Prepare yourself for yet another rant about the satanic implementation of universal open-plan offices… and before you say "First World Problems", let me say that anyone who does say to me gets a punch in the genitals with a glove made of nettles.
I have often railed against the insanity of ‘open-plan’ and I continue on my mission to spread the word that it is abominable, detrimental to mental health and definitely not suitable for all roles and all personality types. However, it seems those in charge are not dissimilar to the Borg from the Star Trek Universe; We have to assimilate or be killed (a bit dramatic, but you see my point I hope).
How come so many people are, apparently, unable to use their "indoor" voice? Unless they are on a private call, of course, and then they suddenly adapt! Suspicious, methinks. Are these boomers intent on proving to all that they are working? Are they that inconsiderate that they believe no one else’s work is worthy of quiet and focus? My job involves a lot of talking, but I have been told that I am barely audible – because I respect boundaries and I, frankly, don’t think others need to hear my shit.
The cacophony in the office forces me to wear noise-reducing headphones. That’s not enough to quash the decibels of death, so I have to turn up my headphones as loud as I can bear. Then I get stabbing headaches and have to knock back a number of paracetamol tablets just to cope. If I go deaf, I’m going to sue!
You also have to listen to other departments discussions about tedious shit. I sit near I.T. and it is nowhere near as fascinating as it was in The IT Crowd. And not only do we have to listen to boring work conversations; there is also the banal banter of people’s small talk – stuff about where they bought their new shoes or who went to a barbecue at the weekend. A load of blabbering crap.
Oh, don’t let me forget to mention… what about the nasal passages? The smells! Oh, my god! The SMELLS! People should be forbidden from eating Vegemite/Marmite at their desks or using hideously fragrant hand moisturiser, or farting!
Then there’s the open-plan etiquette of communal living. The forced chit-chat in the kitchens. I have little interest in how you are if I don’t bloody well know you, so don’t ask me how I am. Just because you feel uncomfortable in silence, that doesn’t mean you have to drag me into your inane world of blithering bollocks. The communal aspect also stops you from being a selfish bastard, annoyingly. If you have a large bar of chocolate to share, or a packet of biscuits, you can’t just share it with your friends, you feel obliged to offer EVERYONE a piece and then you’re left with nothing. ARGH!
I could go on (and I frequently do) but I feel that it is better to vent here than to actually punch someone in the head through mere frustration and despair.
Lastly, I need to vent about the effect it has on me physically. I have chronic shoulder and neck issues, my gut is tied up in knots and I feel physically ill on a daily basis - but only when I am in the office. The tension floats away when I step out of the building. I know that I am not the only person who feels like this. But do you know what? No one gives a shit.
I need a new job – maybe I could be a lighthouse keeper.