The Zombie Invasion of the Cubicle
zombie [noun] 1) A person who is believed to have died and been brought back to life without speech or free will. 2) A person who appears to be lifeless, apathetic, or totally lacking in independent judgment.
It occurred to me today on the first day back from holiday shutdown, the zombie invasion has taken over the workplace. People stumble through the day, glassy eyed, in sugar induced comas doing the Blackberry prayer.
People’s minds deteriorate to mush from inane corporate speak, collapse under the weight of spreadsheets and PowerPoints, and wander during four hour meetings with no agenda, clear deliverables, or hope in sight.
Today we have the zombie invasion of the cubicle.
I am a connoisseur of zombie apocalypse movies, so I would like to think I have the panacea for the afflictions of modern professional life. Here are my five recommendations on how to survive:
1) “Quarantine yourself after the first outbreak.” At the first sign of trouble, (mind numbing banter by the water cooler), you must escape to your cubicle. Put in ear buds and wear them throughout the office. Avoid eye contact.
2) “If you can’t stay in your cubicle, head for the utopia.” In every zombie film there is a town that escapes destruction. This town is barricaded and it takes brains to penetrate its defenses. Find those creative individuals at your job and escape to work in their buildings and flex rooms. Pretend to be one of them or risk being thrown out.
3) “Search for survivors.” Closely related to tip #2. There is intelligent life out there. When you go to the utopia – or even within your own work space – find the survivors, the free thinkers, and the enlightened.
4) “Know your team.” Much like high school, today’s office is about safety in numbers. Find a group to attend meetings, but you all must have complementary skills. People will be less likely to engage you in conversation or attack you with irrelevant projects if you are keeping with the masses.
5) “Don’t think you can outsmart the zombie. You will fail.” When you are trying to avoid zombies, expect the unexpected. Don’t try to outsmart them, keep it simple and you will succeed.
Bonus tip: “No sex.” This really isn’t a zombie or horror movie rule. It is just good form. No sex in the workplace. Although virgins do always survive zombie movies.