Monday, February 26, 2007

The Cubicle Survival Guide: Keeping Your Cool in the Least Hospitable Environment on Earth


Finally, it's here. After nearly 14 months of researching, writing, editing, and rewriting, The Cubicle Survival Guide: Keeping Your Cool in the Least Hospitable Environment on Earth is set to debut.

The book is officially on sale Tuesday, February 27, 2007, which means if you order it online it should ship out then. The publication date, one week later, is Tuesday, March 6, 2007; this is when The Cubicle Survival Guide: Keeping Your Cool in the Least Hospitable Environment on Earth should be available in bookstores.

The book is already receiving widespread attention, and the first question people often ask me is, "That's a great idea for a book. What made you think of it?"

The answer is simple: barbarism. We are all taught, in one way or another, that civilization requires human beings to be decent to one another. So when Andrew, my cubicle neighbor, sneezed, I knew I couldn't let the terrorists win. The only problem was I wasn't sure what to do.

I had spent most of my adult life as a teacher. I taught English in Japan. I taught business writing at a university. I taught aboard a U.S. Navy destroyer as a PACE instructor during a winter Med cruise. After that I taught immigrants, refugees, and incarcerated gang members in Northern Virginia how to apply for jobs and swear in English. As a teacher you learn many things from your students, but not what to do when a bald cubicle neighbor sneezes.

"Andrew," I said. "Do I say bless you? I mean, I can hear you sneeze, but I can't see you."

"You could always email me," he replied from the other side of the fabric wall.

"Well, what happens if Paul, in the cubicle next to you, sneezes? Is he going to think I'm a jerk because I said 'bless you' to you, but not to him? Even if he is two cubicles away from me?"

"I don't know," Andrew said, half-interested, tapping away at his keyboard. "Somebody needs to write a book about this, about cubicle etiquette."

So that is what I did. It may not save civilization, but it just might save your job. Please click on a link if you'd like to take a look and possibly order a copy. Thanks for visiting. - James F. Thompson

4 comments:

My Own Closet said...

Should we feel left out when there are monthly luncheons (sometimes weekly) where we have to shuffle though a food line to get food and after standing in line for 15 minutes... we have to go back to our little cubicles to eat over our keyboards while others go to their offices to talk among themselves.

I ordered my book and it just came in today. Perhaps the answer will be in there?

James F. Thompson said...

First, thank you for buying the book. I hope you enjoy it and determine it is well worth your money. Let me know what you think.

Yeh, I know what you mean about office people v. cubicle people. But try not not get down about feeling "left out," because being left out is unfortunately part of life. I'm sure the cleaning staff talks about how great the cubicle people have it and the office people talk about how great the executives and CEOs have it.

But I'm guessing they all hate the food equally.

Also, if you are able to, find somewhere else to eat - perhaps outside, in the kitchen area, somewhere with friends, etc. - so that you don't feel so confined by the circumstances. Worst case scenario, stop by a few offices looking for salt and pepper.

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