English 中文网 漫画网 爱新闻iNews 翻译论坛
当前位置: Language Tips > Normal Speed News VOA常速

US worker bees toil in cubicles

[ 2012-02-02 11:07]     字号 [] [] []  
免费订阅30天China Daily双语新闻手机报:移动用户编辑短信CD至106580009009

US worker bees toil in cubicles

Every day, and certainly on Sunday when many newspapers produce a separate comics section, millions of Americans check out the strip called "Dilbert," created by cartoonist Scott Adams. It satirizes worklife in white-collar offices, particularly those in which people toil in confined spaces called "cubicles."

Fortune magazine, which writes about the people who, well, make a fortune, once focused on average "worker bees" in the corporate world who sit inside these "modules," as they're called, separated by partitions, at built-in desks with eye-level shelves, all easily interchangeable. The movable walls are designed to give workers at least a tad of privacy.

As Fortune lays out the story, Robert Propst, a young industrial designer in the Midwest state of Michigan, dreamed up the office cubicle in 1968.

US worker bees toil in cubicles

Soon office mazes, or "cubicle farms," sprouted everywhere. It seemed like everyone below the rank of vice president soon worked in one of these office boxes, identical to the next one save for the photos of the family and dog.

Today, cubicles are ridiculed - even loathed - as symbols of conformity, their inhabitants as clones and drones. Even the privacy part didn't work, as workers cannot help but overhear their colleagues' conversations and phone calls.

Lots of people, including cartoonist Adams, have tried to humanize the sterile cubicle. In real life, he's even designed what he calls the "ultimate cubicle," which would allow occupants to vary the flooring and lighting. They can even add a fish tank. But a box is still a box.

Before he died in 2000, Bob Propst, the father of the cubicle, told friends he was sorry, all his days, that he'd unleashed the idea on the world. He called his invention an act of "monolithic insanity."

toil: 辛苦工作

cubicle: 小隔间

monolithic: 整体的;庞大的;完全统一的

Related Stories:



钟摆族 pendulum clan


(来源:VOA 编辑:Rosy)