Cube Packed Up

You arrive at work to find all the items in your cube packed up in a box. There’s no note and you have no idea what is going on. Write this scene.

Post your response (500 words or less) in the comments below.

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3 thoughts on “Cube Packed Up

  1. kathleenmagner

    Westin stared at last night’s final email displayed on his smartphone’s screen. The request for the before-hours meeting with the Director hadn’t changed and nothing new had arrived countering the enigmatic appointment. He swept with his thumb, retreating to his inbox, and bustled along the sidewalk with the other early risers.

    The ticking of his Rolex and array of reasons behind the message spurred him between plodders and, veering left at the next corner, he brought up a new text in search of answers. While typing, he angled past the line queuing for the street cart’s fresh rack of donuts and skirted the flow of patrons drawn into the neighboring coffee shop. He scowled when Lisa’s limey bubble sprang onto the screen with an evasive reply.

    “I don’t want to wait until I get there.” Westin darted across the sidewalk as the red hand flashed and typed, “Why?”

    His phone buzzed an interminable block later, revealing Lisa’s bubble cheerily stating: “You’ll see.”

    Suppressing a growl, Westin sped his gait to a trot and navigated the inbound throng. A few looked up drowsily from their own screens as he brushed past, but the majority kept their noses toward their handhelds, perusals of the morning news, or the contents of their coffees.

    Reaching the skyscraper’s front doors, Westin shoved inside and into the crisp air conditioning, the sweat from his morning jaunt icing beneath his suit coat and dress shirt. Pocketing his phone, he hefted his briefcase ladened with the nights’ edits and aimed for the elevators. He bypassed those waiting in their heels and polished loafers, burst through the stairwell’s door, and ascended the fourteen stories two treads at a time.

    When he exited, Westin caught his breath along the strip of industrial carpet. He slipped his card through the security reader and entered through the tinted door. The lone light above the receptionist’s desk greeted him, and with his adrenaline flowing, he blew passed the mahogany counter and the vacant leather seat.

    Faux cubical walls flickered past during his brisk walk to his desk. Their stiff beige squares created perimeters around empty chairs, blackened monitors, and workspaces strewn with paperwork and files awaiting the nine o’clock rush. The line of Lisa’s potted ferns differentiated their team’s arena, the fronds of each spider plant jiggling due to the movement within.

    Westin stopped short of bumping into the wiry technician who exited their space carrying a monitor with post-it notes adhered around the rim. One fell to the floor as the technician grunted in apology and hauled his load down the corridor. Scooping the neon yellow square off his dress shoe, Westin read over the familiar handwriting.

    The note had become obsolete once they had found the bankruptcy information but he had forgotten to remove the reminder to check the offshore accounts from his monitor’s rim. Now, he crumpled the message in his fist, his fingers tightening when he discovered the gap where the screen used to be.

    …. Click here to read the rest and feel free to leave a comment.

