If You’re Starting Your Week in a Cubicle – I’m Sorry

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I am sorry if the title offends you; Just chalk it up to my dry sense of humor. I’ve spent more than my fair share of years in cubicle land and have learned over those years that a cubicle is one of the worst things to wish on a person. Simply put, people weren’t meant to be put in cubes. Now I know that might be the most efficient of ways to have people work, it’s just not for me.

Ok, now that that is off my chest, I just had to laugh when I saw this infographic a few weeks ago as I could relate to so many things in it. Maybe it’s because I would try and find fun ways to make the day go by, but I saw many of these things myself plus more. Here are some of the things that stood out to me with the graphic:

  • Why on earth are you told to think outside the box, when you’re actually in one all blasted day?
  • When was the last time the carpet was changed? There is more life in it than there is vitality in my cube neighbor.
  • Whoever thought up fabric cubicle walls? Not only does it not offer any protection, but how on earth can you hang anything on it?
  • Who has ever had someone pop their head up and say they couldn’t hear you when you were talking to yourself?
  • For the love of Pete…who thought up having so many power cords and only one freaking outlet?


I know it doesn’t really have anything to do with personal finance, but who is to say we can’t have a little fun every once in a while?  ;-)Seriously though, it was my days in a cubicle that encouraged me to explore whether or not there was something better out there for me and finally take the plunge into running my own business. True, it’s not for everyone, but I think I’ve been spoiled for my cubicle dwelling days.

 8 Humorous Drawbacks to Cubicle Working

Explore more infographics like this one on the web’s largest information design community – Visually.


What could you relate to in the infographic? Have you ever tried to hang a hammock in your cubicle?

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John is the founder of Frugal Rules, a dad, husband and veteran of the financial services industry whose writing has been featured in Forbes, CNBC, Yahoo Finance and more.

Passionate about helping people learn from his mistakes, John shares financial tools and tips to help you enjoy the freedom that comes from living frugally. One of his favorite tools is Personal Capital , which he used to plan for retirement and keep track of his finances in less than 15 minutes each month.

Another one of John's passions is helping people save $80 per month by axing their expensive cable subscriptions and replacing them with more affordable ones, like Hulu with Live TV.


  • Pauline says:

    That’s mean haha! The keyboard is probably more disgusting than the carpet those days. Sometimes I wonder how life would be if no one had a cubicle job. If we would all go for passion jobs would there be enough people passionned about things that would feed us?

  • Laurie @thefrugalfarmer says:

    Funny. 🙂 I have fond memories of my cubicle days (although not fond memories of working for “the man”). We were lucky to have an awesome boss and I had many co-workers that shared my dry sense of humor, and that helped SO much. I also had co-workers that weren’t afraid to get revenge on nasty customers by giving them a “back atchya” verbal lashing in return, which would be followed by a room full of laughter from all. Professional, no. But man, did it make working in a cubicle fun! 🙂

    • John says:

      Having good co-workers can really make a world of difference Laurie. I like to try and make the best of a situation, and having the right people around you that have a sense of humor can really make it better. Not to mention, the fun of practical jokes – which I love. 🙂

  • DC @ Young Adult Money says:

    Haha this is an awesome infographic, John. I am one of the unfortunate individuals who will be starting (and ending) the week in a cubicle. It’s really no place for a human to be and easily one of my biggest gripes about my job.

  • Chad | The Stock Market and I says:

    That’s so freakin funny. I was in one for a while. Actually about the time that the movie “Office Space” came out. I was so envious of the character who unscrews the wall of his cubicle and pushes it over onto the floor. The best part is he just leaves it there and everyone just seems to be ok with it.

    • John says:

      Lol, I loved that scene! I was in one when Office Space came out as well and I could so relate. Very thankful those days are over.

  • MMD @ My Money Design says:

    Those were all so true. What’s funny is not only is the carpet under my desk nasty as hell, it’s got a huge water stain from an air conditioner leak we have last summer. I’m probably working on top of mold …

  • Jaclyn says:

    Reading this from my cubicle and sympathizing with each item on there!

