Throwing stuff at the internet to see what sticks
Monday, May 20, 2002 Let me tell you about my desk at work. It’s actually not so much a desk as it is a turret. It’s an admittedly short turret and it doesn’t have arrow slits or machine guns, but it’s fairly turret-y nonetheless. I sit inside a circular structure twelve feet wide and five feet tall, raised a step above the rest of the floor. I look pretty impressive. More than one of my coworkers has been known to address me as Captain Kirk when I’m sitting there. They might just be making fun of my gut, but since nobody called me that when I sat in a cubicle, I don’t think so.
When we first moved into this building, we called it the “Command Center,” but nobody could say that with a straight face so now it’s just “the podium.” It contains six computers, four VCRs, two phones, a printer, an adding machine, and several other pieces of highly specialized electronic equipment. Plus there’s one of those LED display boards immediately overhead which allows me to cause messages of my choosing to circle around above me. I’ve left the comedy potential for that more or less untapped by obeying my mandate to display stock prices. Although some of them were funny stock prices.
As groovy as it is to sit here every day and effectively become a giant cyborg, it does have some drawbacks. The work surface is too low to accommodate any kind of file cabinet or drawer-type structure, so all my stuff is still stuck in boxes on the floor. For five years, it’s looked like I just moved in. Then one day they told us to get everything off the floor so carpet cleaners could come in over the weekend. I piled everything in a highly visible mess on the podium’s outer counter, doing everything I could to make this expensive, flashy feature look like the front yard of a tarpaper shack somewhere in the Appalachian Mountains. Now I’m going to be getting custom-made file cabinets. Sometimes it pays to be obnoxious.
The other issue is the carpet. Rather than a single sheet of carpet, our floor is covered with self-adhesive carpet tiles about three feet square. Five years of sitting in my rolling chair and zinging around between my six computers has taken its toll on the floor. I actually raised a speed bump directly in front of my main workstation, what with all the countless times I’ve rolled over that spot. It was a pain to try and zing up to my keyboard several times a day and be brought up short by that little ridge, but now I have the quads of a fencer. Eventually they “fixed” it with a large patch of silver duct tape, but since that wasn’t impressing potential clients who toured the office, I was able to score an extra carpet tile from our stockpile in the basement and slot it in. Except now I’m getting a new speed bump right next to where the old tile used to be. Supposedly they’re going to be replacing the carpet on the entire floor soon. Why that’s preferable to buying me one of those plastic floor pads is beyond me.
As for my chair itself, it’s really not as foodstained as you might imagine given that I’ve eaten maybe a thousand meals in it. I’ve got it exactly the way I want it in terms of height, lumbar tension, armchair position, and whatever the chairological term is for rocking-back-y-ness. If anyone—and I mean anyone—adjusts anything about it while covering for me, I’m loudly disgruntled for the rest of the week about this being my workstation, dammit, and why can’t people have some freaking respect, for the love of Pete? I’ll bitch loudly to anyone who will listen (and quite a few people who won’t) about how they’d like it if I went into their cubicles or offices or homes and started futzing with their stuff. I suppose it works, because that hasn’t happened in a couple of years. People might think I’m overreacting, but we all get out of sorts when our asses aren’t being cradled just right, don’t we? And that Executive Vice President whom I got fired over this is sure to land on his feet.
Overall, it’s a pretty cushy place to spend eight hours a day. From my elevated position, I can peg anyone in my department with a Nerf gun, nobody can sneak up on me, and no one in the entire company has a shorter walk to the bathroom than I do. You’re wishing you were me right about now, aren’t you?
posted by M. Giant 3:27 PM 0 comments