Office Space

Office Space
Cubicle Savannah

Greg Tito | 30 May 2006 08:04
Office Space - RSS 2.0

It begins like any other day: I snooze five times before throwing the alarm clock against the wall. Shouldn't have decided to start that Blackrock Depths run at 1:14 a.m. last night. The shower does little to revive me. I cobble together the least wrinkled shirt-and-tie combo from the closet and shuffle out onto the streets of Brooklyn.

Mass transit spits me out in midtown Manhattan and I walk briskly along the street canyons to my own private cubicle. You see, a few years ago, I sold out and started working in Corporate America. I shed my creative dignity for a few extra bucks and I now spend seven hours a day, five days a week working for The Man. Ostensibly I answer phones, make copies and do other mundane tasks, but in practice, most of my time is spent trying to play videogames without getting caught.

But pimping ain't easy. The company I work for has strict controls on what its employees do in cyberspace. When I was a temp, it was impossible to even access the internet at all, which kind of goes against everything that temping stands for. Even though I now have a password which allows me to surf the internet, my access is restricted. I can't look at porn sites (which is understandable), but I also can't access Yahoo!, Gmail or any other web-based email. Streaming video is a crapshoot, and a lot of forums are blocked.

After sitting down at my cube, I sign in to my workstation. I briefly scan my inbox for anything juicy, pop up Firefox and check the net for anything new. I have several go-to sites, but today I decide to call up Thottbot's forum parser, which pulls all the latest Blue posts (by moderators and developers) and formats them into a single page. Since the official WoW forums are offline to me during "work" hours, my only link to up-to-the-minute news is from third party sites, of which Thott is my favorite.

Like a lone gazelle drinking from a water hole, my ears are finely tuned to the sound of any predators. From behind me, I detect the faint rumblings of footsteps coming my way; my swarthy boss walking by, breathing too heavily through his nose. No need for him to see what I'm actually doing, I responsibly minimize Firefox.

"Did Mr. Bergenstein call?" he asks me from the doorjamb of his office.

"Not today."


When he turns the corner, I maximize and head over to to see if there are any new add-ons worth grabbing. One of my greatest joys in playing WoW is creating the cleanest, most functional user interface possible. I look up from scanning the new Ace add-on database and notice that three hours of "work" have passed. Nicely done - it's almost time for lunch.

I check my inbox again and see that it's my move. Clicking a link brings up a chess board with pieces in various positions. After taking a few moments to reorient myself with what's already gone down, I move my black queen to g5, avoiding that nasty-looking bishop. I press submit and close the window. My opponent now has three days in which to move.

While I don't think I could get away with playing real-time chess (too much of a chance for the dreaded boss walk-by while engrossed in the board), allows me to play in 30-second intervals spread out over quite a long time. The last game I finished took over three weeks to play, and it was only 30 moves. Right now, I have five games going on simultaneously. If you're nice, I'll answer your challenge.

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