I enter the office.

Past the reception there is a faint smell of French fries, and I instinctively look to my right, to Little Bernie's cubicle, where there's always some food to go around. Picture the ketchup stains on the carpet, arranged in a radial pattern surrounding the desk. Little Bernie, as you might imagine is anything but. In our politically correct world, Little Bernie's nickname is only whispered. Politically correct means to avoid saying it to your face, not to avoid saying it at all.

Little Bernie is fat. Even more: he's huge. But he is one of the privileged happy fat people: he is fat, but he doesn't give a shit. He is fat in a relaxed, Homer Simpson kind of way. Whenever he hears somebody's "gone on a diet", Little Bernie laughs his ass off. There goes another one, he says. Good for him.

Me, on the other hand, I'm not fat, but I'm not happy either. I'd give up my apparently trim waistline in a second if I could be as happy as Bernie. He is a Happy Person, always walking about with a smile and some kind of edible solid, a sandwich and whatnot, always seeing the brighter side of life. Now that's priorities for you.

As I walk into the cubicle-maze I am greeted with familiar sounds and smells, and sometimes I catch the odd flock of hair or hand holding a phone, but I rarely see anybody's face. Cubicles are good for hiding. They are better for not seeing what's around you. We cubicle-dwellers are The New Blind. Our sense of sight might be worthless, but smell and hearing get bumped up a notch. A dog would have a hell of a time here. We spend hours surrounded by thin walls covered with gray fabric, always knowing what's happening, but always afraid to appear as if that�s actually the case. We try to filter out phone conversations, curses, the occasional sob, but we can't, and, in reality, we don't want to. We want to know, we want to imagine what's happening a few feet away without asking. Welcome to the perverted sensory peepshow that is our modern corporate life.

As I reach my cubicle I find Alice in the hallway, if hallway is the right term when the ceiling above you seems to have no corners and no boundaries. She is speaking on her cell phone, and raises her eyes for a minute to greet me in a wink. She always does this. A phone call in the hallway is way more important than a phone call in his cubicle, because people can see her. She is saying: This is a personal matter. I have a life, see?

I walk past her with a nod and enter my cubicle. On my chair there's a Fedex package. It says, in big, thick red letters: URGENT. I pick it up and throw it on the desk somewhere. I sit down. I smell something fried, again. Little Bernie's cubicle is too far away, so someone else is the culprit. Suddenly, I'm hungry. Ignore the pain.

I Press Any Key and the monitor wakes up. Login, Password. Don't use words that are easy to guess, IT's code for words that are not easy to remember. Right. Where would the Post-It industry be without passwords?

The machine finally comes to life and the program is loaded. The Land of Productivity extends before me. I concentrate. Click, click, click. Shit, I lost.

Minesweeper is not as easy as it seems.