In Cubicle, Office humor, SlavesInc on January 15, 2013 at 03:45

One of the axioms of life that you learn very early is: there will always pop more mails in your inbox than you care to read. So you have to prioritize some, ignore others and delete most. The few mails that you read on priority include those sent by your utilitarian admin department. Their economizing worldview extends to their use of the English language too. It makes for entertaining reading and is rather refreshing in its approach towards slavery. There is no sugar coating here. Sugar is expensive.

This particular mail announces change in seating arrangements. No notice, no choice, just a declaration. Your new cubicular location is neatly highlighted in an excel attachment. A boxed existence as it is. Before you have time to let the gravity of this change sink in, the new occupants are already all about you, checking out the real estate they will be inheriting. If only they were this responsive to other e-mails. You suddenly feel like a broke tenant sitting on his eviction notice. The team that is to take your erstwhile place is touching and feeling everything including the chairs and the LAN cables. They only come short of feeling you up.


You realize you have to spring into action. You take a print out of your new jail cell and go about locating it. There is an air of a carnival with a potential for riot all around. Boxes are being overturned, trolleys are being mobilized, there are papers flying everywhere all in a mixture of excitement and anxiety. You know what this is. This is a mass migration. An Exodus. And if history is anything to go by, such displacements do not end well. Though this migration will happen in an air-conditioned environment with the average migrant being at least a high-school grad, crowds anywhere have the same personality, that of a crowd. And creatures everywhere are territorial, biped or otherwise.

Exodus MosesMass-Migration

You spot Head Slave standing by where your new rowing station seems to be. He is already swamped by a swarm of grieving migrants. You are too late. The losses are many and varied. A comfy chair, a raised partition, a wall facing your screen, a fleeting view of a rare window. Things that slaves took for granted till today, snatched away by the vagaries of company policy. Though in the modern open planar office, all work stations are the same, many external factors define the neighbor’s envy and the owner’s pride. Proximity to the pantry, the exits, the printer and distance from HS’ cabin, the washroom and the security camera decide the covetousness of a cubicle. Just like in real estate, it is all about location.


Your new place is nothing special. It seems to have a little bit of all the undesirable factors. But you fail to voice your grievance to the boss. You call it your sense of decency; others would call it a lack of fighting spirit.

Life is going to be that much more difficult now. You feel like you are on the waiting list for a train that is never going to arrive. This too shall pass though. If you stay there long enough, you can get used to hell. You have to remember that: Salvation lies within.


– J.

  1. Great analogies – rowing station, exodus, broke tenant…”Slava”tion lies within, as you rightly point out.

    • Thanks Ankur

      Analogies have become my routine way of thinking much to the de-motivation of my colleagues; or shall I say, fellow slaves 😀

      On Fri, Mar 8, 2013 at 3:31 PM, SlavesInc Blog

  2. Haha… I can sympathise 🙂

  3. Good one–I love “your new rowing station.”

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