50 Things Better Than A Cubicle


Before Rubber Shoes In Hell, I had another blog. Randy saved all my old articles and I found this one. I decided to update it because it is not horrible and actually made me laugh a few times.

I was at my last job when I wrote this. In case anyone from my new job reads this, then remember, this was written when I had my old job. I love cubicles now. haha.

I contributed to the lottery pool at my old job. Not because I thought we would win, but on the outside chance that we better than a cubicle helldid, no way was I going to be left out. If dozens of people, I mostly didn’t like, became wealthy while I had to stay in my cubicle, then I would be in a bad mood for the rest of my life. 

Every time I’ve been in an office lottery pool, at least one person says “If we win, I’m still coming to work. I’d be bored if I couldn’t come to work.”

What the actual fuck?

In case you are one of those people who can’t think of anything better to do with millions of dollars other than getting up early in the morning and having other people tell you what to do…here you go…50 things that are better than sitting in a cubicle.

  1. Take up knitting. By “take up knitting” I mean “sleep in every goddamn morning”.
  2. Reading. It doesn’t even matter what you read. Read the back of your shampoo bottle. Still better than a cubicle.
  3. Peeing. Sure, that doesn’t take all day, but still..better than sitting under fake lighting and counting the days until you get the cubicle with the window.
  4. Become a stealth “bedazzler”. Steal the neighbors sheets when they hang them on their clothes line and bedazzle curse words all over them before hanging them back up. Shut up. Some people still hang their laundry outside.
  5. Learn to curse in 8 different languages. That way, when you teach your grandkids how to curse, their parents won’t know they are curse words and then you won’t get into trouble. Teaching your grandkids how to curse is way better than a cubicle. Or so I have heard. I wouldn’t do that.
  6. Color code your granny panties.
  7. Plan that trip that you’ve always wanted to take but never believed you could actually take. Great Wall of China? Great Barrier Reef? Opryland? Who knows? It’s your fucking trip, not mine.
  8. Watch Downton Abbey or Game of Thrones or Parks and Recreation. Sure, TV rots your head, but so does cubicle dwelling. Also, Ron Swanson is the shit. And Hodor will make you cry. Unless you have no soul, then maybe not. 
  9. Buy a field guide book for birds in your area. Learn to identify them by their calls. Then you’ll have something to talk about with my husband because he has actually done this. Seriously, come and talk to my husband about the birds. 
  10. Weed your garden. Until you see a snake. Then fuck the garden. This is a case where I’d rather be in my cube. If it was a choice between my cubicle and snakes. 
  11. Debunk urban legends. Or make up new urban legends. Or make up new urban legends and then debunk them. Which should be really easy because all you would have to do is say “I just made that up”.
  12. Take up painting. You could be the next Van Gogh. Just don’t chop off any body parts.
  13. Spin in circles until you get dizzy and fall down. 20 zillion children can’t be wrong.
  14. Go shopping and speak in an accent. Doesn’t matter what the accent is. You can even make one up. Bonus points if you go to your local establishments where they already know you.
  15. Unravel some mysteries of life. Like why is the conditioner in drugstore hair dye better than all the other conditioners?
  16. Volunteer. Build houses, teach kids, comfort crack babies. Whatever will make you feel like you’ve helped someone else. 
  17. Visit your relatives. Would it kill you to call your mother?
  18. Write songs. You know what we have a lack of? Christmas in July carols. Like Here Comes Sauna Claus, Little Summer Boy, or I’m Dreaming Of A Back To School Sale.
  19. Organize your photos. I honestly think it would take me a year to do this.
  20. Organize your junk drawers. Would also take a year.
  21. Clean out your basement and garage. Would take the rest of my years.
  22. Get a pap smear.  Doesn’t last as long, you get to look at pretty pictures on the ceiling while laying down.
  23. Update Wiki pages about 12th century dildos. Also, don’t google “12th century dildos”. Trust me.  
  24. Use your time and money to further the science of time travel. Let me know when you get that figured out. I’ll need to borrow your invention.
  25. Start a neighborhood watch. By “neighborhood watch” I mean “watch your neighbors”. Seriously, peek out from behind your curtains long enough and you’ll see some freaky shit. Especially that one house that does the elaborate Halloween decorations and always invite the Jehovah’s Witnesses in when they come knocking.
  26. Learn your local history. Keep it broad. Don’t learn the history of that creepy old guy down the street. The one in the dirty t-shirt that stands on his porch and glares. No one should ever learn about him. Also, he wants you to stay away from his lawn.
  27. Meet your neighbors. Unless I am your neighbor, then stay home.
  28. Take up cooking. I accidentally typed cookie instead of cooking. I don’t need Sigmund to figure that one out.
  29. Master the art of tying a cherry stem into a knot with your tongue.
  30. Force your children to watch all the John Hughes movies with you. Extra points if you can make them gag while you swoon over Jake Ryan.
  31. Decorate your entire driveway with sidewalk chalk.
  32. Learn to tap dance. I’m seriously thinking about doing this. Don’t judge. 
  33. Travel. Go everywhere. Learn local customs, meet new people, try new foods. You aren’t going to grow culturally in your cubicle. Wiki will only take you so far.
  34. Learn to enjoy not doing much of anything.
  35. Make bubble baths a regular indulgence. 5 minute showers get really old after 25 years or so.
  36. Get involved in local politics. Or just stab yourself in the face with a shrimp fork.
  37. Do something that scares you. But not sky diving because fuck that.
  38. Buy house plants and then keep them from dying.
  39. Learn the art of Bonsai.
  40. Try reading poetry. Again. And try reading it without saying what the fuck? Also, no eye rolling.
  41. Try writing poetry. You don’t have to show it to anyone. But you can show it to me. I promise to not roll my eyes.
  42. Go back to school and learn something fun. For fuck’s sake, I do not want to know if your idea of fun is accounting.
  43. Read self help books. Then write parodies.
  44. Wander around old cemeteries. But try not to think about how you’re going to die one day while you are doing it. Even though you totally are.
  45. Learn to Watercolor.
  46. Learn how to fold fitted sheets. This is probably the most lame thing on the list and it’s still better than being in a cubicle.
  47. See how many days you can go without washing your hair. So far, my personal record is 4 days.
  48. Make Balloon animals. Other than snakes or eels or worms.
  49. Clean your baseboards. When you’re finished, clean my baseboards.
  50. Whatever you want to do! Fucking hell…anything is better than a cubicle. Except maybe the pap smear. That might have been stretching it a little. Hahahah. See what I did there?

