Posted by: Christine Lehman | June 21, 2012

Back from Cubicle Hell!

Well, it’s hard to believe it’s been two years since my last post.

However, given my history (at least a dozen abandoned blogs and websites scattered all over the Internet), perhaps it’s not all that unbelievable.

Anyway, here’s what’s happened: I really enjoyed being unemployed – because I wasn’t really unemployed. I started my own business (selling used books on Amazon) and was very happy driving around to used bookstores, thrift shops and other venues throughout Southern California.

My husband was fine with it, and every day was a new possibility.

Then the unthinkable happened: I was walking on the beach one day, minding my own business, when WHAM!!! I got hit with a full-time job.

Now some people might think that’s a wonderful thing to be hit with. At the time, I did too. It was a company I’d left my resume at two years ago, and then totally forgotten about.

AND they were offering me the same salary I’d had at my previous job, which seemed pretty sweet to me.

Just one problem – which I kept to myself (no one is reading this, right?) :


I was so enjoying my freedom! Yet I knew that money was tight in our household and I knew that my full-time salary would help us get over some rough spots.

So I went back to work, full-time, in a cubicle with an uncomfortable chair, in downtown Los Angeles.

But the week before I went back to work, I snuck out of the house every morning, drove to a secluded location, parked the car – and bawled my head off for about an hour at a time.

I really, really did NOT want to do this!

Yet with the economy the way it was, I felt I could not, in good conscience, say “no”.

It was a JOB – in a world of “no jobs” – and how could I be so ungrateful as to say “no” to a JOB??

So I went back. And at first it was kind of fun, being back in the bustling urban environment that is downtown L.A. these days.

And since I essentially took the same route to my new job as I had to my old, I kept running into familiar people every day, which was cool.

But as the days, weeks, and months wore on … day after day after day of sitting in a cubicle, staring at a computer screen … I grew depressed, and began to wonder if I would ever have my FREEDOM again.

I put photos on my desktop of places I’d been just a few short months ago – the beach at Playa del Rey; a used bookstore in Ojai; etc. Places I had visited at least once a month if not more; places I wondered now if I’d ever see again.

And it didn’t help that winter in downtown L.A. is incredibly depressing.

Then I started regaining some of the weight I’d lost over the past couple of years – because people who work in offices are SUGAR PUSHERS – cookies, cakes, candies, every day, “are you sure you don’t want just a LITTLE BIT? I baked it myself!”

And that led to health issues – my sciatica came back with a vengeance, followed by a major problem with my left knee, followed by just general pain and stiffness every time I sat down or stood up after sitting for more than a few minutes.

I tried to negotiate with my company to let me work either part-time, or do a 4-day workweek (you know, 10 hours a day for 4 weeks) so I could cut back on the grueling commute that was aggravating some of the arthritis issues.

Their answer? “No. Sorry. You accepted a full-time position and this is what it is.”

So last month, after discussing it with my husband I made a decision.


Yes, there will be less money for a while. But I feel so much stronger just since I made this decision.

For one thing, I have a ready-made home business just waiting for me to pick up the reins and ride it again

For another thing, I secretly really love housekeeping – and while my husband never likes to say it for fear of being accused of male chauvinism, he secretly really loves it when I am home in time to have dinner ready for him – and frankly, so do I!

And finally – I just really, really HATE being chained to a desk all day, every day. It fills up my whole life and makes me feel so very, very sad – which I have to believe ALSO contributes to at least SOME of my health issues.

So – one more month here, and then I get my freedom back.

And I’m going to try coming back here more often, to tell you what’s going on and how this all works out.

And I’m not at all worried that the “wrong people” will read this.

Because no one ever really reads this, do they? 🙂Image


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