I'm not cut out for life in the cube farm. I don't know if anyone is. It seems a cruel and awful set-up, one slice above a sweatshop or assembly line and some days it just beats the shit out of you so you never want to go back.
Today, obviously, was one of those days.
I sat there as my co-worker phoned her mom to say that the medical appointment on her lunch hour had not gone well, that her husband's biopsies showed cancer, that the CT scans showed large masses in both lungs and in his intestines and it didn't look good.
I sat there overhearing every word and wondering at the cruelty of this situation - because she had to get back to work - where she has to have this conversation knowing everyone can probably hear her and I have to listen to one of the most horrible, intimate moments of her life.
Meanwhile people in the next cubes over continued gossiping and joking. I don't know if they heard or not. My guess is they didn't, but I still wanted to scream "Shut up!! Don't you know that her world is ending?"
But of course I could not, because in cube farm etiquette, I had to pretend I wasn't hearing what I was hearing. That is part of the insanity - to stay sane, you act a little insanely.
And then there was the deepest sick part of me that was feeling so glad it wasn't my life that was being wrecked, and the guilty part on top of that, that was feeling guilty for being glad, feeling glad I got to go out to Thai food after work and be lucky that, for me, today was not the worst day of my life.