Now that I am somewhere near the point in age where many people have a mid-life crisis (no, not me of course), I have enough business road miles on me to have seen a few things.
I haven’t seen everything yet, but I have seen enough to be able to generally understand the rules of business and have some ideas of what works and doesn’t work.
Which is a long-winded way of saying “I ain’t no rookie no more“.
And while I was thinking about how overrated office space is, I had another thought:
What is it with people who get Cubicle Envy?
If you have worked in an office setting for any length of time, surely you have seen this.
Someone shows up on their first day of work and is assigned a “work space” – which for many people directly translates into that wonderful invention called a cubicle.
They move in, and then they immediately start to round up the necessary items they think they will need to get their job done.
Stuff like a tape dispenser, a stapler, computer, monitor, chair, phone and whatever else that is really just an inanimate object with very little inherent value but will seemingly make them feel like they will be more productive.
And then they do whatever-it-is-that-they-were-hired-to-do.
And then it begins.
They start to get infected with Cubicle Envy.
I personally classify Cubicle Envy as a disease – because once someone is infected with it, I haven’t seen it go away without extreme doses of radiation – and even then, it sometimes never fully goes away, it just may go into remission for a period of time.
They notice that the person sitting three cubicles down has a slightly nicer Aeron chair.
Or they see the person sitting directly across from them has a monitor that is an inch wider than theirs.
Or they hear about how lucky the person is at the end of the row who gets to put the color printer in their cubicle because they get to print out birthday cards when someone has a birthday.
And by this point, they are completely infected with Cubicle Envy.
And the way they begin to feed the monster that is Cubicle Envy is they start improving their temporary personal domain one slightly better chair, bigger monitor and color printer at a time.
Until finally – they have managed to build up the nicest cubicle on the entire floor. Heck, maybe even the whole building. And if they are really persistent, over the period of only a few years – they could be running for Cubicle of the Company award.
And then it happens.
They get fired.
And they go to another company.
And have to start all over again at the bottom of the cubicle food chain.
So if you are reading this — and you have the power to put your mind over your inner desire to be completely infected with Cubicle Envy, do the smart thing:
Find a co-working space near you and get busy with what really matters — improving the lives of others and turning a profit.