The other morning I heard Mo Rocca, a feature contributor to the CBS Morning News program, broadcast that this was the 50th anniversary of the creation of the office cubicle, the boxlike, separated enclosure that delineated working space for individuals in offices.
I am currently the inhabitant (resident) of one such space. My cubicle walls are covered with memos, phone numbers, company contact sheets, pictures of our Halloween costumes (an absolute requirement in this office), as well as Mardi Gras beads and masks, pictures of grandchildren in various stages of growth, a photograph taken years ago of the Ponte Vecchio, that famous bridge crossing the Arno River in Florence, Italy, a piece of Australian Aboriginal art, a current Notary Public license, as well as a computer, screen, phone and printer on the desk. These items are only the flotsam and fragments of my office life.
Other parts of our lives are also divided into compartments (a synonym for cubicle, though not necessarily the one designated for partition of office space). One division that comes to mind immediately is our family. Years ago it was not uncommon for several generations of a family to live together either in one residence or in a closely connected neighborhood. We witnessed the blossoming and growth of the younger members, the maturing of their parents and the lives of the senior generation, with all of the happenings that accompany the latter part of one’s life. Today, we are frequently separated from our family by distance and lifestyle so that we may not be an immediate part of the growth and changes within our own family.
Our childhood friends and the ones we make and have for most of our lives as well as those friends that are fleeting ones, but remain very precious and loved in our memories all fit into a very important compartment in our lives. They are our connection to the world, to each other and often to the fun, joy and laughter that make our lives happy.
Of course, the best thing to remember about the office cubicle is that they can be connected to make a place that gives everyone a separate space but they can also be configured and joined together and individual walls can be removed so that there is a large space that can include all of the residents together, hopefully in a happy place.
Image from Stockimages on http://www.freedigitalphotos.net/