Posts Tagged ‘April Holidays’

Celebrating Cubicle Day With “Workspace Squeeze”

Sunday, April 28th, 2019

When I read that today (April 28) is National Cubicle Day, I remembered this humor column I wrote for the Bridge News Syndicate, well over TWO DECADES AGO. The weird thing is, it’s not especially dated, except for a silly Oprah reference:

WORKSPACE SQUEEZE
By Madeleine Begun Kane

In these cost-cutting days, you don’t have to be outplaced to be downsized. Workspace Squeeze has invaded the workplace, victimizing almost everyone who still has a job.

The Squeeze often attacks suddenly, usually overnight. One day, you arrive at work in your customary caffeine-deprived haze. Something seems different, but you aren’t quite awake enough to figure out what it is. Three cups of coffee later, it hits you — an office-mate has invaded your space.

“This is inhuman,” you say. Well, yes … especially if your new roomie’s a copying machine.

You’ll be tempted to sprint over to Human Resources to protest your fate. But before you do, consider what happened to the fellow in marketing who dared to complain about his 20% pay cut. Or that gal in accounting who had the gall to bitch just because her spreadsheet software was repossessed.

Complaining about almost anything can be risky business. Even if you keep your job, you’ll probably forfeit your door.

Of course, if you’re already a member of the cubicle crowd, you don’t have a door to lose. And while you may also be subject to a roommate onslaught, you’re more likely to suffer the indignity known as the Incredible Shrinking Cubicle.

One morning you stagger through your doorless opening and collapse into your lumbar support-less chair. It takes only seconds for you to survey your grim, gray “It’s Barely A Cubicle” model. The kind with walls so squat, you can peer over them without standing up and catch your neighbor doing something repulsive.

You stare, as you always do, at that naked entryway, feeling a wave of door-envy overtake you. Suddenly you notice something’s amiss. Claustrophobia engulfs you, but you don’t know why. Then it dawns on you. Last evening, during the painfully brief interval between going home to bed and returning in the morning, some brawny gremlins have repositioned your walls.

If you’re not already in this situation it’s only a matter of time. Why am I so sure? Because employers are always looking for new ways to save cash. And because many are starting to suspect that their telecommuting staff is in bed watching Oprah naked (the staff, not Oprah) instead of doing actual work.

How can bosses keep an eye on employees and still manage to hold real estate costs down? By creating an onsite workforce of stressed-out sardines.

Such a strategy isn’t arrived at lightly; reallocating resources takes tremendous thought and planning. (“If each middle manager loses four square inches and the riffraff each loses nine, I can quadruple my bonus.”)

Someday, perhaps, it may dawn on Corporate America that hearing your neighbor scratch himself and drool while you design sensitive software, negotiate a billion dollar deal, try to translate a privacy policy, or do anything else that requires actual thought; may tend to impair productivity.

But until that happy moment arrives, here’s some advice for the office-space-challenged:

* If your roommate or neighbor is too loud, out-shout him. Let him endanger his job by demanding a quieter berth.

* If a copying machine suddenly takes over your office-space, construct a permanent “out of order” sign. But be considerate; post clear directions to a copier that works.

* Finally, work weekends whenever possible and make sure everybody knows about it. That way no one will be suspicious when you show up one Sunday with a burly crew … to help you relocate your walls.

© Madeleine Begun Kane. All Rights Reserved.
1st Published Bridge News

Happy World Penguin Day (April 25) (Limerick)

Wednesday, April 25th, 2018

A zoo worker fouled her own nest
By planting false rumors with zest;
That some birds were at large
Cuz the fellow in charge
Told the penguins: “You’re free. Go fly west.”

Limerick Ode To “Take A Chance Day”

Monday, April 23rd, 2018

Happy “Take A Chance Day!” (April 23)

A fellow who likes taking chances
Keeps messing up likely advances.
But despite each blown op,
He refuses to stop:
“Risks are worth it.” Yes, that’s what his stance is.

Limerick Ode To World Laboratory Day

Monday, April 23rd, 2018

Happy World Laboratory Day! (April 23)

A fellow who worked in a lab
Helped discover a cure rather fab.
But alas he was bought;
He blabbed and got caught.
Now his body’s laid out on a slab.

A Good Holiday To Skip (Limerick)

Sunday, April 22nd, 2018

It’s “Send Your Man Nudes Day.” Oy Vey!
Will I celebrate THAT one? No way!
I’m too old for that stuff,
So no pics in the buff!
I’ll forgo risking cyber-display.

Send Your Man Nudes Day falls on April 22 each year.

A Holiday For Haiku? (Limerick)

Monday, April 17th, 2017

“Haiku Poetry Day?” That sounds lame!
And redundancy’s surely to blame.
Be concise! That’s no vice;
Won’t “Haiku Day” suffice?
Terse verses deserve a short name.

Happy Haiku Poetry Day! (April 17)

Happy Brothers Day! (Limerick)

Tuesday, May 24th, 2016

Oh brother! It’s Brothers Day. Wow!
I’ve got me a good one. And how!
With a heart off the chart
Arthur (now known as Art)
Is unrivaled. Please Art, take a bow.

