Cubicle life is not something you can really avoid anymore. Before I was ever a full-time employee, I thought that the world depicted in The Office, Dilbert, and Office Space was hyperbole of the mundane. Not so much. It really is the most peculiar thing to be surrounded by people you cannot see, but of course, can clearly hear. The separation-yet-not gives both a false sense of separation and closeness. Simultaneously building and breaking collegiality. The ongoing desire for an office is not to get away from people, it’s to get away from the cubicle existence. Getting an office gives you a chance to break free, however closed off you may then end up being.
The curve ball that I’ve been thrown for the past three out of four jobs is sharing a space, either offices or a cubicle—which despite the confusion I assume is written all over your face, is unfortunately possible. For all the cursing I may do about bad luck that comes my way, I will never stop thanking the stars above for giving me the best office and cubicle mates I could ever ask for. Kind, thoughtful, intelligent, funny. Each has been a person I will never forget and will certainly a lifelong friend. Many a workday doldrum has been saved by turning to my neighbor and asking/bugging them about their day/evening/weekend/lunch. I love being solo in an office, but sharing a space is a close second.
I almost always pack my lunch (good for saving money and the waistline), but going out is of course a nice treat. My office location in Midtown Manhattan makes it pretty easy to pack a lunch because the dining options are so dismal. My office mate reminded me, however, that a short jaunt on the subway could yield culinary excitement. And how happy was I that he suggested one day that we make our way to No. 7 Sub, a place I was interested in trying.
Subs in hand, we parked ourselves in Madison Square Park and shared the Cheese (cheese, broccoli sauce, pickled red onions, fried chickpeas, and mayo) and Ham (pickled blueberries, pickled red onions, cheese, ham, potato chips, and mayo). I preferred the Cheese, he preferred the Ham. But overall, we were not in love with any of it—for a place that specializes in subs and only makes a few of them, they could avoid repeating ingredients for a bit more creativity and be much less reliant on mayo.
But, whatevs. I have a new friend. End of story.
No. 7 Sub
1188 Broadway (Ace Hotel), New York