The Cube where Time Stands Still

In humor, Interpersonal, Office humor on June 17, 2012 at 23:53

It is a cubicle that is dreaded but revered, dated but persistent. Trips to this hallowed place are best avoided but also a source of memories once taken. You have been avoiding it since in all things work related, you have learnt to err on the side of caution.

But today, you have to take the dip. Sure, it comes under the wrapping of cross-functional project management and upward mobility. But you also like to err on the side of cynicism. So you knock. And you are immediately absorbed into the timeless world of…Mr. Kramer.

5 minutes into the cube of dread and you realize all the stories are true. Kramer likes to talk…a lot. That is how he carries out most of his communication. In fact, his computer screen is switched off right now. A sliver of envy runs through you.

‘And I tell my daughter: I told you they should have batted first. She says she doesn’t understand the game. And I am like: Wha…’

‘Sir, about your visit plan…’

‘You ever play ball?’

‘Umm…No…no sir.’

‘That is whats wrong with this generation…’

…almost an hour later, you have missed your coffee break, evening has arrived and traffic is piling up outside. But Kramer is still elucidating the follies of your generation. Your feeble attempts at nudging the conversation to an official direction have gone out like a candle in a storm. 

Kramer’s breathless extempore is finally broken by a bird chirping right outside his window. Both of you are now staring at your avian friend…the conversation could go anywhere from there.


You seize the God-sent opening and get up to say we can continue this another time. But Mr. K leans over the table and almost pulls you down by your sleeve in a manner that says: ‘Where are you going?’

‘You know, that is the first time I have seen a bird here in years. When we had first shifted office here, ours was the only building, mountains as far as the eye can see…’

Mr. K looks out of the window as he says this, as if looking through a hole in time. He is just like any other old timer craving for someone to talk to. Just because you are dressed in formals doesn’t mean you have to be curt and not courteous.

So you wait back easing into the non-pretentious nature of the conversation. You will have to do the paper work for him. It is not like you would have moved mountains with your agenda anyway.

– J.

  1. Nice one. Sometimes Mr. K can turn out to be Fairy God Mother who gets you a plum assignment because he remembers you as a “good listener.” And other times you might find his cube empty one way with rumours flying around about “rehab.” You just never know.

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