I really don’t watch TV much. But when I do, there are always digs on every show that has a cubicle, about hell in the cubicle.  Pretty much sets a standard to hate your cubicle.  Of course, they are playing to the general population who really don’t want to be in a cubicle all day.. but what if you actually liked showing up to your cubicle? What if you liked your work? What if your boss isn’t an idiot and your co-workers don’t have square eyes? What if no one is big brothering your email?   Do you still feel some sort of pressure to hate your cubicle?

I’m just curious. I don’t actually know anyone who likes their cubicle. But if you do, congrats. Add that to your list of what makes you special.  Haven’t made that list?  oh, goody, another thing all of you can do to while away the cubicle day AND trigger thoughts on how to get the hell out of the cubicle- well, except those of you who don’t want to leave.  Honestly, you ought to celebrate that.

And you can celebrate by buying christmas lights that are powered via USB. How cool is that?  I love Thinkgeek.   Just got the latest newsletter full of insanely creative goodies for cubicle dwellers and actually anybody who likes insanely creative goodies.  Link is on the left.  See? → → → → →. never mind, it’s refusing to show up there. And it’s not even an affiliate link that wordpress sometimes attacks!  so here it is: http:www.thinkgeek.com


It’s bad for you.  Well, no, actually it doesn’t even exist.   Read on, my friends.. learn how you can be more creative and efficient by not multi – tasking.

There’s more than a couple of possible benefits for you readers, 1. you get fired for refusing to multi-task.  2. your work environment actually changes and makes you happier.  3. you come up with a creative idea that will work to get you out of the cubicle and into your life.


Happy Tuesday. Uh huh.      

If you think Janet Whitehead is me the blog owner, you could be right, you could be wrong.  But if I were Janet Whitehead, I would refuse to take responsibilty for advising you to throw hard marshmallows at idiot coworkers and other such tips in this blog.  It’s so un-coach like.

And so I invite Janet Whitehead to introduce an exercise that can help you find your way out of the cubicle.

Hello, I’m Janet Whitehead – personal life coach with expertise in creative thinking. (Note from blog owner: ‘And we all know it could take some creative thinking to get you out of your hell hole.’)

 Try this activity. (Note from blog owner – ‘If big brother is watching you and asks what you are doing, you could answer “doing a creative technique to create the most efficient money making task list for the company. Sir!”)   (“Stop interrupting, blog owner!” says Janet)

Again, Try this activity:  You could probably google ‘101 tips for leaving your current job” and get all kinds of tips.  This is not what this is about. Someone else’s tips might give you some inspiration, but as a life coach, I know you are a creative resourceful being who already has the answers. I just help you find them.  This exercise is a stream of consciousness creative exercise.  It’s going to allow your right brain – which is full of brilliant ideas, but rarely speaks – to share some of its insights.  Really.

Get pen and paper.  Computer and new doc works too.  Heck, you can even do this in a comment at the end.

Number 1 – 101.  OR you can simply number each item as you go, but you must convince yourself that you are obligated to do 101 items. (NOTE: if you just got tired thinking about doing this… perk up, sunshine. You’re wanting to make changes – this is going to tell you what they can be. You’ve got answers. You deserve to find them.)

Now write 101 ways to leave your job.  That’s a lot. That’s going to make your logical left brain give up.  Your right creative imaginative brain is going to have to take over (as long as you insist to yourself that you will do 101 ideas.)  Give yourself some time… but do not write a few items, go for lunch, come back do a few more, leave again, etc.   This just isn’t that type of exercise.

When you get to #4 or thereabouts, and you are finding it hard to write more, you can be silly. As soon as it gets hard to come up with the next one, concoct ‘ridiculous’ ideas like  “Fine. I could just walk out right now and not come back.”   Or ‘silly’ ideas like “I can marry a rich man/woman’ or  ‘impossible’ ideas like  ‘get a grant for emerging writers and write a book’ or write silly non-idea stuff like “this is just stupid.”  or “Janet schmanet” or  … well, are you getting the picture?  The point is to keep writing.  And just watch what emerges. 

When all is written, you will have some new ideas of how to make changes in your life.  Even better, or if you are still not having an ‘aha’ or two, share the list with a trusted friend – one who supports you and is non-judgemental.  Sometimes a friend will ‘see’ clearly what you cannot see – right there in your list!

Honour yourself by choosing to take some small step  towards your future of not being in a cubicle suffering holiday re-entry syndrome while playacting that you are a good happy efficient employee.    Life is good. Live it.

contributed by Janet L. Whitehead.   Musings and Mud – The Coaching Studio.  www.musingsandmud.com

Thanks for stopping by, Janet!  Happy exploring, readers!

Before I leaped from the corporate world, I did spend some summers stuck in an office, counting the minutes to the end of the day so I could go boating, counting the minutes to a couple days off for camping, and counting the minutes until vacation so I could really escape with my young family.  That was a lot of ‘minute counting.’

I understand September in the Cubicle. I understand that one suffers ‘re-entry’ after vacations.  Somehow you know you gotta survive til next year’s holidays.

That’s kinda depressing.  Re-entry sucks.

