I enjoyed this how-to on Squidoo, having just started my first-ever cubicle job. I have either had my own office, piled high with samples, catalogs, and purchase orders---and as messy as I liked it---or a sort of shared office. My last office was technically mine but as we were located in an old Midtown home, the director had to access her office by walking through mine. It was much neater than my private office, of course. Once my office was actually the front portion of the stockroom, which I actually enjoyed because when sales reps were visiting I could really demonstrate to them that I didn't need any more of their crap.
At any rate, I sort of enjoy working around other people for a change. Note I didn't say with them, just around them. In close proximity to others. I keep my iPod on and my back turned to the room, so it is a sort of safe haven. My excuse is that we have a lot of "participants" (aka crazy people) coming through on many days, but the truth is that I have a hard time focusing with a lot of noise on in the background. I learned this about myself when I started driving---I had to have the radio on to occupy a part of my brain that would just go of on its own tangents and daydream if it weren't doing something. (This discovery fortunately saved me from having my dad disconnect the car stereo system as he had done with my sister years earlier.) So headphones don't just drown out the noise and participants' conversations; they provide ambient noise that allows me to focus on the documents I'm working on. I've often said that I don't really like people, but I actually do like all my coworkers, so I count myself lucky that cubicle life agrees with me. My next project, however, will involve preparing safety documents and some other stuff for an audit, and there's no way I can do that from the safety of my 4x4' domain. I'm going to have to spend some time in the main building researching everything eventually. All I know is the audit is "sometime later this year" and "hopefully not too soon"---so I'm sure I'll have about a week to prepare, in addition to interviewing all the dept. heads, etc. Fun stuff for such a people person as myself.
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