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.
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's desk look like an interior decorator's showroom.