Post Title: All the Battles I Fought When I Worked in a Cubicle
Post Date: February 23, 2014
As an HSP, I’m highly tuned in to my environment, and lots of little things become big things since I can’t stop obsessing over them. Here’s a list of some of the issues that made me swear off working in an office.
I’m somewhat petite, and the office chair I was assigned at my previous job was meant for an average-sized man. No matter how I adjusted it, my back and neck were sore every day.
At my previous two jobs, I’d requested (and received) a new desk chair from my employer.
But at this last job, they wouldn’t get me a new chair. So, I brought one from home. They told me I couldn’t have a chair that didn’t fit the decor, so it had to go. Next, I permanently “borrowed” a chair from the conference room.
On top of the physical hurt was the embarrassment. As an HSP, I was hyper-sensitive to the feelings of those who had to deal with my request. I felt like everyone thought I was a whiny, high-maintenance complainer. No one else in my office seemed to be complaining about their chairs!
A Stinky Kitchen
I was seated directly next to an area with a refrigerator and pantry — it was a mini kitchen right in the middle of a hallway. People would throw food into the trash can and since the bin was only emptied twice a week, it would start to smell.
I requested to have the trash bin replaced with a model with a lid, and management obliged. Small victory! Alas, then people would throw garbage in the trash and the rotating lid would get stuck in the “open” position.
I printed out a sign that said, “Please make sure this lid is closed, it’s stinky!” and taped it to the wall above the trash can. That sign didn’t make a difference, so I put another under the lid.
I heard one person say the sign was stupid and ask why it was there, and I got so irritated that I informed her that some people...don’t like to smell sour, empty yogurt cups and rotting banana peels.
My workplace purchased a contraption for my cubicle called a CubeShield. It looks a bit like a camping tent. It attaches to the top of the cubicle, blocking light.
I was mortified when the CubeShield arrived and the maintenance guys were installing it in my cube. I could hear everyone around me talking about it; people passed by and asked questions with confused looks, and others made jokes about me being in a tent.
But after a while, I got used to it and my coworkers got used to it. And one day, many months later, I noticed two more CubeShields rising from other cubicles. Vindication.
I’m learning more and more about how the perception of a lack of control is a struggle for me in my life.
At one job, we had to scan an access card to open the doors to the building. One day, it was announced that HR was tracking all our entrance times and matching them up with the times we entered in our timesheets. I heard my coworkers saying how they got called into HR and were questioned about why they wrote a certain time for lunch when their access card showed something different. I was enraged! I despise the feeling of being watched or monitored. It makes me feel like my superiors don’t trust me as a professional. I wondered why no one else seemed as angry as I was. It took me a while to realize it had to do with my issues about control.
I don’t like working in an office. I feel controlled, trapped, and bothered. My resolution? I’m trying to find a way to make an income working at home. Removing myself from the office environment will eliminate so many of the small things that add up to a major energy-suck for me.
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Title: A Highly Sensitive Person’s Life | Address: highlysensitiveperson.net
Author: Kelly | From: Mission Valley | Blogging since: August 2013