It’s almost inevitable that one day your career sends you down the path to a small space that we in the industry call “The Cube”. You know what I’m talking about, and if you don’t, trust me, you will soon. This is a ‘4 x 6’ area where wills are broken, dreams are put on the back burner, and the only glimpse into your personal life are those lame pennants of your old alma-mater and maybe a photo of your friends/family that dates back to a much happier time. That’s why we’ve decided to make you a list of survival techniques to follow, so that when you get here, you can be as prepared as possible, and hopefully your day will go that much faster.
10. Get yourself some investments and watch them – ALL DAY
I didn’t want to start off the list with something so unconventional but believe me this one can be a game changer. Here’s the move… About 6 months ago, I bought $500 worth of penny stocks through E-Trade Securities – no they didn’t pay me for that plug. So, what does this have to do with surviving the Cube? It’s the rush I get 4 times a day when I check my stocks and see my money fluctuating up, down, and side-to-side. **If you’re a degenerate gambler, this is probably much higher on your list, because you aren’t getting any closer to simulating the “real thing” than actually watching yourself winning and losing cash all day.**
9. Buy earphones
This is pretty obvious and should be considered a staple in any office survival pack. First of all, they are small and very hard to see by your average office passerby. More importantly, they provide you with the anonymity necessary to listen to your favorite Pandora stations, watch YouTube, and get away from the mindless chatter that is most likely going on in your office. I should caution you, you need to be extremely careful and make sure your senses are on high alert so you don’t get caught by your boss watching “High School fight in California; Bloods vs. Crips” the way I have.
8. Get familiar with your lunch rules fast
Much like High School, lunch guarantees to be the best part of your day. It lets you not only eat, which we all love, but also gives you an opportunity to leave that monotonous daily routine. Here are the things that you have to know as soon as possible; How long is your lunch break (30 minutes, 1 hour, 1 hr 30 min – you lucky bastard)?, What time frame do you have for lunch (11 am through 3 pm?), how much are they paying attention to exactly when you leave and come back?, etc…
7. Seek out a friend and develop a Bromance
I’m not going to lie, I have a Bromance. His name is Corey and he loves sports and women just like I do. We navigate our way through the day together in a totally heterosexual way and, believe me, this outlet makes the day go much faster. Don’t even try questioning me because NO ONE survives life in the Cube by being a loner. You absolutely must have a partner in crime.
6. Social media apps are your best friend
Yeah, yeah, yeah you hate Facebook and want to delete your account because everyone is so annoying. Whatever, we’ve heard that song and dance. If you want to pull the trigger, then I suggest you be aware that once your Facebook and Twitter go, you have nothing else to kill the bountiful amount of idle time on your hands while you sit in your cube. There isn’t a status or tweet that gets by me throughout the day because 1.) It’s entertaining and 2.) IT KILLS MORE TIME.
5. Manage your restroom breaks
The restroom break is the ultimate “Hall Pass” when it comes to breaks. No one can question what you are doing in there or how long it takes, which means you need to use every inch of that bathroom every time you are in there. Do your business, wash your hands thoroughly, dry slowly, check inspection stickers, rinse and repeat. No trip should ever take less than five minutes if you are getting the most out of your restroom breaks. If they do take less, then take a step back and re-evaluate your routine in there.
4. Smoke Cigarettes
Sure it’s a horrible habit and will have lasting effects on your overall health, but you won’t find anything throughout the day that gets you more break time than this. Okay, you don’t actually have to or want to start smoking consistently, so here’s the trick; befriend the people in your office that do and join their clique. This way you get all of the benefits of time off without having to damage your lungs. I will caution you that in order to remain a part of this group you are going to have to man up and rip a heater every now and again just to justify your place in this hallowed break rotation.
3. Trolling the Internet
If you are a cube regular and you can’t rattle off your most frequented websites, then I have no idea what you’re actually up to all day. For those of you that don’t have “go to” websites, here are my top 3:
There you go, Rookie. I just gave you the best two hours of your day. Thank me later.
2. Coffee is a MUST
Coffee gives you TWO highly sought after commodities that I don’t take lightly and regard with the utmost respect: ENERGY and UNLIMITED PISS BREAKS. If you do not like the taste of coffee then I suggest sucking it up and acquiring it because nothing substitutes the energy that it delivers and, trust me, you need as much boost as you can get. Plus, it provides you an opportunity to get out of your cube and go pour yourself a cup. Most importantly when it comes to coffee, you need to appreciate its best side effect and that comes in the form of, at minimum, a bathroom trip/hour, which means more time out of the cube.
1. Hit your GOALS and stay off of the Radar
This is definitely going to be the most difficult one to pull off because I have basically just given you a list of things that make you as unproductive as possible, and it actually requires you to be good at whatever it is you do. But, you have no choice. If you don’t hit your goals or do your job to the level that you are expected, then you will be looking for a new cube to call home. The key here is to make sure that you hit those performance numbers, and do it in a manner that keeps you as off of the grid as possible. The last thing you need is a magnifying glass on you because no boss is going to tolerate what you’ve been up to.
Hopefully you’re now armed with enough knowledge and tips to survive the grind of this week in your cubicle. Happy work week!