…life on the synaptic firing range

Location: Los Angeles, United States

Bent but unbroken Southern California native seeks understanding, companionship, and resonance along and off the beaten path. Teresa plays well with others and makes every effort to perform to her potential. Usually. *processed in a facility that processes nuts and nut products

Wednesday, March 01, 2006

an office of one's own

Yesterday afternoon I moved into my new office. Actually, “new” is a misrepresentation. Badly in need of paint, my walls are scarred with countless scuffs and gouges, perhaps from employees throwing pens, staplers, phones, and all manner of office accoutrements in moments of rage. Also left behind is adhesive residue from the pictures and art previous inhabitants brought from home to personalize this workspace, decor that said, “Hey, I'm not just an accountant/editor/marketing manager, I also happen to like Fellini films/quilting/Shannen Doherty.” (Though most employees advertise their private lives in an incomplete manner. They're unlikely, for instance, to bring in pictures of themselves in animal drag from a plushies and furries convention. That would be oversharing, even for a Care Bear.)

My coworkers and I were moved from our little maze of Workitrail cubicles to a suite of offices recently vacated by staff relocated to our New York headquarters. Actually, the departed employees weren't so much relocated as they were fired and replaced with New Yorkers, and they weren't so much fired as they “left the company to pursue other interests”—that's what the e-mail announcements said. I have other interests as well, but few of them, however vigorously pursued, would likely produce income.

I found out about our impending move only an hour or so before the IT guy came to my cubicle and said, “I'm here to disconnect you.” That's not much notice for the average employee to clean out her desk, take down her personally expressive wall hangings, and bid her taupe fabric panel walls adieu. But I'm not your average employee. My workspace erred on the side of asceticism, looking not unlike a temp's terminal, sharing little about the person who labored within. The only nonessential items in my cube were a bamboo plant, my 5-year service award (proving that I'm not a temp), and a toy cubicle (with a toy employee named Anne whom I introduce to coworkers as my trainee). Everything could be packed into two plastic grocery bags and wheeled over on the seats of my two chairs—that's the most extravagant thing about my workspace, that I lay claim to two chairs, one in which to lean back and scrutinize hard copy in search of grammatical and stylistic infractions, and one in which to sit up straight in front of my computer to enter corrections…and read the blogs mine hopes to be just like when it grows up. My chairs are like my (theoretical) children; I love them equally for different reasons. And if the office manager ever tries to impose a one-chair limit on me, I'll start agitating for disabled parking…and maybe a Rascal mobility scooter like this racy number:

My office doesn't have a window, but it does have four walls, a ceiling, and a door…that shuts! (There's a sign above the knob that says, “Por favor, de no cerrar la puerta. ¡Gracias!” but I'm pretty sure it's directed at the cleaning crew.) Now when I call the pharmacy for a refill and I'm asked which medication I need, I won't need to cup my hand around the mouthpiece and stage-whisper “Seroquel.” Now I can call my therapist for a quickie, knowing that when she calls back I can shut my door and have my sessionette in private. Now I can put that bulk pseudoephedrine I bought on eBay to good use in my very own meth lab—taking care, of course, not to burn down my shiny new office.

Life is sweet from here on out. I don't even care that the receptionist told someone who called for me this morning that no one by my name works here. I have an office, dammit.


Blogger treecup said...

Hey, congratulations! I find that one of the joys of having my own office is decorating it in a fashion my husband would find unlivable. Remember what my apartment used to look like pre-Joel? That's my office.

5:26 PM  
Blogger sporksforall said...

Loving your two chairs equally is a sharable thing. Your CareBear fantasies are not. ;)

5:43 PM  
Blogger bryduck said...

Yay for new offices! My cubicle is festooned with pix (otherwise to have been "deaccessioned" from our vertical file collection) of squirrels and prairie dogs--cute little guys!--and an inherited print from some 25-year-old stained glass museum exhibit. Very little in here is actually mine at all, really . . . Probably says something about me, but I'll be darned if I know what!

6:28 PM  
Blogger Slangred said...

I spent years at most of my jobs not decorating my workspace(s). I figured it was my subconsious way of keeping work I hated as temporary periods in my life. Now, though I have some issues with my work, I have bedecked my cubicle with all manner of things that say something about *me*, though I'm not sure it's clear what's being said.

11:49 AM  
Blogger Slangred said...

It must be irritating as hell that I keep re-commenting to correct my typos, but it's compulsive when the person whose blog you're commenting on is an editor! (I left the c out of subconscious)

11:50 AM  
Anonymous jkt said...

congratulations on your new office! if i was nearby, i'd drop by with a vase of flowers or a candle to welcome you to your new space. i too just got an office at the job i started monday, and the reason i like it is because it discourages people from coming in, by being around the corner and the very last of them all. i wish it had a vaulted door though, like they do at the bank. then it would be perfect.

3:00 PM  
Anonymous ani said...

Where do you get these pictures??? :) Especially the last one?

9:33 PM  
Anonymous Plushie said...

I love having my own office. I get moved around periodically, but I still have an issue with decorating. I don't. I work with uhmm..criminals I guess, and I like to keep my space free of anything they might want to discuss. The picture of the meth lab might come in handy for me, though. I also happen to have an extremely nosy neighbor, whom I have to bitch out periodically for eavesdropping. She is 67. I used to feel guilty about it, but after a year, I remember she isn't my grandma and I just let her have it.

6:59 AM  

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