cubicle is just another word for cage

I posted this a long time ago, then deleted it, fiddled with it and set it aside because it’s too short and too weird to really do anything with.  But, some of you may like short and weird, so I’m posting it again.  I know my posts have been kind of fiction-centric lately, but that’s the frame of mind I’m in.  Hey, one day I hope to get paid for this stuff!
Hope that everyone who is hacking their way through the corporate jungle emerges whole enough to enjoy their weekend. Remove the poison darts, tend to your wounds, cause it all starts over again on Monday!


The hyenas have cornered a lion in the conference room. I can hear their yipping and snapping from the hallway. Peeking through the sidelight, I see the clan advance, bravely stealing nips from the old king’s flank. Snarling savagely, the lion rears back and disables the aggressors with one arc of his massive paw. A potted fern and next month’s budget analysis are destroyed in the attack. The sniveling hyenas fall back, huddle under the conference table and prepare to regroup. The lion uses the lull to lick his wounds and check his Blackberry.

I continue on my way to the water cooler to refill my canteen. In the hallway, the sheep are congregated, quietly bleating to each other. I approach slowly, head lowered, but they still panic and scatter as I pass. Half nibbled spreadsheets flutter in their wake. It’s disconcerting that I’ve worked here for over nine years and they still bolt at the sight of me. I make a mental note to bring them donuts.

On the trek back to my desk, I spot the rattlesnake coiled by the copy machine. The procedure review meeting must not have gone well; she is hunting for a scapegoat. Her cold, tight smile and unblinking stare are disturbing and she knows it. Her rattles are raised, but she is not yet set to strike. I don’t stop as I say “good morning” knowing it’s only a matter of time.

Rounding the corner, I pass the intern hunched at his desk. Panicked, he minimizes the website he was intently viewing. His voice squeaks a little as he says hello. I note his ever growing stubble and the gnawed pencils. If he’s lucky, he’ll take time off to travel after graduation, maybe not come back. I give him the warmest smile I can fake and keep walking.

Easing into my chair, I sigh. I open a few files and spread them around to camouflage my lack of work ethic. A new email appears in my inbox, the subject line reads: New S.O.P. – PLEASE READ! I delete it outright and try to remember why I didn’t travel after graduation.

A soft shuffling from above redirects my attention. I look to see the bats hanging from my cubicle wall, pretending to sleep. I join them, arms folded, and listen. A jumble of voices, ringing phones, rustling paper. Above all I hear the drums and I am restless.

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37 thoughts on “cubicle is just another word for cage

  1. It’s a jungle in there! I never liked ofice work – too restless. And I’m a Leo, so I can relate to the lion whom the foolish hyenas think they can bring down. when will they ever learn?

    Nicely done, once again! A good read. (are my italics still on???) (anyone?)

    • I’ve got the patience for office work, just not the stomach. The politics drive me bonkers.
      Don’t you hate it when you leave your italics on and no one bothers to tell you? I mean, don’t try to spare my feelings, I want to know!

  2. LOVE, LOVE, LOVE. I regularly try to gnaw off my cuff at the office and sometimes, when I’m successful I run full force …right into the window like a baby bird. I’m so turned around when there is unexpected freedom :o). Great post!!

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