Brothers Day (May 24) is actually meant to celebrate the bond between brothers. But since I missed Brother And Sister Day on March 26, and Siblings Day on April 10, this will have to do.

The Nose Knows (Limerick)

Saturday, April 30th, 2016

I follow the smells where they lead me.
“I want you,” I cry. They don’t heed me.
Then my senses all quicken;
It’s barbecue chicken!
How I long to say, “Neighbors, please feed me.”

Happy National Sense Of Smell Day! (last Saturday of April)

How About A Hug-Free Zone? (Limerick)

Tuesday, April 26th, 2016

Today’s “Hug A Friend Day.” I WON’T be celebrating.

Dear friends, kindly keep off my face.
Do not kiss me and please don’t embrace.
I’m bugged by your hugs.
Pushy kissers are thugs.
So unless you’re my spouse, you’re off base.

Open Limerick To Plumbers Everywhere

Monday, April 25th, 2016

Dear plumber, your ass crack ain’t pretty.
To be honest, it’s looking quite gritty.
So we’re begging you: “Please,
“If you’re feeling a breeze,
“Pull your pants up.” — The Owners’ Committee.

April 25 is Hug A Plumber Day.

Limerick Ode For “Hug A Newsperson Day”

Monday, April 4th, 2016

We should all give a virtual hug
To newspersons. Kindly don’t shrug;
Though they sure could do better,
We need them to fetter
Vile pols, oh so thuggish and smug.

Happy Hug A Newsperson Day! (April 4)

Limerick Ode to the Zipper (National Zipper Day: April 29)

Wednesday, April 29th, 2015

Limerick Ode to the Zipper (Zipper Day: April 29)
By Madeleine Begun Kane

I’ll bet Gideon Sundback felt chipper
When designing the modern-day zipper–
An invention surpassin’
The old ways to fasten…
And a slick trick to hook a big tipper.

Hug A Plumber Day? Why?!? (April 25)

Saturday, April 25th, 2015

Hug A Plumber Day? Why?!? (Limerick)
By Madeleine Begun Kane

Whenever I deal with a plumber,
It’s rather a strain and a bummer.
As problems keep flowing,
My agita’s growing.
I’ve a leak that’s seen more than one summer.

April 25 is Hug A Plumber Day.

Happy “Stress Awareness Day!” (April 16)

Thursday, April 16th, 2015

I’m sensing the usual stress–
Nothing more, but alas, nothing less.
“Stress Awareness Day’s” here–
Not a day that I’d cheer.
Screw “awareness!” I’d rather repress.

Limerick Flaw

Wednesday, April 1st, 2015

My life has a terrible flaw;
I’m adrift and off course — in a yaw.
I’ve concluded that humor’s
No job for this boomer.
It’s time to return to the law.

Happy April Fools’ Day!

Limerick Ode To Roget’s Thesaurus

Tuesday, April 29th, 2014

Limerick Ode To Roget’s Thesaurus
By Madeleine Begun Kane

Serenade, sing, belt out, croon in chorus:
Happy Birthday to Roget’s Thesaurus,
Sterling word-meister’s brew,
Published Eighteen-Five-Two
In late April. The tome is a Taurus!

(Dr. Peter Mark Roget released his ground-breaking English-language word reference book, Roget’s Thesaurus, to the public on April 29, 1852.)

Wavering Limerick

Wednesday, April 23rd, 2014

Wavering Limerick
By Madeleine Begun Kane

Shall I mention this day? Yea, or nay?
Can’t decide which opinion holds sway.
So I’m stuck on the brink.
Let me know what you think
About noting Ambivalence Day.

(Ambivalence Day is April 24.)

Pasta Dreams (Limerick)

Monday, April 21st, 2014

Mark (unlike me) follows the Passover dietary rules. And now that the end’s in sight, he’s practically panting in anticipation of pizza and pasta.

Pasta Dreams (Limerick)
By Madeleine Begun Kane

My husband’s excitement is rising.
His mood’s leavened, which isn’t surprising.
Cuz Passover week
Is soon ending its streak;
Bread and pasta-decriminalizing.

Nosy Neighbor Appreciation Day (Limerick)

Thursday, April 17th, 2014

Happy “Nosy Neighbor Appreciation Day!” Yes there’s really such a day, though I’m pretty sure this isn’t what they’re talking about:

Nosy Neighbor Appreciation Day (Limerick)
By Madeleine Begun Kane

A man with a habit of peeping
Into homes while their owners are sleeping
Was arrested and tried.
His appeal’s been denied.
Now he’s jailed for his neighbors’ safekeeping.

Passing Over Some Rules (Limerick)

Tuesday, April 15th, 2014

Passing Over Some Rules (Limerick)
By Madeleine Begun Kane

Though I’m Jewish, I’m still eating bread
And refuse to munch matzo instead.
I spurn rules all the time,
Except canons of rhyme
And of meter … so don’t be misled.