Encounters of the Cubicle Kind (27/02/2013)

A collaboration between Tiffany Markman & Kym Edwardes-Evans

One of the best parts of freelancing is the absence of other people nearby. The general lack of a small cube of personal space, surrounded by a farm of fellow worker ants. So, whether you’re a veteran soloist, new to freelancing or toying with taking a permanent plunge into self-employment, here’s why you should:

1.     Comfort-In-The-Cubicle-Cathy

This type of worker ant is content in her cubicle. The tiny and airless space suits her because it gives her an excuse to ignore the rest of the office. But, she’s territorial: walking into her pod will cause a meltdown of Chernobyl-like proportions.

2.     Floating-Around-Fred

Fred never seems to have a desk, a cubicle, an office or even, if we’re being honest, a home. He prefers to waft around the office. For no apparent reason. He’ll stop by others’ work spaces “just to chat”. No one knows what his actual job is or where he’s supposed to be. And he’ll eat the most cake on someone’s birthday.

3.     The-Real-Kevin-Spacey

This guy has no regard for other people’s personal space. He’ll spread his stuff out all over the office, refuse to work in a cubicle and spend most of the workday hanging over the ‘wall’ pestering poor Cathy. He’s likely to wrap his arm around your shoulders while you walk and he’ll stand so close to you that you’ll be able to figure out how to make his signature beef dish. Without a recipe.

4.     Step-Into-My-Office-Stan

Stan is that guy. The one who thinks he’s the boss, but isn’t. Who thinks he’s important, but isn’t. He was given a private office when the company confused the maintenance requests. And now he won’t leave. At least, not without being fired first.

Do these people sound familiar? We’ve all worked with one of them before, and they’re enough to make working at your dining room table feel like a corner office with a view, jacuzzi and Smeg bar fridge. So, before you start feeling lonely in your bunny slippers, remember Fred and how you got pest control in to remove him.

Originally published on www.freelancecentral.co.za