I really don’t understand being so fucking bored that working in a depressing ass cubicle is better. My very most bored moments have been staring at the walls of my cubicle.

The next time I get into a lottery pool and someone asks me what I’m going to do with the money, I’m going to tell them I’m buying polar bears and replacing their front legs with mop handles so they can guard my house and clean my floors. 


Photo courtesy of David Mark.

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  • I had 3 cubicles in my corporate gig and very little (no) supervision. Even that work sucked although once I flew the corporate Gulfstream to Kentucky and was gone for 3 days and no one even missed me. 😀 I got regular raises too. The part that sucked was having to be there.

    Now I don’t have to be anywhere. Much better. I’ve thought of fishing, my Caddy has a tow pkg. available for a boat trailer, but I don’t even want to kill fish anymore.

    I relax and watch TV. I’m lazy too. Lazy and proud of it.

    I can do the bird thing. I’ve studied up on birds with Sibleys Field Guide to Birds. It’d be a kick to talk to someone else, Randy, about birds. More interesting than my coin collection even.

    There you go, collect coins and learn how to care for them. (NO cleaning.) Start off with Jefferson Nickels and you’ll have a chance of getting every type without breaking the bank. I have a complete set of Nickels with full steps. No dings. Boring, I know.

    Collect stamps. My old dentist took 6 people to Europe for 2 weeks by selling off the odds and ends of his collection. I’m too old to accrue that value. He got his right from the USPS starting as a kid. Pretty much we all missed that boat.

