The Walls Have Ears

November 4, 2009 at 9:58 am 21 comments



I don’t know if I can work without an office cubicle and seriously I don’t want to know. I consider it home away from home. A private office is definitely preferable, But unfortunately I don’t belong in that league.

It’s amazing how people can function in an open-bullpen office with no partitions. Doesn’t it feel a little weird watching each other all the time? Just eating at your desk can be problematic. Since everybody can see what you’re having for lunch, it better not be your favorite chicken feet or oxtail stew. Otherwise, your fellow co-workers will eat you for lunch at the next water cooler gossip.

An office cubicle should have walls high enough to give you some sense of privacy. It allows you to concentrate on the task at hand by keeping your peripheral vision free from distractions. It doesn’t only make you more productive, but it also saves you from unnecessary flirting.

Although an office cubicle can help you work and eat your lunch in peace, it doesn’t completely insulate you from your neighbors. Sitting behind the partition walls, they provide constant reminders that you’re not alone. They can hear you loud and clear. They can hear everything. The phone conversations. The sighs. The yawns. The sounds that make you distinctly human.

I used to work behind a woman in a company I’m not allowed to name. She reminded me of Hillary Clinton. She had the same hairstyle and body size. She was well-dressed. She came to the office in a business suit. She was all business outside of her cubicle. She was mind your own business inside there. The lady didn’t mind farting on a regular basis and she wasn’t squeamish about me hearing the familiar burst. Who cares? She must have thought I wasn’t a date material anyway. Duh!

I had the experience of working close to a balding engineer with a pencil-thinned goatee who constantly reminded his wife who was the boss. He was more of a drill sergeant than a loving husband. He called her names, insulted her, and belittled her on the phone. One hot summer day I even heard him tell his wife to turn on the air conditioner right that minute because he was going home. Looking back, whenever I heard his ranting I felt like it was time for a coffee break or hair-pulling. I just couldn’t take the verbal abuse anymore. I often wondered how his wife could.

Somebody has compared working in an office cubicle to living in a goldfish bowl. It’s not some secret hideaway where you can say and do personal stuff as you please. The walls have ears. it pays to be discreet.

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21 Comments Add your own

  • 1. J.Kulisap  |  November 4, 2009 at 3:47 pm

    Lagi akong base dito pare, malapit na ang pasko, hahahaha.
    Hindi naman ako sosyal, ayos na sa akin ang eroplanong may bahay, one year supply ng mga pagkain at kagamitan, o kaya tour around the world, lahat ng kasulok sulukan ng mundo. Jokenessss.

    About your topic,

    Sa kasamaang palad ako ay nabibilang sa ganyang set-up sa trabaho, may cubicle pero kalahating bukas sa mga kasamahan. Alam mo ang opisina ay isang sosyal na palengke.
    Kapag wala ang pusa, napakasaya ng daga, labasan na ng mga negosyo..ano gusto mo damit, turnilyo, posporo, tawas, pang-ahit, panty na gamit na..nandyan yan lahat.
    Minsan nga sumisigaw ako ng..isda, isda, isda kayo diyan..ito ay kapag panahon ng inaatake ka na ng nerbyos dahil deadline na ng mga reports at may dragon na nagbubuga ng apoy sa instant messenger. Kailangan ng katahimikan, ayos naman ang minsan ay may ingay kang maririnig dahil kailangan mo ring makahinga lalo na at nasa trabaho ka, sa larangan ng aking trabaho hindi pwede ang medyo mainitin at magagalitin, hindi IN mabuti na lamang, hindi masyadong corporate ang dating nitong aking buhay opisina- Jologs ang mga kasamahan ko pero mas natagpuan ko ang kahusayan ko sa trabaho..yes Kahusayan..dahil napapakinabangan ako ng kumpanya ko. Proud. Yes

    Reply
    • 2. plaridel  |  November 5, 2009 at 1:52 pm

      j.kulisap:

      talagang lagi kang makakabase dahil sa nasa liblib ang site na ito. malayo sa daanan ng madlang pipol. pare, salamat sa mga comments mo. really appreciated.

      mabuti naman at nakakita ka ng trabaho na nagbibigay sayo ng feeling of accomplishment. it gives you something to look forward to in the morning. di ka tatamarin na gumising. what a blessing!

      Reply
  • 3. AC  |  November 4, 2009 at 6:25 pm

    I am also working in that kind of cubicle. It feels awkward, honestly. But I have no choice but to deal with it.. you know, ONLI IN DA PILIPINS! 😆

    PS: Ang salbahe naman nung lalake na yun sa wife nya. Yung mga ganun ang nababagsakan ng equipment sa construction e.

    Reply
    • 4. plaridel  |  November 5, 2009 at 1:54 pm

      ac:

      ang feeling ko eh may konting sira sa ulo. siguro ganun talaga ang mga genius na nilalang. kahit sa trabaho eh may pagka-weirdo kung minsan. isang araw na-offend sya dahil sa ibinigay sakin yung project na gusto nya. bat daw nangyari yon eh mas magaling sya sakin. hello? ano sya, hulog ng langit sa mundong ibabaw? 🙂

      Reply
      • 5. AC  |  November 5, 2009 at 10:44 pm

        Hahaha. Baka sya si Superman. Hehe.

        If I may ask, are you an Engineer or Architect? O ibang linya? 😆

        Reply
        • 6. plaridel  |  November 5, 2009 at 11:16 pm

          ac:

          software engineer.

          Reply
  • 7. J.Kulisap  |  November 5, 2009 at 4:16 pm

    Napakahirap talagang maging tao lalo na kung maraming nakatingin sayo, numero unong mga tsismoso at tsismosa ang nasa opisina.

    Parang mga bubuyog sa ingay..bzzzz..kailangan survivor ka.

    Reply
    • 8. plaridel  |  November 5, 2009 at 11:15 pm

      j.kulisap:

      ba’t nabulabog ang mga bubuyog? uwian na ba?

      Reply
  • 9. J.Kulisap  |  November 6, 2009 at 1:33 am

    Oo pare, bell na ang bzzzz ng mga bubuyog, parang mga estudyanteng ikinulong sa maghapong klase.

    Reply
    • 10. plaridel  |  November 6, 2009 at 2:23 pm

      j.kulisap:

      my suggestion is just go with the flow. 🙂

      Reply
      • 11. J.Kulisap  |  November 6, 2009 at 5:09 pm

        oo naman di naman ako kj pre pero dapat accomplished lahat ng activities for today.

        Reply
  • 12. Ruchi  |  November 6, 2009 at 8:29 am

    I gave you an award on my blog!!

    Congrats!

    Cheers,
    Ruchi

    Reply
    • 13. plaridel  |  November 6, 2009 at 2:24 pm

      ruchi:

      this is a pleasant surprise. thank you.

      Reply
  • 14. sarah  |  November 10, 2009 at 12:08 am

    dito naman sa pinas, lalo sa government agencies, required na open at walang partition ang mesa ng mga empleyado para wag isipin ng iba na may ginagawang masama (i.e. korupsyon) ang mga tao. hindi ko lang alam kung nagwowork ito.

    Reply
  • 15. plaridel  |  November 11, 2009 at 10:28 am

    sarah:

    sana ang amo di nagtatago sa private opis. dapat eh nasa labas din ang mesa nya para masaya.

    Reply
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