Frank Moldstad is the only 50-something at a west coast digital marketing firm comprised almost entirely of 20-somethings. This is the ongoing story of his travails....
Looking out at the vast expanse of cubicles surrounding me, I sometimes feel as if I am in a millennial jail. I didn't do the crime, and besides, I don't belong here because I'm a mid-lifer. But if you are incarcerated here, you had better have a good cell-mate, or cube-mate as we call them.
And despite the fact that my cube-mate Evelyn has some annoying Gen Y habits, I realize my situation could be far worse.
As Evelyn likes to remind me, "Remember, you could be sharing a cube with Debbie."
Now, it should be said that Debbie is a nice person, and a great account rep. But she is an incessant chatterbox. She has had three cube-mates in the past year, all of whom snitched on her. Finally, she was placed in solitary at the end of the hall, where it is rumored that she continues to chatter, even though it is now to herself.
Every once in a while, they let Debbie out of the hole to attend a meeting. This is an opportunity for her to release all of the pent-up chatter that has been building up inside her. But today we are all busy, and we want the meeting to go quickly. About 15 minutes before the meeting, I notice Evelyn conspiring with our cube neighbor, Jane.
"It's time for Plan Debbie," I hear her saying. She grabs her phone and starts texting someone.
The meeting gets off to a brilliant start, and we race through the issues. We are finished in 10 minutes, a new record. It is only then that I notice Debbie is absent. But as we are leaving, she arrives.
"Oh, did I miss the whole meeting?" she asks. "I'm so sorry. Just as I was getting ready to come, Rose showed up with her baby pictures. That baby is so cute! Have you seen the pictures?"
At that moment, Debbie's phone rings and we are able to escape.
In the hallway, we pass Rose, who is talking on her phone. She and Evelyn exchange knowing glances. As the secretary to our boss, Marci, Rose seems to be a fixer in the 20-something underground that is the real power in our office. Although I think I have gained the trust of this shadowy group, I can never be accepted into their inner circle.
"So what exactly is Plan Debbie?" I ask Evelyn when we are back in the cube.
"Pretty obvious, don't you think?" she says.