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cubicle life: a new world

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I had my own office and printer in Mali and Burkina Faso; I haven’t had to share an office in a long time. Now I’m in a cubicle with low walls in an open plan office environment. It’s quite an adjustment. No more leisurely web-surfing! No more printing of d/g fanfic! No more loud phone conversations with random people!

The first week here I had a long, involved phone conversation with MoBob, in French and in the low talker mode required by life in a cubicle. After we hung up, my immediate neighbor came over and said, “I didn’t know you spoke French!” Well.

I talked to my relocation guy and our stuff has finally arrived in the US. It was transported from Galveston to Houston and is now undergoing inspection. Not only for agricultural products (our Christmas tree is plastic, for heaven’s sake) but also for napalm and nuclear warheads. I pleaded with T to expedite the process as much as possible, given how out of fashion I feel now that winter has arrived.
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On November 16th, 2006 02:29 pm (UTC), flemmarde commented:
well that'll teach you to post yourself nuclear warheads :P

good job you speak having just come from a francophone country...
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On November 16th, 2006 02:42 pm (UTC), ticklethepear replied:
I keep asking T if he could bribe anyone and he says no!
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On November 16th, 2006 03:35 pm (UTC), flemmarde replied:
hahahaha... that's a sure fire recipe to get you or T into trouble!

which reminds me... H and i were comparing australia, switzerland and togo on the latest list of corrupt countries, courtesy of mokeygirldiva posting it on her lj. australia and switzerland are, of course in the top 10 least corrupt countries. and togo is, of course, around 130. it got me to thinking about how the values and beliefs that lead a country to be open or not to corruption also are reflected in interpersonal relationsips and the things we understand or don't about each other
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On November 16th, 2006 03:46 pm (UTC), congogirl replied:
Oh please expand - this sounds like a fascinating idea, but the synapses aren't firing for me today and I can't fill in all the blanks on my own.
— On November 16th, 2006 04:08 pm (UTC), flemmarde posted a reply · Expand
— On November 16th, 2006 06:14 pm (UTC), congogirl posted a reply · Expand
— On November 16th, 2006 04:31 pm (UTC), ticklethepear posted a reply · Expand
— On November 16th, 2006 04:35 pm (UTC), flemmarde posted a reply · Expand
— On November 16th, 2006 04:40 pm (UTC), ticklethepear posted a reply · Expand
— On November 16th, 2006 05:01 pm (UTC), flemmarde posted a reply · Expand
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On November 16th, 2006 02:56 pm (UTC), 13oct commented:
You poor thing! *hugs* How long does the inspection take usually? If anyone can understand your pain - I can.

IMHO what your colleague did was down right rude. Bad enough you eavesdrop on a private conversation but, then to comment on what language u spoke?! Ah well, now at least you know 'they' hear everything!
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On November 16th, 2006 03:48 pm (UTC), congogirl replied:
I have spoken French on the phone and most people can't understand it, but I can hear everyone else's conversations, too. They have commented on my French as a way of complimenting me. But I sure don't have personal conversations in English in cubicle land.

Fortunately I now have a door on my teeny office.
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On November 16th, 2006 04:36 pm (UTC), ticklethepear replied:
A colleague told me yesterday, when he overheard me speaking French to someone else, that it sounded really sexy and he wanted to learn more in order to pick up girls.
— On November 16th, 2006 06:13 pm (UTC), congogirl posted a reply · Expand
— On November 16th, 2006 07:48 pm (UTC), ticklethepear posted a reply · Expand
On November 16th, 2006 05:09 pm (UTC), clynne replied:
I had a coworker who spoke Romanian on the phone with someone regularly. They would get into shouting yelling arguments. But that's not how I know it was Romanian.

I know it was Romanian because another coworker came over at one point and was trying to decide whether she should tell our coworker that she could not only hear the entire conversation three aisles over, but also understand it!
— On November 16th, 2006 06:11 pm (UTC), congogirl posted a reply · Expand
— On November 16th, 2006 07:44 pm (UTC), clynne posted a reply · Expand
— On November 16th, 2006 08:28 pm (UTC), congogirl posted a reply · Expand
— On November 16th, 2006 07:47 pm (UTC), ticklethepear posted a reply · Expand
— On November 16th, 2006 07:47 pm (UTC), clynne posted a reply · Expand
— On November 16th, 2006 07:46 pm (UTC), ticklethepear posted a reply · Expand
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On November 16th, 2006 04:35 pm (UTC), ticklethepear replied:
I just got an email from T that the expected delivery date is 11/24. But I won't believe it until the truck is outside my front door.

It is just so hard not to eavesdrop here. She was really excited to speak French with someone and now we make an effort to speak French all the time.
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On November 18th, 2006 10:52 am (UTC), hatter_anon replied:
I've worked in offices like that before and it is impossible not to overhear conversations sometimes. Perhaps by asking you about your French she was also trying to give you a heads up and let you know she can understand and therefore the conversations won't be that private?

Good luck on getting your life back!
— On November 20th, 2006 01:43 pm (UTC), ticklethepear posted a reply · Expand
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On November 16th, 2006 03:49 pm (UTC), congogirl commented:
How long has your shipment taken? Mine took from early Sep till mid or late January. They originally sent it to Baltimore but, y'know, as in our chat yesterday, the HQ thing didn't work out, and by the time my shipment was ready, I was moving down here, so I asked them to reroute it and not charge me.
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On November 16th, 2006 04:37 pm (UTC), ticklethepear replied:
I really didn't expect it to take this long coming to the US, but I guess with two landlocked cities on both ends it's really arduous! I'm glad paid up because the allowance from here wouldn't have covered it.
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On November 16th, 2006 04:37 pm (UTC), ticklethepear replied:
I forgot - we packed out on Aug. 30th but then there were problesm getting into Togo, then the container was held up in Antwerp, blah blah blah.
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On November 16th, 2006 06:12 pm (UTC), congogirl replied:
You are doing well, if mine went from two relatively UN-landlocked cities and took two months longer!
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On November 16th, 2006 07:49 pm (UTC), ticklethepear replied:
You're right. *sigh*
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