In an effort to make the most of our office space, my employer has decided to start putting two people in each cubicle. Anyone who has worked in a cubicle knows that these spaces are meant to hold one — and only one — person. The man who invented the cubicle did so with the purpose of giving employees a little privacy (I know because I read an article about him). Given the loss of privacy, I have started referring to our cubicle as a cell.
The one bright spot is that we were allowed to choose our cellmates. I chose a friend who sat in the cubicle next to mine, a person I already spent a lot of time talking to. So I moved all my things into our cell, and on Monday morning, we sat down to work.
About 10 a.m., my stomach started to growl as it does every day. I eat breakfast as soon as I roll out of bed in the morning, so by mid-morning I’ve usually churned through those calories and am hungry again. I grabbed a snack out of the mini refrigerator we have in our cube. At noon, I ate lunch. By 4 p.m., I was starving, so I leaned over to grab another snack from our fridge. And that is when my cellmate turned to me with a furrowed brow and asked, “How much food do you bring to work?”
I knew my appetite would find a way to embarass me. You see, I get hungry a lot. I never eat much at one sitting because I fill up quickly, but within two hours of any meal I’m hungry again. I have a fast metabolism.
When I had my own cube, I could eat my snacks in peace. No one had to know that I carted an assortment of fruits, yogurts, nuts, and muffins to work with me every day. But now my cellmate knows. She realizes that she’s living with a little squirrel of a girl who is constantly scrambling around gathering rations and then chowing down. Oh sure, I leave a nut or two buried in our mini fridge for a rainy day, but on most afternoons, you can find me in the cell crunching away on almonds or pretzels. I think my cellmate is about ready to dump me back into the woods where I belong.