  2. catbr

    My job is always the same. Day in and day out, nothing ever changed. Sarah was on her way into work for another dull day at her desk job as secretary for the Golden real estate company. She knew she could sell real estate but was never picked to do so. She had just finished getting her real estate license 6 months earlier and thought she’d get her chance. She pulled into the parking lot of the company and parked her run down old honda civic. It’s all she could afford on the meagre salary she earned.
    Something was different today. There at her desk were all her personal items packed up in a box. There wasn’t even a note to explain why her things were packed up. As Sarah had always arrived a half hour before the office opened to make fresh coffee she knew no else was there. They could have at least left me a note she thought. Maybe they were doing some extra cleaning over the weekend and put everybody’s things in boxes to get at the walls and desks better. After checking around in the other offices, hers was the only one with the packed up box. Why should I even bother to make the damn coffee. Looks like I’m getting fired anyway. But there has to be an explanation for all this. Maybe I’ll make the coffee anyway and wait for the others to show up. I have to find out what this is all about. Twenty minutes later the fresh coffee aroma permeating the office, two other secretaries show up.
    “Good morning Sally. Good morning Bess. Do you guys know what the hell is going on here?”
    “What do you mean Sarah? Mmm, I can smell the coffee. I’m going to grab a cup. Why don’t we all get some and then you can tell us what’s up.” Bess was always an addicted coffee hound.
    “Good idea.” I reply. After getting the coffee we all sit down around the table.
    “When I came in this morning all my personal things were packed up in a box. It looks like I’m getting the sack. Do you’s know anything about it?”
    “Maybe they were cleaning up your office and forgot to put everything back. I never heard about anything else.” said Sally. She looked at Bess who nodded in agreement while taking another big slurp of her coffee.
    “Good morning ladies. It looks like it’s going to be another fine day.” John the boss said. His expression didn’t give anything away.
    “John I’d like to talk to you for a few minutes.” I said.
    “Sure step into my office.”
    “I think you’ve got some explaining to do.” I sounded like Ricki Ricardo from an old I Love Lucy show.
    “Sarah it’s long overdue. I’ve thought about this for quite some time now.”
    “About what? Are you firing me. All my things are in a box on my desk.” I was fuming and hurt inside after all the years I had worked for this company.
    “No, no, no. It’s nothing like that at all Sara. I’m sorry if you got that impression. I would like it if you’d try out your real estate license and start selling. I think you would make an excellent salesperson. You know this outfit better than most of us working here. So what do you say? Are you up for it?”
    “John, I’d like nothing better than to do that. What took you so long to ask? You won’t be disappointed, I promise.” I couldn’t be happier.
    “Well, glad to have you as our new representative. Let’s go get your box of things and I’ll show you to your new office.”

  3. mreinhold

    “I should have stayed in bed,” grumbled Fred as he keyed in his boss’s number on the cell. This being the second flat tire in a week wasn’t going to fly with Mr. Bivens, but Fred wasn’t very good at lying, and these days his imagination didn’t stretch too far when it came to making up excuses. And being late several times a month wasn’t the only strike against him, but he wasn’t in the mood to go there again. Seems like all he did lately was revisit his mental recording of “Reasons to Fire Fred.” Right now was definitely not the time to hit the Play button.

    No answer at the office. “Probably standing in my cube, foot tapping, blowing steam off his mochacino-hold-the-foam thing, or whatever the hell he drinks,” Fred mumbled to himself as he popped the trunk and rummaged around for the spare tire. He saw he’d be in luck if he needed some Christmas tree lights, an old copy of The In Fisherman catalog, or a broken lawn chair for the job at hand. But no spare tire. Because he remembered now that he had already used it–on the front of the car. It was the back tire that had blown this time.

    Fred tried hard not to berate himself for using his last check for a new fly rod instead of new tires. It was next to impossible, though, not to hear that message whispering through his head–kind of like a breeze going in one ear and heading for the exit at the opposite end but getting stuck somewhere in between, whirling round and round instead. Okay, he needed to let that one go and figure this out. Fred tried Mr. Bivens’s office number again, and getting no answer, decided that the 6-block walk would do him some good. He’d call for a tow when he got there.

    After locking the car up tight, he set off, wondering why he hadn’t grabbed an umbrella to fend off the light rainfall. Arriving on the sixth floor of his building twenty minutes late and slightly winded, Fred was too distracted by the pain in his hip and the stains on his comfy old leather jacket to notice the stares from the workers as he made his way to his cubicle.

    Actually, though, the cubicle he had occupied for 25 years was no longer his. Everything in it had been packed into shipping boxes–every last training manual, file folder, and paper clip stored away. There was no note, no reason why. And no Mr. Bivens either. In fact, this wasn’t his office at all. An elderly woman approached him from her office nearby. “Mr. Alderley, the home called. They’re not sure how you got Mr. Bivens’s keys, but it’s a good thing there’s a GPS on his cell phone. They thought you might come here. Let’s get you back safe and sound.”


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