    Learn knots. That could be fun for awhile. If you’ve ever visited a U.S. Navy installation you’ve probably seen rope work like no other.

    That’s it. My short list and bullshit.

      • I think we (I) need to know more about the 3 day un-noticed trip to Kentucky in the corporate Gulfstream…

        • Our company had a division in Somerset, KY and I was helping them to set up a Preventive Maintenance program. DOS! I had a bodyguard when I was there, Hunter Cornett. So big he had to duck under hanging light fixtures in the restaurant. Followed me everywhere but that’s another story. In short, I was working.

  • “If dozens of people, I mostly didn’t like, became wealthy while I had to stay in my cubicle, then it was bad mood for the rest of my life.”
    Well… there’s one way to measure the effectiveness of Librium.

    “Read self help books. Then write parodies.”
    Seriously? I would LOVE to see a parody of ‘Furiously Happy’ (That’s MY self-help go to!)

    OKey DOkey… I have never worked in a cubicle.

    I am ignorant.
    Or… blissfully unaware.

    In fact, I don’t think ANY of my jobs have been boring or repetitious.

    Even riding the potato diggers when I was in high school… sometimes bunnies or snakes would come up the rollers, and voila! Bye Bye lassitude!

    Uh oh… I think I just realized I would probably like a cubicle… a small centralized locale amidst chaotic and bustling hum-drum where I can be relatively invisible in plain site while I put my numbers and dots in boxes and play ‘spot the not’ with my bib records…

    With two monitors…

    Shit. I’m halfway there… I have blinds on my window… what does that do to the configuration?

  • I’ve had the fortune of never being cubicled in, but I could equally apply these 50 things better than . . . to working in general. The birds and snakes in the garden especially resonate with me this week. Thanks for re-posting.

      • Every spring my neighbor finds a snake in her garden. She calls me over. I remove it. She goes back to gardening and is not bothered by snakes the rest of the year.

        It’s probably the same snake every time but what I’m getting at is if you have someone who can remove a snake (Randy, I’m looking at you) you can garden without fear. Now if you’re really just looking for an excuse not to garden I’ll take the snake from my neighbor’s garden and turn it loose in yours.

        • What I really want is no snakes and a beautiful garden without working in it or paying anyone to do it for me. So far, that plan isn’t working out.

  • I thought about starting a lottery pool in my office but then I realized it wouldn’t increase my chances. It would just increase the likelihood that I’d have to share the winnings with other people.
    Also the only thing you need to know about poetry is that our greatest living poet is Ron Swanson. “I hate metaphors. That’s why my favorite book is Moby Dick.” Poetry. Pure poetry.
    And with enough money you could figure out a way to make peeing last all day. Or at least try. I probably wouldn’t devote more than a few days to it but if I had the money to have that much leisure time I’d see if I could drink water fast enough to keep a steady stream going through me.
    Finally I’m sorry that Opryland is gone. If you win the lottery maybe you could invest in bringing it back. They had a ride called “The Tennessee Waltz” that was fucking awesome.

  • Just want to point out that peeing is not better than being in a cubby. Because unless you’re peeing somewhere that no one else does – you’re likely peeing in a cubby. A cubby that smells like urine.

    • Yeah, that would be worse. Although, one day a cockroach ran across my desk in my cubicle. I guess that is better than a pee soaked cube, but not much.

  • oh my, the comment about snakes really hit home with me! Just thought the exact thing the other day—“See a Snake, I’m otta here!”