  • Connie @ Savvy With Saving says:

    Lol. Yes, I am unfortunately starting off my week sitting in a cubicle. It’s really a sad, sad place…

  • Kali @CommonSenseMillennial says:

    I feel like my office is really just a glorified cubicle.. but at least it’s an office, and I face the door! I don’t think my nerves could handle sitting with my back to the space where people walk by all day long. And I try to pretend like the carpet doesn’t exist, so I don’t have to think about what kind of life it is inevitably teeming with! Thanks for the funny post and for sharing the infographic, John – if I have to start my week working for someone else in an office I’m not fond of, it’s good to at least start with a smile and a laugh!

    • John says:

      Oh, the last few months at my last job I was in that situation of people walking behind my back all day – I absolutely HATED it.

      Glad I could start it off with a smile and a laugh Kali, those always make Mondays a little more bearable. 🙂

  • Grayson @ Debt Roundup says:

    Oh, the cubicle. I work in one and have ever since I got out of college. I really don’t mind it much. Yes, it can be a little draining, but our “cubicles” are only two wall units and I get the nice window to work next too. It makes it so people can’t jump in behind me all of the time.

  • Mark @thinkrichbefree says:

    This one is a pretty humorous post but full of facts. Nice one John! HAHAHA

  • Jane Savers @ Solving The Money Puzzle says:

    I have never worked in a cubicle but I would have to spin the desk around so I was facing the opening. I wouldn’t be able to get any work done if my bag was to the opening. I would be spinning my head around all the time.

    It might be good to work in a cubicle sometimes. You could pretend you are working and hold the phone up to your ear. No one could tell you were goofing off.

    • John says:

      That’s cool you’ve never had to work in a cube before Jane. And yes, that is one of the downfalls of working in one, not knowing what is going on behind you – that always drove me nuts. 🙂 Thanks for stopping by!

  • Dear Debt says:

    This is so funny! I’m really glad that I don’t work in a cubicle. I hate the feigned privacy. I like having my own open desk and a window. I don’t have privacy, but I have space! Cubicles were a terrible invention and I’m sorry for people who are stuck in one during the week too!

    • John says:

      Exactly! They pose it as you have privacy when you really don’t at all whatsoever. Having space is a nice thing to have, especially at work. 🙂

  • Kim@Eyesonthedollar says:

    I’ve never worked in a cubicle, but I think I’d feel like the rat on the wheel. Don’t people know it’s bad for your eyes not to have a window to look out?

  • Mackenzie says:

    Too funny! I hated working in a cubicle and you are right about the carpet 🙂 Yuck!

  • Corina Ramos says:

    Man, this took me back to my days working in a cubicle, shewt, even when I was promoted to manager, my office was a cubicle…that’s a call center setting for ya.

    I wasn’t about to settle for that box-up career either and it took me two years to get a real office only to go back to the call center when our division merged with another. Thank goodness I’m out of that rat race, lol.

    That’s an awesome infographic by the way, thanks for sharing! Have a great new week.

    • John says:

      I know, I saw my fair share of managers who were in cubes and I usually felt bad for them. It makes me thankful to be done with it as well.

  • Michelle says:

    Haha I love this post. I’ve never had a cubicle (thank god I have an office when I had my day job), but I can relate to a lot of this.

  • Budget and the Beach says:

    #7…totally! I hated when my back was to the opening of the cubicle because I always felt like someone was spying on me, and more than likely I was surfing the net instead of doing actual work. 🙂

  • says:

    Haha – that’s pretty funny!! I have never worked “in a cubicle” but have sometimes been in an environment which feels a little like that. And most of these are pretty true.

  • Blair@LifeDollarsandSense says:

    This infograghic is too true. I am still paying my dues in the land of the cubical day job. I’m saving my pennies and thinking of ways to escape it.

  • Matt Becker says:

    I don’t think the cubicle is anyone’s dream workspace. Lucky for me I not only have my own office (a converted closet with no windows, but still!) but I get to spend today outside of it! Hope you’re enjoying the holiday John.

