than ten minutes after the pictures were posted.

One industrious person that I worked with started a “secret group” on Facebook, and invited all the employees to join so they could freely bitch about everything, without management accidentally seeing what they were writing. Which I have to say was not that flattering. Actually some of the comments were darn right scary. These people are friends so I won’t go into details but lets just put it this way. If some of management met with an accident before all this happened and you guys saw this page. We would have a hard time convincing you we didn’t have something to do with it; which I found funny. I mean sure, I was annoyed with management for what I considered just blatantly ignoring our feelings on the issue, but I certainly didn’t think it was worth getting violent over.

I obviously changed my mind later when I had to start using them. You have to understand that these things were designed to annoy the hell out of whoever was in them.

For one the walls were too low so anyone walking by could and did look into your area. I mean, it was like the inside of the cubicles were made of some substance that just force the eyes of whoever was walking by to look in. I wasn’t the only person that felt this way either, because up and down the hall, you heard a chorus of, “Hey, do you mind, hey, do you mind, hey do you mind”.

In hopes of nipping things in the bud and trying to avoid anymore complaints that they were getting. Management passed the cubicle code of conduct. First on the list, was do not look over the wall of your fellow employee’s cubicle. I don’t know what “blue ribbon committee” convinced them that would work but hopefully those blue ribbons were turned into blind folds just before that committee was shot.

I know that’s kind of harsh but considering the circumstance we find ourselves in now, it seems pretty justified. Needless to say the code of conduct was about as useful as tits on a mule. I mean, you’re fighting human nature for crying out loud. We as a species are just naturally curious.

Pamela, one of the administrative assistants that developed that minor whip lash injury is a prime example. She was turning her head back and forth as she walked down the hallway “not looking in peoples cubicles” so much that they had to send her to the chiropractor.

It got so bad that I finally decided enough was enough, and started taking action. Nothing really serious, I would just do little things. Like change my screen saver so it would display little notes. You know stuff like, “Eye’s forward, I feel you watching, and my personal favorite, I’ve had it, everyone going to die at 5:31 today”. It was really more of joke than anything, but I was surprised at how effective it was. Especially that last one, if that appeared on the computer screen, you could be sure everyone was clocking out at 5:30 on the nose.

I guess management didn’t find it as funny as a did, because I got called into my supervisors office to talk about my attitude. Of course, when I asked him to clarify why he thought I was having a bad attitude he would clam up. You see he couldn’t because then he would have to admit that he and other people were looking into my cube, thus admitting that the cubicle code of conduct was worthless.

The one thing I’ve found in a corporate setting, is management will never admit they’ve made a mistake, or one of their ideas doesn’t work. So essentially they really couldn’t do anything to me.

When I walked out of the supervisors office I noticed a curious thing. He looked around the office at the other workers and got the strangest look on his face. At the time I didn’t know what to make of it but now looking back I absolutely know what the look was. It was the look of fear.

Management had painted themselves into a corner. They had put their reputation and the company’s money on the line with this decision and everything was falling apart. All that needed to happen was for someone to pull on that thin little string that was keeping everything together and the whole thing would come apart. And potentially I was the one that just pulled on that string.

If I could get away with what management would consider inappropriate behavior, then everyone could. All that needed to happen was for that information to become public and management was toast.

Looking back now, I guess I shouldn’t of posted this information on that secret Facebook group, but hind sight is twenty, twenty they say.

It’s amazing, I would of never in the million years thought that a riot would break out that quickly, but here we are. I guess the illusion of power is better than no power at all. As poor mister Jennings found out the hard way.

By the way, kudos to your SWAT Teams response time, very impressive. I would of hated to think what would have happened if they actually did heat up that tar, and for the life of me, I have no idea where all those feathers came from in the first place. They just showed up somehow so I figured, when in rome. If you know what I mean?

Sorry, you’re right, there is a time and place for humor and this is probably not it. I’m just a little nervous right now and I tend to always want to lighten the mood with a little levity when that happens.

You have to understand, I’m not telling you these things to make excuses for what happened, but I think it’s important to know the circumstances leading up to all of this. I mean, everyone was perfectly happy with the old cubicles. No armed insurrections ever happened when those were here. Why couldn’t they leave well enough alone?

Yeah, like I said before, it sounds silly when I talk about it, but as you can clearly see, it was a really, really bad decision. Now if you don’t mind, I would like to get my one phone call now.

THE END

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