GUEST: Things to Do in Your Cube by Cassandra

Oct 30, 2010

It’s GUESTRAVAGANZA! This is a guest post by Cassandra Yorgey, a novelist who blogs about speculative fiction and social change over at   

Things to do in your cubicle

         Creating the right work environment and atmosphere is very important. You want to appear efficient, organized, reasonable, effective, and sociable, but also a little intimidating - so when you start doing weird things to break up the monotony of the day no one will bother you about it. Here are some tips and tricks to keep the three grey carpet walls from closing in around you.


1.    Voodoo dolls: It doesn’t matter if you bring them from home or make them out of post-its, it doesn’t even matter if they look like your co-workers – just so long as you do something weird like store them in a jar of pickle juice or stuff them full of laxatives.

2.    Arts’n’crafts: Turning every day office supplies into something worthy of hanging on your cubby wall makes you feel proud and resourceful. Turning every day office supplies into art that will freak out your co-workers when they return from lunch and find it pinned to their wall or dangling from their monitor feels even better.

3.    Interpretive cardboard-boxing: Why not build yourself a nice fort to work out of for a day, or a spiffy little transmogrifier? Or perhaps make a box-gate and then re-enact a few scenes from Monty Python. Or maybe you are more of a Shakespeare kind of person and leaning toward Romeo and Juliet, in which case you can use the boxes as props when you insist your coworkers try out for your “play”.

4.    Balloons: Easy to smuggle into work and easy to hide. There is no bad place for balloons. Cabinets, refrigerators, unused conference rooms, the bathroom, your boss’ desk, your coworker’s car that they forgot to lock after they went out for lunch. No. Bad. Place. Find a sharpie and they can be balloons with a message. The possibilities are endless.

5.    Fun with personification: Give all your office supplies eyes, and teeth, and nametags, and maybe a group name.

6.    Every office needs a ninja. Or maybe it was every ninja needs an office. Either way, practice your aim with a target on your wall. Bonus points if you use arts’n’crafts day to make a target out of colored pushpins and learn how to turn printer paper into origami ninja stars. Do not be afraid to hide under your desk and jump out at co-workers unexpectedly or practice your tuck and roll’s in the aisles. These skills will also come in handy for your next zombie-apocalypse drill.

7.    Cootie-catchers: Tired of getting asked the same questions over and over again? Put the answers in a cootie-catcher. Too busy to deal with anything that isn’t already on your schedule? Fill the cootie-catcher with the answers from a Magic 8 Ball. Are your coworkers threatening bodily harm at your continued antics? Use the cootie-catcher to dispense prizes, preferably the delicious kind. Or the caffeinated kind.

8.    ABBA dance parties: Relieve stress. Celebrate a success. Or maybe just because if you sit still for another second you are going to spontaneously combust. It doesn’t matter WHY just grab your mp3 player and bust a move in the aisles.

9.    Fun with the Mute button: Muting yourself to curse a lot can relieve stress but doesn’t really break up the average day. On the other hand, thinking of things you can say while muted that will astonish your coworkers is a challenge. My favorites are bogus voicemails and imaginary games of no-you-hang-up.

10.   Props from the dollar store: I tend to use silly putty because it blends well into arts’n’crafts and has the added bonus of giving me an excuse to say things like “I find non-Newtonian flow to be very soothing and feng-shui-y.”

Jam: Cassandra’s one of my dearest friends. She was one of my brides-peeps and occasionally shows up in WT