Cubicle land is depressing. I see it as a place where dreams go to die. As I walk past hundreds of them ten times a day to go pee or to get more water to make me pee for lack of anything more interesting to do, I notice the different things people do to make cubicle life a little less depressing. This expression usually manifests itself in the form of absurd cubicle décor (hence the title of this article). I understand that staring at a blank canvas backdrop behind your computer screen all day gets old. However, I, as well as your coworkers, beg you, please, pretty please, resist the urge to commit any version of the following cubicle “spice-ups.” This list is non-exhaustive, merely a short-list to consider. Doing so will not only make you appear at least a little more semi-professional, but also keep your coworkers from making fun of your shit when you’re not around.
First of all, your cubicle should portray some sort of professional atmosphere. I didn’t have princess shit in my room when I was five, and I sure as hell don’t have any in my cubicle. The first time I noticed a cubicle with a princess sign adorned with a sparkly crown and pink feather boa, I thought to myself, “I’d fire you on principle, after I publicly humiliated you for bringing something so stupid to work.” The second cubicle I saw with crowns, boas, and other 5-year-old birthday party fare, I thought, “This is a real issue, and I’m concerned for you psychological well-being.” What message is that really supposed to send? That you’re special? Sensitive? Above the cubicle shithole that is your reality? Get real and get rid of it.
Secondly, your workspace should contain items that assist you in the whole working process. I have yet to see the benefit of décor that has no real purpose, besides taking up valuable desk-space. Your desk is not the place for Pinterest show and tell. Oversized inspirational quotes from Hobby Lobby really piss me off too. “Dream. Live. Laugh. Love.” GTFO of here with all that. Daydreaming is definitely occupying most of my day already, and those other three things definitely aren’t taking place in this wasteland. If you’re one of those people that takes the opposite route and posts internet humor or signs that say stuff about how impatient or bitchy you are, there’s no need; I can guarantee that everyone already knows what an asshole you are to work with. You probably only still have a job because you’ve been there forever and they’re too lazy to deal with having to get rid of you. I’m also going to go ahead and lump useless figurines, dolls (I wish I was making this up), stuffed animals, or anything else not serving an actual purpose on your desk into this category. And no, making your workspace more “homey” is not a valid purpose.
Third, excessive photo posting is a real issue in the work place. If you are going to put a picture of your family on your desk, choose ONE. A) Most people don’t care what your family looks like anyway, and B) If they do, one picture of them will paint a clear enough picture. Five different picture frames of the same three kids, along with them as your screen saver and the background on your computer is ridiculous overkill. You have to see them every other minute of the day that you’re not at work; take a break. If you’re missing them, look at your phone or Facebook, where I’m sure you have documented their every move. Also, please, no pictures of pets. Utilize my suggestion above if you need to remind yourself what they look like and how cute they are. Oh yeah, one more thing while we’re talking about family: I know that seeing a drawing that your kid drew for you might brighten your day, but this is a business, not your refrigerator. Moral of the story: no family shrines plastered all over your workspace. Your coworkers shouldn’t be subjected to look at it every day against their will.
The last workspace faux pas I’ll mention deals with accolades. I have two bachelor’s degrees and a Juris Doctorate, and as long a glorified cubicle is the space my employer is giving me to work with, those expensive-ass pieces of paper will remain in my closet. If I were to hang them up, it would send one of two messages: A) With all those impressive degrees, where along the way did you fuck up to end up in this cubicle? Or B) Those degrees are much more impressive than my community college associate’s, and although you have one of the nice corner cubicles with the taller walls, it’s still not an office. Therefore, I will be in my shitty eight-person cubicle-share for the rest of my life. Damn it. I don’t want people questioning my position in life nor depressing themselves more than being at this place already does, neither should you. Anything less than a bachelor’s degree shouldn’t be displayed. Period.