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the story of an invisible girl
A Cube With A View
My friendly but sometimes annoying coworker, Loud Music Guy, sits right next to me. We both have window cubicles which are arranged so that our desks face the window.

Here's the layout. I sit in the corner, he sits to my left. The vertical blinds start in my corner and cover both cubicles. What this means is: if he wants the blinds closed over his cubicle, they must be closed over mine also. Conversely, if I want my blinds open, his have to be open also.

It would be easy to have mine closed and his open, by pulling the blinds halfway. Unfortunately it happens that he usually wants them closed, and I usually want them open.

I love having a window, and I like to gaze contemplatively out the window when I am pausing in my work. I like having my eyes caught by a sudden flock of geese swooping up between office buildings. I like to see what the weather is like, and even occasionally watch traffic.

He likes the window view, but hates the sun. Our windows face south, and on clear winter days the sun is low enough in the sky that it shines right through and into his eyes. It also (he claims) causes glare on his monitor. Of course the sun shines in my cube too, but I'm okay with it. I have no problem with monitor-glare, and I have a visor which I wear on sunny days to shade my eyes. I look stupid, but I can see my monitor great while still enjoying my window view.

Obviously, his inability to see his monitor outweighs my desire to look out the window. So if he can't see, I let him close the blinds without complaint. What bugs me is the fact that he never opens them when the sun sets, or on cloudy days. Often I will open them at these times, sometimes grumbling under my breath ("why is it so dark in here?"). When the sun comes out again, he will close the blinds, sometimes grumbling under his breath ("it's too bright to see my screen!").

It is a constant battle.

While waiting for a conference call this afternoon, a friendly and not-yet-annoying coworker and I were laughing about the struggle. We were sitting in a little office, and the other party had not yet called us, so our attention was drawn to that window's blinds. "I bet you could just take down the vertical pieces on your side," he said thoughtfully.

"You know, you're probably right!" We had nothing better to do, so we both hopped up onto the desk to examine how they were attached. It turned out that it was pretty easy to just remove individual pieces! They were also simple to reattach!

So this evening, after almost everyone else had left, I climbed up onto my desk. I removed several of the blinds covering my window. I cleared out a nice open space, so I could see a fair amount of the outside world. (I'll decide tomorrow if I should just take them all out, or if I can see enough.)

HA! Take that, Loud Music Guy! I will have my window back, and there is nothing you can do to stop me. So there.
read 14 comments | talk to me!
anderale From: anderale Date: December 16th, 2004 09:28 pm (UTC) (Link)
Every office has a loud person, doesn't it?! My sister has the Loud, Slurping Eater guy. I have the Loud Only Uses Speakerphone Woman. *ugh* I hope your solution works well for both of you!
renniekins From: renniekins Date: December 17th, 2004 07:26 am (UTC) (Link)
Ugh - how annoying! Yep, for some unlucky reason the two loudest people in my office are on either side of me. *sigh*
rmeidaking From: rmeidaking Date: December 17th, 2004 04:03 am (UTC) (Link)
Good solution!

This will work until the Building Facilities people 'fix' the 'broken' blinds. You probably need to put up a discreet sign to tell them why you did this.

The other option would be to take down slats only when your co-worker wants the blinds closed.

renniekins From: renniekins Date: December 17th, 2004 07:32 am (UTC) (Link)
Heh...our building people are pretty good at not fixing things, so I bet that won't be a problem. *grin*

I removed 12, so easy or not, regularly taking the slats on and off would be a pain. It takes awhile (not to mention it involves standing on my desk, climbing over my phone and monitor and such, to be stared at by the whole office).

Hopefully I will find that this solves the problem without more fuss!
specialagentm From: specialagentm Date: December 17th, 2004 08:05 am (UTC) (Link)
Please post visor pics. The public deserves to see this.
retepsnave From: retepsnave Date: December 17th, 2004 08:10 am (UTC) (Link)
*looks up at attachment mechinism of own blinds*

... damn I've got much the same layout window/blinds sharing setup... only we leave them accross the window but rotated open and I've simply tied a few together to create a larger field of view...

I just might have to climb up and try your solution...

jeffreyab From: jeffreyab Date: December 17th, 2004 08:15 am (UTC) (Link)
Can you take them down and spin them 180 degrees so that they open and close from his side?

I have done this at home so it could be possible.
renniekins From: renniekins Date: December 17th, 2004 01:22 pm (UTC) (Link)
Well, they are around 15 feet long. It would be quite a project, and likely frowned upon.
jeffreyab From: jeffreyab Date: December 17th, 2004 01:43 pm (UTC) (Link)
I guess you would need help at that.

Still it might be possible.

So is your cubicle space 7.5 feet wide?
renniekins From: renniekins Date: December 17th, 2004 02:32 pm (UTC) (Link)
I don't know, I just eyeballed the measurements.
jeffreyab From: jeffreyab Date: December 18th, 2004 06:46 am (UTC) (Link)
One could make discrete inquiries.
From: caneprints Date: December 17th, 2004 10:58 pm (UTC) (Link)
I was laughing as I read your story about the blinds because I deal with a similar issue involving the office temperature. In my office, about half of us are hot people and half are cold people. I consider myself pretty much in between, but we have what I call the Thermostat Olympics. Sometimes the hot people win, and sometimes the cold people win, but for the in-betweeners like me, all we can do is wear short sleaves and bring a sweater. LOL
renniekins From: renniekins Date: December 19th, 2004 07:35 pm (UTC) (Link)
Oh, we have that temperature problem too! I've decided not to touch the thermostat, too many people mess with it as it is. I just keep both a zip-up hoodie AND a t-shirt in my office, to be prepared for temperature extremes.
xtatic1 From: xtatic1 Date: December 18th, 2004 02:11 pm (UTC) (Link)

blind alternative

Well, you could buy the guy (and yourself) an Xmas present - some of that adheres-to-windows-and -blocks/filters-the-light type film.
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