Friday, April 20, 2007


Some Tips For Cubicle Decoration

According to the little item at the link below, "The office cubicle can be a window to an employee's personality." But, with cubicle decoration, as with, say, the consumption of alcohol, moderation is the key. Here are some of the rules from the article, paraphrased and annotated by yours truly.

1) Postcards are okay as they suggest that you have "a life outside of work." Not too many though. After all, you don't want people to think you have too much of "a life outside of work." They should also be sent to you from someone else. (In other words, it is okay, perhaps even better, if you just know someone who has "a life outside of work" - it doesn't have to be you.) The postcards themselves should not reveal too much "personal detail", and you would be prudent to restrict them to the visual muzak of landscape photography.

2) Photos of friends, family and pets are super-okay! The cuter the better. However, if the dweeb in the next cube has photos of relatives and pets that strike you as so, ahem, "cute" that they look like something that fell off The Ugly Tree, please keep that opinion to yourself.

3) Your cubicle is not the bedroom you had as a teenager. No pictures or posters of rock stars, action heroes, sex goddesses or the like. No famous people... (However, what if you want to put up a big brother-like head shot of your billionaire boss? Should that be restricted as well? Please advise.)

4) The rule of thumb for screensavers appears to combine elements for the rules on postcards and those banning pictures of celebrities. Screensavers should ideally fall in the same category as the bland "landscape photography" visual muzak that you will find in the "My Pictures" folder on your desktop. You know the images I mean - the ones that come with the machine. There should be no images of anything that would evoke an extreme (or even a mildly visceral) response - nothing sexual or violent or otherwise depraved. If you don't like landscapes, upload some family photos, and that should do the trick just as well. You want to emphasize that you are first and foremost a "people person" of the most innocently tasteful and non-confrontational variety. It must seem as if you made the leap from child to parent without ever experiencing the upheaval of adolescence or the scuzzy experimentation of early adulthood.

5) Plants are all right, so long as they neatly circumscribed, like a bonsai tree - the perfect decorative analogue of a cubicle dweller's stunted life.

"casual friday the cubicle MAKE STATEMENT(THE RIGHT KIND)" from The Free Lance-Star (Fredericksburg, MD)

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