The latest victim to succumb to death in her workplace cubicle is 51-year-old Los Angeles County compliance auditor Rebecca Wells, who reportedly “died unnoticed in her cubicle sometime Friday,” to be discovered a day later by a weekend security guard. These words evoke a visceral horror and fear in all of America’s day-laborers, because the last place we’d hope to die is our cubicle and, if that was the place where we finally shuffled off this mortal coil, people should at least give us the respect of noticing. Also, it’s sad! Poor Mrs. Wells.
But there may be more to it than that, something deep and evil and pervasive in our 24-hour work-cycle. Or, as the Examiner puts it, this is America’s fault. “Many modern American workplaces isolate and alienate workers until they barely know or even speak to one another. Wells’s death symptomizes an increasingly dystopian business culture once illustrated by Dilbert and Office Space.”
But mostly, it’s just that no one wants to die in their cubicle. Everyone, go home and hug your laptops and tell your cubicles to back off, you’re not ready to go just yet, and when you do, people are damn well gonna notice.
Then again, if you do have the misfortune of dying in your cubicle and not being noticed for a day, the media will notice you, for sure.