Monday, July 22, 2013


There’s a specific shade of blue-grey that is used on every cubicle partition in corporate Tasmania. Not all I suppose; one office I can think of had a depressing, faded orange instead, but the rest are blue-grey. There are dozens of models of partition. Some are designed to allow people see over them while seated to promote the ideal workplace atmosphere of unrestrained collaboration. Others are designed to only to be seen over when standing to promote the ideal workplace atmosphere of isolation, and also to make grown adults act like prairie dogs. All of them are covered with carpet, of course, to allow for the application of velcro dots so that Gantt charts can be more prominently displayed.

I’ve never understood the choice of colour. It’s the colour of an overcast winter morning in Hobart, the time of year that the sun isn’t quite all the way up when you leave the house. The clouds are doing little more than reflecting the grudging lights of houses making bleary-eyed breakfasts and cars creeping across the bridge. It’s not quite raining but there’s water hanging in the air, just enough to leave everybody uncomfortably damp when they finally arrive at the office.

When a work task is causing problems during the day, the last thing you want is to look away from the monitor and have your line of sight blocked by a constant forecast of the conditions that await your trip home. Blue may well be calming, and grey might promote a sense of professionalism, but mixing the two creates the colour code for dispirited.

For the most part the carpets are the same colour but a little darker to hide the coffee stains.

Next week's word is ontology. No it's not that would be terrible. It's odalisque ossuary oleaginous occasion.

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