The people in the cubicles may change, and the photos on their desk of loved ones along with them, but the landscape inside a corporate / tech office in the early 2000’s was tepid at best, and jokingly referred to as ‘cubic-hell’ for a reason. The endless rows of the same carpet, the same 3/4 height wall structures was aching for a little dash of colour around the Christmas season. I dipped my toe into decorating my cubicle with simple set of lights, wrapping paper and bows. All comments received were positive. So the next year I decided that I’d frame up something more ambitious. Less decoration and more renovation.

A few weeks in advance I began to craft up the decor in hopes that the holidays would not be a bore:

  • Large flats of cardboard were painted gingerbread brown
  • Metres of “icing” were cut and painted white
  • Styrofoam was shaped into smarties for the roof
  • An acetate “skylight” was cut in for the roof
  • With a 1″x3″ wood a-frame was built to support it all.
  • Mock photos of fireplaces adorned the walls

With the help of a friend, I somewhat covertly brought all the supplies in on a Sunday afternoon. Things were set up for a Monday morning that would most certainly not be forgotten.

I had planned the all-in-good-fun prank for a week where I happened to start out of the office travelling for training. My mailbox was filled with so much laughter and praise, except for one grinch that claimed it was raising a stink. Timelines were shared about drying times well in advance, but they had a lump of coal in their pants. Could it remain until I returned the following week? Not a chance :/

So my good-natured colleagues would have to tear down the gingerbread house, and from everyone else the grinch did hear it about how she was the one that killed the office Christmas spirit.


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