I knew I liked SnoMon the moment I met him. And as we’ve gotten to know each other better, we’ve learned we’ve got more in common than we thought.
SnoMon and his fear of cubicles is something I find quite entertaining. And when he heard about my quitting story, well…let’s just say he gained a new appreciation for Snoloha.
It’s a story that, among my friends anyway, has become a favorite and one that is referenced often.
This was about 10 years ago. I had recently left a job that I had been with for nearly 9 years. It was a tough decision as I liked the job, but ultimately the goal of finishing that elusive bachelor’s degree trumped everything. It just so happened that I had a decent amount of time accrued that I was able to cash in on…in the middle of summer in Traverse City. So after a few weeks of beach bumming, I realized one afternoon as I looked down at the coffee stain on my t-shirt while sitting on the couch watching Sports Center re-runs that it was time to get a job.
So I did.
It was my first real 9-5 ‘office job’ with weekends and holidays off. How exciting. How grown up of me!
After a training period of a week or so I began to have doubts about how much I’d actually enjoy this position and the atmosphere.
Then it came…the big day. My first official day as an account rep. I had my very own cubicle. With this sweet white noise machine meant to…I dunno make you think you were listening to a TV station with no reception.
The day started normal…me cursing at a frozen PC trying to open Outlook, while the newly hired girl in the cubicle behind me sighed and looked at me with what was a cross between befuddlement and horror.
My new boss, who was either hopped up on some sort of stimulant or simply the biggest company cheerleader a soulless office could ask for, greeted me with a giant hand clap and a “let’s get ready to sell.”
I sighed, and died a bit more inside. Could this be real?
I donned the Britney Spears like headset as she asked me to call an account to simply get a phone number. That’s it. That’s all I had to do. Dial and ask for a phone number…while wearing this ridiculous headset with a tiny microphone. I felt like the lead singer of my very own one man boy band.
She left. I mumbled. The girl behind me sighed.
I looked around. The depressing grey of the cubicle walls stared back at me. The hissing of the white noise machine began to mock me.
I leaned back. Said to my unimpressed co-worker that I was going to the boys room and that I’d be right back.
I stood up. Walked out the door. Down the hall to the boys room…and right on by to the the stairway. Out to my Jeep and drove 2 hours north to my old employer to discuss my return.
I never looked back. Never contacted them. Never collected my belongings from my cubicle. I don’t know if I ever collected a paycheck even.
It’s not my finest moment. But I felt myself dying from the inside out in that environment. All I could see were these lifeless office zombies walking about…hoping to make it until the weekend.
I wonder if they sit around the cube farm, taking a break with their headsets dangling around their necks and the white noise machines turned off and say ‘hey remember that guy who left to go to the bathroom and never came back? I wonder where he went?”
I’ve told the story too many times to count. SnoMon loves it. Of course he does…he’s terrified of cubicles.