Moss, is humor writer from Tennessee. She writes a
weekly human interest column about daily life and the funny
things that happen to everyone.
She has written for the Daily News of Kingsport, Griffin Journal,
Oakridge Now, Atlanta Woman Magazine, Aberdeen Examiner, Angleton
Advocate, and Smyrna AM, a supplement of the Murfreesboro Daily News
Journal. She has been
published by Voyageur Press, McGraw Hill, and the good folks
at Guidepost Books. Her articles have appeared in
numerous anthologies and other publications, both in print and online.
She is a
former board member and past Editor of the Columnists.com, website of the National Society of Newspaper
oldest and largest professional organization
for columnists. She is the Web Editor of
Humorists.com and a founder of the Southern Humorists writers'
organization. She is writer, editor, and webmaster of HumorColumnist.com.
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Online Since 1999
tired. I've been densifying all day. Densifying? Is that a
word? Well, maybe I coined the word. It is what happens when
an office is being densified. I
looked up densification in dictionary.com and it said "An
increase in the density of something." That was a big
Actually, the word can be applied to a number of different
things, but in this case it means to put more people in a
smaller amount of space in an office building. It seems that
someone in higher management decided that cubicles with high
walls are no longer the way to go. When you densify, you put
people closer together with low walls in work groups or
You probably are not old enough to remember old-style offices
where everyone was in the same room and desks were end to end.
Your "office" was the top of your desk and the
carpet where your chair sat. Phones rang, people chatted,
typewriters clacked. I don't remember if it was efficient. I
do remember having to see George pick his nose all day.
Workers, of course, prefer walls and a private space. They
don't give a whit about whether being able to see each other
improves communication or efficiency. Somehow, workers suspect
that management is more interested in packing people in a
small space to improve the bottom line rather than to improve
Thing is, they were already remodeling the building floor by
floor when they decided to do things a different way. Now the
remodeled floors will have to be redone. Too bad they didn't
think of it sooner. I guess they plan on saving enough money
by packing us in like sardines to make up the difference.
Perhaps they should call it sardinification instead of
We will not have as much open space after we densify as we do
now. We have to move while the space is being remodeled. We
don't know where or when, other than soon. All the files have
to be cleaned and all extra paper must go. Rumor has it that
part of our floor will be leased to a finance company. That
will be good
for confidentiality, won't it?
Of course, we really needed to clean out the files anyhow. We
found paper that went back to the 80's. Apparently, we had a
few hoarders in the past that left for greener pastures and
didn't have an opportunity to clear their offices. New workers
came and didn't know what to throw away and what to keep, so
they took the low road and kept it all.
Now we have to do extreme densification.
We have cleaned, thrown out, shredded, recycled and densified
until the trash bins regurgitated. I've hauled so many loads
of unwanted office items to our supply unit that I've worn out
the cart. I don't know what we did with our time when we only
had to do our job. I've never been so dense in my life.
I remember when I transferred to my first tiny semi-private
office cubicle with four walls (three and a half, actually)
years ago. I was able to hang a few pictures and felt very
important, like a real person. But, no one gets a walled
office anymore except the big cheeses. Hopefully, they will at
least not block the windows this time and we can actually get
some natural light and ventilation.
As far as privacy, my calls are recorded and my email and
Internet usage monitored. My documents are backed up on the
mainframe computer. I am evaluated monthly to be sure I'm
meeting my goals.
There is no such thing as privacy in our office, walls or no
walls. Sometimes I wonder what they think we are doing,
secretly cooking meth in our coffeepot?
Densify has become the new office buzz word. I can't help but
wonder if they will actually complete this project or decide
that something else is better and we are dense enough.
Copyright 2012 Sheila Moss
Nashville, TN 37219
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