This week, I have been exposed a little too much to the inner workings of what I term the Cubicle Wasteland. Those of us who are self employed working our little fingers to the bone forget how little can happen behind certain cubicle walls.
Now, I know that a lot of cubicle dwellers are hard workers, but let's face it, not everyone is working away quite as diligently in their little box as their managers might think (or hope). Statistically, employee performance is probably a lot like grades: a bell curve. And that bell has a whole lot of mediocrity lurking in the center. I contend that those C-grade employees (i.e. the center of the bell folks) are coasting in a big way. In fact, I suspect the 80/20 rule comes into play here too, where 80% of the work is done by 20% of the workers.
The view from the outside the Cubicle Wasteland is sort of startling in its inactivity. Weeks and deadlines whisk by with no deliverables in sight anywhere. You're left wondering how the wheels of Corporate America can keep whirling away when so little is happening within.
I have to say that I'm glad I have broken free of the Cubicle Wasteland myself. I get bored far too easily and really angry if I'm forced to do things twice or throw away work because of someone else's bureaucratic incompetence. Even glimpsing this level of frustration from afar is unsettling. I keep thinking that, except for a few key choices, that could be me behind those fabric walls.
But it's not ;-)