Wednesday, February 08, 2006

Chronic Minimalism

My penchant for eliminating material clutter from my life spills over into my worklife. I work at a large corporation and reside from 8:00 - 5:00 each weekday in a standard-issue cubicle. I keep my office workspace extremely clutter-free. I don't have any files on my desk, nor do I have any personal photos displayed. I have my computer, telephone and a very nice plant, a jar of handcream and a stapler. Oh, and I have a calendar posted. That's about it.

A while back, the company was doing a 'restack' of employees. They shifted people around so workteams could sit closer together. I didn't have to move my desk, but I had several new people moved into adjacent cubicles. Not long after that occurred, I went on a two week vacation. When I returned, it was apparent that my new neighbors had assumed my cubicle was vacant, which is perfectly understandable given the minimalist state in which I left it. Somebody had swiped the keyboard from my computer; somebody else had helped themselves to my lovely plant. I had boxes of discarded files piled onto my desk, and boxes of trash stored underneath. I thought it was hilarious! Of course they thought the office was empty - I didn't leave the tiniest clue that a real person occupied the space.

I piled all of the boxes and garbage into the hallway, ordered a replacement keyboard from the IT department, and posted a sign on my computer that says, "THIS OFFICE IS OCCUPIED."

Sadly, I never recovered my little plant. I now do without...

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