    • John says:

      Ouch, I hope it’s a big closet. 😉 Glad you’re enjoying the day off. I, sadly, am working…oh well, FinCon is this week so it’s worth it. 🙂

  • midlifefinance says:

    Ugh. I hated the cubicle. I’m so happy I don’t have to work in that environment anymore. It was sucking the life out of me.

  • Shannon @ The Heavy Purse says:

    LOL! It’s been a long time since I sat in a cubicle and sadly they haven’t changed at all. I’m sure they maximize floor space and efficiency, but they can be a bit grim and offer little privacy. People always hanging over the edges wanting to chat – whether you wanted to or not! And I’m tall so there was no way I can snuck around the office without people seeing me. 🙂

  • Broke Millennial says:

    Haha, great infographic!

    Thus far I’ve managed to avoid cubicle life in my career. I did have to work in one during a summer internship but it wasn’t a traditional cubicle. It just had a little divider between me and the guy next to me. In my current office, everything is flat and we sit in “pods’ with groupings of four desks pushed together but no walls. Sometimes when I have to make phone calls I wish I had a little bit of privacy though…

    • John says:

      They were actually moving to pods at my old job and I am so glad I got out before they brought them in. I like my privacy too much. 🙂

  • Kyle | says:

    LOL – I wish my cubicle had a bed back in the day. I was stuck doing a Costanza under the desk…

  • Cat @ Budget Blonde says:

    I don’t know, haha. I think a cubicle would be so nice! A quiet space all your own that you could decorate how you want. Sigh, I need a cubicle in my house, haha!

  • Lance @ Money Life and More says:

    Honestly, offices aren’t much better. The worst is cubicles inside of an office that is shared by two people. I had that once!

  • Stefanie @ The Broke and Beautiful Life says:

    Luckily, I’ve never had to work in a cubicle, though some NYC apartments are probably smaller.

  • krantcents says:

    I have been in some really bad offices and conditions that are negative, but it should stop me from being my best. There are many start up companies that have even less, but opportunity is there. As a teacher, some of my classrooms are terrible, but I still need to be my best.

    • John says:

      It definitely is a balance to walk KC. There can be opportunity found almost anywhere – as long as you’re willing to do the work and find it.

  • says:

    Thankfully I have never had a cubicle job just outside sales. If I had one I probably would go nuts and go postal. The only office I go to is in my home which makes it bearable.

  • Jim says:

    Funny infographic John, especially the hammock image, glad to see your “taking the plunge” is working out, I hope to follow in your footsteps in the future. See you at FinCon!!

  • Daisy @ Prairie Eco Thrifter says:

    I really don’t mind my job, and I’m an office worker. I don’t work in a cubicle, because that’s not the way that the office is set up, but a few of my colleagues at other sites do. They are a bit depressing, even if the job isn’t!

  • My Wealth Desire says:

    Last time when I took my leave my cubicle was occupied by new guy but higher position than me. When I came back, he don’t allow me to sit on my own chair and to use my own cubicle. He is interested really to use by cubicle. However, the management decided that my cubicle is my permanent cubes while working in the office.

    I cannot understand why some guys interested to occupy other cubicles.

  • Tara @ Streets Ahead Living says:

    I share an office with someone and I kind of wish we had cubicle walls because sometimes we both talk to each other when we should be working because we always see each other. But at least we have our own private bathroom!

  • KK @ Student Debt Survivor says:

    Hilarious. Thankfully I’ve only worked in a cubicle a couple of times (once when I was a volunteer and another time when I was the intern). Other than that I’ve always had an office. I would hate to have everyone “watching” me all day. I like my space and privacy.

  • lyle @ the Joy of Simple says:

    Hey John and thanks for a fun read 🙂

    I am very grateful that in all my years of working, prior to my “retiring” 20 years ago, that I never once had a job that placed me in a cubicle. Most of my jobs were either outdoor jobs like delivering packages and such, to office jobs that allowed me an office…no windows mind you! I did enjoy the graphic and thnaks for sharing.

    Take care and all the best.


  • Bobby says:

    Thankfully our “cubes” are really just hexagons with 12″ walls so I can see and talk to everyone else. Can’t imagine working in an actual cube. So lonely.

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