Written by Regina Roetzheim
San Diego, CA
I thought this month’s blog was going to provide you loyal readers with a thorough “How To” on cubicle life, perhaps even a top 10 list. Unfortunately (fortunately!) I can not speak acutely on the subject for a couple reasons:
- I failed miserably in my attempt to adapt to boxed life.
- My cubical indoctrination only lasted 10 days (there is a God).
My empty cubicle…
I will tell you that those 10 days may have been the longest of my life. I went from spending 10 hours a day on my feet instructing dance then waitressing at night, to 9 hours a day of sitting. Obviously taking my new internship very seriously, one of my top priorities was maintaining a professional demeanor. The major obstacle to this pursuit was my body’s persistent demand for muscle stimulation, movement, or stretching. It started with just some arm raises, head turns and foot flexes, natural looking enough. When I found this wasn’t enough I did a modified thigh stretch by sitting on one foot and extending the other. Two days later, when my body screamed for more intense stretching, I decided the risk was too high and found sanctuary in a bathroom stall.
Luckily for me, the day I brought my yoga mat to permanently store in the bathroom, was also my last day of competitive sitting. I was transferred out to the field to do what I had been trained to do: audit. I cannot describe to you the power wielded from a clipboard and pen. My favorite day was my first inventory observation (IO) which consisted of my freshly trained, 5’2 inch self, directing several forklift operators to bring me this box and that for an inventory of small components. Obviously the real mysteries or oversights were probably stored in boxes on the top rows or from the middle of each pallet – so that’s what I asked to inspect. I think those guys really had a great time that day, I know I did.
Lastly I’d like to address one of the tasks I’ve been assigned purely because of my new guy intern status – food delivery. Normally at lunch and dinner I am responsible for food runs – heard of the phrase, “you buy, I’ll fly”? I’m a flyer – for all my colleagues at whatever site we’re working that day. I think most people would balk at this menial job, but I rather enjoy it. First, I get a chance to leave the office and get some muscle movement – sometimes when I’m really motivated I do arm curls with the take-away bags. Second, I get to make critical decisions about our food order: mayo, mustard, ketchup, salt, pepper, utensils, and napkins? I’m all over this! I fully understand the morale boost a good meal (with all the condiments) can bring to an office – and I get the privilege of delivering that morale boost twice a day.
In the end, being out of the office and on site has really solidified my confidence in the decision to focus on audit, although I am jealous that the tax guys get the benefit of communal office leftovers (I won’t tell you how many emails I get a day telling me there are left over bagels in the kitchen). The only downside has been the long hours. I’ve learned that people around here generally get their workouts in before work – I met someone who wakes up at 0430 to run every morning. I’m going to have to reach a much higher percentage of muscle deterioration before I find that level of motivation. I’ll keep you posted.
PS: A tip for the new guys – timesheets and expense reports are not interlinked. If you send your expenses along with your timesheet each day, you’ll get a friendly email back from accounting stating that while they appreciate the real time updates on your work budgeting, you are requested to submit your expense reports with everyone else on the day they are due.