Actually, this is a tale of 17+ kitties, to be exact. I’m freelancing at an advertising agency this week and am enjoying the corner cubicle of someone who has the good fortune of a full-time job with paid vacation time (sigh…). Like any good armchair sociologist, I looked around her space today to get a better idea of who its resident is. Granted, I have no idea who she is, but I do know that she is married with four cats, a dog and a husband. How do I know this? During my inspection of her cube, I noticed several framed photos of her beloved furbabies and only one of her husband, in addition to several cartoons and clipped photos of cats, her cat calendar and an usual amount of kitty knick-knacks. In fact, the feline artifacts seemed to multiply during the day. I may have unwittingly stumbled into the cube of a crazy cat lady.
That’s the beauty of being a freelancer. We take on brief projects and sit in your cubicle while you’re on vacation. So what do freelancers learn about you while you’re luxuriating on the beach? Let’s see…
There’s a delicate balance between a hobby and an obsession, so if your cube is covered with photos and artifacts of your favorite hobby, we wonder if you spend more time daydreaming about your hobby than actually doing your work.
Outgoing Creative Type
Photos of your family and candy dishes are great conversation-starters and the beginning of a great creative space. This is obviously the spot where people want to hang out and collaborate. Sweet office supplies, bright décor and interesting knick-knacks help make sharing a cube a little more bearable.
This is an easy one to spot. The cube walls are plastered with kid artwork and there are countless photos of toothless smiles and sweet little faces. You’re proud of your kids. We get it. Freelancers with kids will sigh and miss their own little ones, while freelancers without kids wonder if you’re secretly a crazy Tiger Mom. They’ll also rifle through your desk drawers for candy and fruit roll-ups.
Name plaques, certificates and large books signify importance. Count on us to not touch your hidden snacks and to put your office supplies back exactly where you left them.
Is messiness a sign of creative genius? Or an utter disregard for hygiene? Either way, there is nothing like temporarily sharing a space with someone who leaves stacks of paper everywhere and half-eaten food in their desk drawer. Germophobe freelancers will be loathe to touch anything on your desk. Well played, Pigpen.
This no-nonsense person likes to keep his or her work and personal life separate and isn’t especially interested in making their workspace cozy. You’ll find the basic office supplies in their cube and that’s about it. This person could also be new to the company or on their way out.
This person has random photos on their desk that scream “inside joke,” office supplies fashioned into creative décor and weird novelty items on their desk. Obviously, this is the fun person in the office.
As for Crazy Cat Lady, while I love my cat, I don’t quite get her feline obsession. But I’m willing to overlook it because she left a very detailed description of the things I need to know while I’m filling in for her, which makes her aces in my book.