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Cubicles that crush the soul

Wired News holds a contest for the saddest cubicles, and the winners are damn depressing.

And you thought your dark, cramped, dusty workspace was depressing. Have a look at the winners of the Wired News Saddest-Cubicle Contest, and get ready to appreciate your own scrappy little cube anew.

David Gunnells workspace
David Gunnells toils away in a windowless conference room, his desk hemmed in by heavily used filing cabinets. David Gunnells, courtesy of Wired News

After all, it doesn't get too much worse than David Gunnells' cubicle (or does it?). The first-place winner of the contest, an IT guy at the University of Alabama at Birmingham, spends his days in a windowless conference room, his desk hemmed in by heavily used filing cabinets. He sits near a poorly ventilated bathroom and shares a wall with a parking garage. His mother-in-law was so depressed by his dingy cube that she gave him a lamp.

At least the world will now know his plight. For winning the contest, Gunnells gets a RoboMan Webcam so he can broadcast from his bland little corner.

The runners-up may not get a Webcam, but they do get the validation of knowing Wired News' readers share their pain. One soul-crushing submission shows a cube with a single fluorescent light, paper clips as cubicle hooks, and overturned boxes as shelf space. Nyet on the windows and working landline.

Another shows a picture of an IT contractor's desk, tucked away in a 40-foot steel cargo container that he calls "the hamster cage." To get electricity, he runs a 100-foot extension cord to a power substation. In winter, he tries unsuccessfully to get warmth from a small electric heater. There's nary a plant, poster, or picture of the kids in sight--it practically makes Dwight Schrute's desk look like an interior decorator's showroom.