Into the Cube!

Staplers and colleagues and cubicles – oh my!

I recently took a full-time (aka: cube) job in Beijing. Yes, I know what you are thinking, “How could you, your whole mission is to Abandon the Cube!” Well my dear like-minded and equally outraged friend, you are right. But every once in a while we need to gain new skills and popping back into the cubicle for a bit to do so is a painful but useful tactic of catching up on the business world (vomit) and seeing what new software is on the market. So, which cube am I residing in currently?

I work at City Weekend Beijing, its a city-specific magazine focusing on events, listings for establishments and basic community stuff. I’m the nightlife and sports editor, which means that through my cube I get to know many of the city’s hippest, coolest (and sometimes, most annoying) people. I’m responsible for making sure all the content for those sections of the magazine is written or outsourced to a freelancer, and that the City Weekend website is up to date for my sections. I’m also supposed to go out to all the major events in nightlife and sports to represent the magazine. This last part is fun, and I sometimes land free tickets to awesome events. I took the position so I could learn about magazines, and hopefully one day put out my own on cube abandoning or traveling. I need to learn how a magazine is run, what software they use, how they source images, how to deal with the public, and much more. I’ve been on the job one month and already I’ve learned a great deal with much more learning on the way, I’m sure.

Still, its hard to wake up every day at the crack of dawn to work on someone else’s vision and dream. Its much more liberating to wake up and work on my own projects, at my own speed. I find that in terms of whats changed in the last two years of cube abanonding that the only real difference is everyone uses their cell phones for work, which I find annoying because now work people can reach me 24/7– an even further foray into my personal life by an occupation. Speaking of, an occupation is meant to be something you do, but the word is the same as when an outside force enters a nation and takes control over every aspect of it, it loses its autonomy essentially. Occupation is the perfect word for a job because they really do try to take over your world and your autonomy. I think this is why so many people define themselves by what they do for work– there is so little free time, so little autonomy left that they realy do become their jobs. Hopefully I won’t end up like that but if I do, please call me out on it!

While all this is happening, Mike is in the States, so he has essentially missed the worst of the transition period where I wake up and hit snooze about thirty times and then run like a maniac around the house feeding the stray adopted cats and throwing on mismatched socks and other clothing. I’ll say this about the magazine, at least I don’t have to wear a suit!

-Post written by Lauren

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