If ever a quote fits, this is it:

“‘Life’s too short’ is repeated often enough to be a cliche, but this time it’s true. You don’t have enough time to be both unhappy and mediocre. It’s not just pointless, it’s painful. Instead of wondering when your next vacation is, maybe you ought to set up a life you don’t need to escape from.”
Seth Godin, from his book, Tribes

My leap wasn’t simple or easy. It would have been awesome to have a life coach help me see the whole thing clearly. My leap was a roundabout, bizarre, series of … stuff.  If I’d had a life coach, I could have always been taking tiny steps towards making the change. I could have had a clear image of what could work or not work. And I could have avoided a rather grand portion of my ‘thought time’ that was stewing over  ‘how the hell am I gonna get out of the cubicle?” without getting a hell of a lot of answers.

Hmm, this post was supposed to be a light and entertaining welcome back to the cubicle!  I screwed up.  Do you feel any better knowing I understand and am empathetic?

I’m sorry you are stuck in a cubicle.  I have faith you will find a way out.  OH, check out this post… 101 ways to leave the cubicle for good. https://outofthecubicle.wordpress.com/2009/09/08/101-ways-to-get-out-of-the-cubicle-and-into-your-life-by-guest-writer-and-life-coach-janet-whitehead/

This’ll be an empowering step for you….


Sometimes the dynamics of an office that hasn’t been functioning well for a long time starts to crash and burn.  People suffer.   Crashing and burning just isn’t fun EVEN if you consciously know that this is the  only way for things to finally change …since all else has failed despite honest efforts.   I sincerely hope most readers haven’t ever witnessed this; have never been in a toxic work environment; and have never witnessed the chaos of the crash and burn stage.. when everyone feels reactive, threatened, defensive, confused, and exhausted.   

Even the healthy people who have been working hard to respond, rather than react, are just too darn tired to get a clear picture of what could help anymore.  

 I believe there is a phrase that says ‘ sometimes a person has to hit bottom before finally quitting drinking.”   Perhaps the same phrase can apply to an organization where the environment has been too toxic to even ‘think’ itself into a more sober state.   They hit bottom, and hopefully recuperate from there.

Ya, I hope you’ve never been there.  If you are there, though, and in this minute quitting isn’t an option, then know this:  It will not always be like this.  Visualize a much healthier future.  It will happen.  Whether you leap, or whether the crash and burn results in a healthy rebuild.. you are not in this crazy unhealthy space permanently.


Make up hysterically funny reasons why you are glad to be there.

Go look at creative cubicle toys at Thinkgeek again.   (link on side)

Using the following phrases to write a poem, short story or sketch:
spiral silver, sewing needle,  ancient wisdom, squirrel-like.

Do whatever it takes to give yourself a moment of humour or creative  pause.   Just one moment of funny or playful or lightness (even if the humour is a bit nasty) can heal a lot of moments of dis – ease.

Remember: it won’t always be like this.

So,  here’s the thing.  For every ‘study’ and newly discovered ‘fact’ based on research (research that some creatively brilliant person concocted to get him/herself a whopping grant), there is another study saying the opposite.

Choose wisely. 

You like coffee?  Good, because there’s a lot of research now that says its good for you.  And off on a tangent that could be another long essay but isn’t going to be:  If you truly believe coffee is good for you, then it is. Your body responds to your thoughts. Now it’s been hard for people to believe coffee is good for them because of the inundation and obsession with discovering and announcing and advertising of every thing ‘bad’ for you… but okay, finally coffee is good for you. There ya go.  If you don’t want to drink coffee, just don’t. Lay off the spiel of how bad it is for you. Nobody cares. 

Back to the original tangent:  Here’s where you can choose wisely in justifying your time at work.

Recent studies:

Study #1 Published in Chatelaine this month… study says that employees who take 15 minute breaks throughout the day  by playing on their computer (games, surfing, facebook, etc.)  ARE more productive than those who don’t.

Sudy #2  Recent study..(I think I have this one posted in previous post) says that employes who multi task -Ie; moving from email, to phone calls, to writing papers, to facebook, to …etc etc  TAKE about 15 minutes transition time between each tasks, thus wasting billions of dollars for those poor employers.  (do go find the link to this one… what I’ve said is just a tidbit)

Use #1 to justify computer play.

Use #2 to justify refusing more crap to your workload, or when you refuse to answer the phone, or the emails, or the front desk.

Get it?   Whatever you want to do in your job, find the research (or make it up on the spot if necessary) to justify it.   No doubt the research you make up will exist. You will intimidate your boss who likes to think he must be more ‘up’ on human resources than you since you are a lowly cubicle worker – but of course, he never does upgrade his knowledge and he knows it, so you will really intimidate him with this.     or she if she’s a she.

Apparently some companies are constantly scanning everything you do on the computer.   For them I wish bankruptcy and for you an incredible new opportunity.  In the meantime, make sure some of your emails include the research that justifies what you do.   Fun.

“Hey, how’s it going?” I ask cheerfully and I hear a whisper saying,

“I hate my fu–ing job”

“Oh, I’m sorry.  Not going well, huh?”

and the whisper again, “they shuffled the cubicles and the person next to me keeps listening to all of my calls.”

Okay, now that’s offensive don’t you think?  If a person is going to be stuck in a cubicle, the other stuck people ought to be more considerate.  After all, do they want everyone to listen to all of their calls?   ………  hmmm….. I have an idea.

YES THEY DO!   So DO it!  After each of their calls comment about the discussion. 

As for your calls,  Make them loud and juicy!   What the hell… it might as well become a game.  Who can make the most loud, juicy personal calls and get fired or stress leave first?

You know if you can’t change it right now, then make it fun.  Somehow, some way, make it fun.

ps. my friend who reads this.. go play at thinkgeek.  link is on the right.

%d bloggers like this: