Thursday, October 27, 2011

A Cube With A View

Did you ever hear that myth about cold cereal being devised to keep unruly children under control?  The thinking was that, by giving them bland food for breakfast, it would leave them so numb they would be perfect angels for at least the first half of the day.  Or maybe it was to defeat the Russians.  I'm a little fuzzy on the details (possibly because I made them up entirely), but the moral is that "something" was devised to keep "someone" down.  Throughout history, we've seen this happen over and over again.  It's so commonplace, we often don't even notice that it happens anymore.  So let me remind you with some of the more obvious ones.

Math was devised to keep girls down.

Wheat was devised to keep celiacs down.

Zantac was designed to keep acid down.

I can see I'm starting to wander here, so I'll reign it back in.

I want to talk cubicles.  Cubicles?  Yes, the grown-up equivalent of a big bowl of mind-numbing cold cereal.  If you are among the lucky few who spend their days confined to beigy-gray views, you know what I'm talking about.  Cubicle walls are what you get when a think tank comes together to answer these hard hitting questions:
  • What is the optimal color (or non-color) to promote resigned defeat, without inciting homocidal rage?
  • Can a pattern be incorporated in such a way as to mask or camouflage stains, ranging from bodily fluids to sweet and sour chicken glaze?
  • What thread count would be needed to support the weight of a phone being thrown at it, full force, from a distance of 32 inches?
 The result is a complete array of the most nondescript fabrics ever to grace the workplace.  Gray and beige tend to be the most popular colors, and the mental image alone is enough to send me into a functional coma.  Is there such a thing as a functional coma?  I don't know, but I tell you, I fall into one every day of the week, Mon-Fri, about 8am to oh, let's say 5pm.  Completely functional, I am productive, yet still manage to feel absolutely comatose.

Or that's the way I used to feel, until the day I discovered that my walls could actually entertain me.  Turns out some clever designer at the cubicle wall textile shop decided to pay us all a little favor by designing a pattern that could only be described as interpretive.  Behold my cubicle wall:


 At first glance, you're probably not impressed.  But let me tell you this:  listen in on a boring conference call long enough, and you will begin to see what I'm talking about.  These are some of the images I've been able to detect in this wall of mine:
  • a gnome
  • a chinese dragon head
  • a lady's face
  • an owl
  • a row boat
I'm not unconvinced that my cubicle is hiding one big 3D image in it.  I wonder what it could be.  I haven't cracked it yet.  Have you seen those tricky 3D pictures?  My cube could easily be hiding something mind-blowing, if only I could loosen up my eyes enough.  Here's an example that actually does have a 3D image in it.

I've given myself a headache from all this staring, so I'll have to end this post soon.  But for the record, I don't do drugs at work.  Or anywhere else, for that matter.  I just have an active imagination.  A very active imagination.

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