When I first started my job I decided that it didn’t bother me that my office was a cubicle. People visiting from other offices have told us that our cubicles are much larger than others. Also our office has an “open door policy” meaning that everyone in our office has a cubicle. As a person on the bottom of the totem pole I think that’s cool. As a vice president I’m pretty sure I would hate it. As I’m sure you can guess my opinions about cubicles have changed. Because it doesn’t matter how big the cubicle is or that the VP is in a cubicle…I am still IN A CUBICLE. Surrounded by other people in cubicles.
It appears that no one else read Google articles called “Cubicle Etiquette” like me when they started. This really should be part of your first week training. The vice president of our office sits diagonal to me and puts his phone on speakerphone EVERY TIME he is on a conference call. I have gotten used to putting my headphones on whenever he is in the office but you have to turn up Bon Iver pretty loud to tune it out. Additionally, people do not put their personal cell phones on vibrate or at least a soft ringtone. So when they leave their phone at their desk during a meeting and get a call I have to listen to a panic-inducing ringtone at full blast for 1 minute. What happened to normal ringtones instead of one that sounds like a drummer having a seizure? I know everyone’s ringtone. And none of them are good.
I also sit near the front desk where the admin tends to wander off for half an hour at a time. Because there is no voicemail during the day, the phone will ring and ring and ring and ring. There have been some incredibly persistent people who have let it ring for several minutes before deciding to hang up. I’m waiting for the CEO of the company to call the main line one day and then complain that no one answered the phone.
And then there is just privacy in general. I can’t surf the web during my lunch without being wary of people walking nearby. I’ve had coworkers actually come up and ask me what I’m looking at. I want to be like “IF I WANTED YOU TO KNOW I WOULD CALL YOU OVER”. It’s not like I’m looking at porn but when I say “an article about how health insurance is going to cover my birth control now” the guy might get uncomfortable. Also it’s inevitable that the second you fart, someone will come into your cubicle immediately afterwards to talk to you.