    • Me too. Fuck that. I hate snakes. We just get garter snakes or black snakes in my area, but I don’t care. I hate them all. Creepy ass things. gaaaah

  • That made me laugh more than a few times! I don’t recall working in a cubicle, however I was a temporary secretary for several years and I did work in many (too many) offices all over the city. My problem with group lottery is the same: some a-hole always says she’ll/he’ll still work. Right. We all will if 15 of us have to split $5000, but the big pot? Here’s what’ll happen: I’ll kill you, sucky annoying employee, with whatever my grubby little hand latches onto first. Could be a rubber band, in which case hold still while I ping you to death, or it might be a printer, which will crack your skull. Perhaps I’ll just make you swallow the toner. Sorry for the imagery, M. That’s how much I hate ’em. Because there’s always one. Wasting away in a cell after being charged with murder while hated co-workers swig booze on the beach will probably suck worse than cubicle life. So gamble solo. You did give me a good idea: before my next pap, I’m gonna spin in circles. I’m sure I won’t feel it. Guess I’ll have to spin pantsless. Again, sorry for the imagery. But then, you made me google 12th century dildos. Ivory comes from elephants. Respect that noble animal for fuck’s sake!!!!

        • *gasps for breath*


          OK, Katnap… You win… I have ALL those pictures in my mind now and it’s gonna be a GREAT day!!!

          Thank YOU!!

          • Lisa K, has anyone ever called you, umm… easy? Hahaha I actually feel a little guilty for planting those pics in your mind. Please, have a cocktail or a toke. Or two, or more until it all gets fuzzy and less horrific.

          • Fuzzy and easy… Yup. That’s me…

            Fuzzy is acquired and easy is required.. or maybe it’s the other way around…

            What a great day 🙂
            Never feel guilty for replacing my murderous thoughts. Pinging somebody to death with a rubber band is a much better way for them to go 😉

  • So, I’m in a cubicle right now. First, I had tears from laughing so much. Then I remembered that I’m in a cubicle and those just turned into actual tears.
    Also, is it wrong that my favorite thing was bedazzling curse words all over your neighbor’s sheets?

  • A lot of those things I can probably manage to do even with the job and without money.

    It would suck, though – being the last person left at work when everybody else if off living the high life. Every time you said to the new people, “Well, the way we used to do it with the old crew…” you’d probably end up staring off into space, thinking of what could have been.

  • Regarding your #29 – Go to Kristine’s vlog at MUM REVISED and see her tie a cherry stem with her tongue! (I think is was in her Stupid Human Tricks). Unless you stick a tiny camera in her mouth, you can’t see how she does it – just that she can.

  • Ha brilliant, apart from the pap smear, because no….
    There should be a law that states that anyone who says that they are not going to change their life, or give up work when they win the lottery has to forfeit their winnings and give them to me as they obviously don’t deserve to win
    There are too many things to do and see on this planet to ever be bored, especially if you have lots of cash to do it with.
    It would take me at least a year to plan what I’d be doing, from my temporary beach residence in Mauritius.

  • Never worked in a cubicle, but once,the day after a big party at the warehouse where I used to live, we were sitting in chairs with the roll up door open, when two cars in a row stopped in front of our next door neighbors (Daves Cheap) and asked through their rolled down windows if there were any cubicles. Now Daves Cheap sold some furniture (mostly mattress seconds) but none of us had ever seen any office furniture of any kind in there, so we just assumed they were referring to crack.

  • PMSL – love this list. Especially #14 which is something we did when we were in San Fransisco in 96. We were travelling on very little money and we had bought two cold drinks in the morning and by lunch time the one we had saved was as warm as anything. A said he would ask them to swop it and I said that they wouldn’t. So he said he would pretend he didn’t speak English and so I said that I wanted nothing to do with it and sat on a chair and watched him. He went up to the counter and said to the lady “Warm. Want cold” and the lady was all “I’m sorry sir, we can’t exchange it unless you have a slip” and he was “Warm. Want cold” and she explained again and he just stood there looking at her. Well by this time I am just about peeing my pants (although to be fair to my body I was much better able to control my bladder 20yrs ago !!!). Anyway she is trying to explain to him that he needs a receipt to make an exchange and eventually he says “No speak-a-da-english” so she took the bottle and brought him a cold one back and said “Have a nice day” !!! I could hardly walk I was laughing so much – luckily she couldn’t see me otherwise she would have known that something was up !!!!!!
    And, 20 yrs later we still have ‘no speak-a-da-english’ moments and the two of us crack up laughing.
    Have the best Friday when it gets to you xox

By Michelle


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