Office Space.

I’m freaking out.

I’m trying to tell myself I’m worrying over nothing, that these are just feelings that aren’t a part of me, and that this will all pass.

But I’m freaking out, and it’s all about work. As usual.

One of the first things I ever did when I was hired a couple years ago was compile an Office Wish List, as instructed by my boss, for myself and all of my coworkers. We were beginning to outgrow our office space, and they were planning on moving. Fast-forward a couple years later, and it’s finally happening.

In fact, when I return to work (after 7 weeks away), I will be walking into a brand new office.

When I say brand new, I mean brand new. My boss purchased the building, and it’s being renovated to suit our needs precisely. The space is pretty enormous and has been under construction for months, now. It’s pretty high-tech and progressive, with lots of fancy bells and whistles. Bells and whistles that I don’t particularly need or want.

Everyone asked for similar, boring things when I sent around the Wish List – more space and storage, privacy, security. Things like that. No one said they needed anything fancy or silly. I need and want more filing cabinets, a bigger desk, and a working table because I push a lot of paper. That’s all I asked for in my Office Wish List.

When I first saw the layout plans, I was excited. They’d tentatively assigned me what I wanted and needed: an office with a lot more space in it. As it stands, my office is tiny. It’s very cramped; to the point that I suspect that fire marshal would not be pleased with it. I have three large filing cabinets taking up the majority of the office. If they’re open, I can’t get out from behind my desk. So when I saw that my office would definitely have room for a table, and perhaps some built-in cabinets and shelving that would take up less space, I was thrilled.

To me, the size and location of my office suggested that they valued and respected my work. As a severely anxious individual, affirmations like this are a big deal to me. I am working on detaching from these things, because they can come and go in and out of my life without notice. It’s hard to deal with the disappointment that accompanies not getting it, or losing it.

Which is what happened.

A few weeks later, the plans were revised and my office size was cut in half. Not only was it smaller than the office I currently have, but it was smaller than all of the other offices in the entire building!

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Yup. I am Ryan Howard from the Office.

Feelings of dejection and embarrassment swept over me like a tidal wave. I immediately felt stupid for ever thinking they’d assign me a nice office that would actually fit the work I do. I felt like they assigned offices based on how much they valued people. Honestly. I don’t even TV in mine, like many others do. Clearly, they do not like me too much.

But somehow, I began to make peace with it. I reminded myself that the plan wasn’t final (although, it was), that there were many other ‘collaboration’ spaces I could use if I needed them. Plus, I was one of the few people who was getting a window.

And you know what? I didn’t want to be that guy. The one who bitches about first world problems and can’t see the good in anything. I knew I needed to be thankful for what I was being given: a brand new office. I still get to work in my own office, not a cubicle. And it’s not outside where it’s either crazy hot or crazy cold.

After a while, though, I was given a bunch of shitty news within a couple of weeks. One was that we were not getting bonuses this year. Another was that some of us (myself included) would now be responsible for paying for parking. Finally, they denied my request to be paid out a bunch of overtime I was entitled to.

I felt slapped. They’d hired some fancy design firm and builders for our office space. It’s got silly things like plants growing out of the walls, a java cafe, and TVs inserted into the walls that cost 6x the amount of a normal mounted TV.

They cut down a thousand-year-old tree to make our boardroom table.

When my boss told me we weren’t getting bonuses, I actually told him directly that it was very disappointing to hear this, especially when I knew how much money was being spent on a new office with a lot of pricey non-essentials. The conversation did not go well.

Now that I’m on the eve of returning (less than two weeks away), all I can think about is how small my office is and how it’s a reflection of their feelings toward me. How cramped it will be. How my stuff won’t fit. How I will still have piles of paper and files on my floor since I’ll still be out of desk space. I still won’t have room for someone to actually sit in my one guest chair for a meeting.

Now all I can think about is how shitty this new office is. I just want my old office back. It was shitty and small too, but at least so was everyone else’s. At least parking is free.

And I’m worried. What if they set up my desk with my back to the door? That would make the most sense space-wise, but it causes me a lot of anxiety. I can’t handle that kind of vulnerability. And what if my door is glass and transparent? One thing we talked about in one of my reviews what that I needed privacy since people tend to just barge into my office all of the time.

Now I’m picturing myself spending the first few days moving shit around and buying a crappy curtain rod so I can hang up a curtain in my doorway (I am 90% sure it’s a glass door).

I’m already picturing myself hiding in my office, not wanting to talk to anyone, just wanting to get my work done and go home. Work. Home. Work. Home.

I don’t want to see the stupid java station, or see the gorgeous dead tree in our conference room. I don’t want to look at my boss’s 4 in-wall TVs. I don’t want to walk several blocks to get to work after paying for parking, only to see my boss pull up into his free parking spot, even though he makes 4x my salary (if not more – who fucking knows).

It’s just shitty.

Today is a shitty morning. I’ve dedicated 3 hours to thinking about all this crap. I don’t feel like working on myself today.

I just don’t want to go back to that silly office.

It’s stupid.

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9 thoughts on “Office Space.”

    1. I love my job – but I’m not in love with the company itself. It pays well so I’m kind of stuck – unless something truly amazing lands in my lap, I’m staying:/ and my heart literally cried for that tree. I can’t even.

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  1. and here’s my mantra for you: Be thankful that this all reminded you of what it is- a job. A means to go home to the life you love. All these changes will make it so much easier not to work overtime, and leave the work and go home to what’s important in life. It’s truly a gift. We get too caught up in thinking work is “important” when really it’s just the means to an end- a way to enhance your personal life. Every time you see something that annoys you- your boss, the coffee machines etc, you’re reminded to do what you have to and leave as soon as you can. I tell my patients that when you die, no one you worked with will be there to hold your hand. No one there will care how hard you worked or what you did. Puts this in perspective. That’s the gift.

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    1. Wow you’re making me tear up – thank you so much for your kind words. You’re right – and I’m actually looking forward to NOT working late all the time like I used to, because I need to pay more attention to the life I love at home. πŸ’œ

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  2. Who the fuck cuts down a tree to make a table?! Speaks volumes about the kind of company you work for, so it doesn’t surprise me about the bonuses or any other poor decision they have made. I am sorry you are feeling this way. Remember that your value is not defined by the size of your office or the bonus you get. Your worth is based on the person you are and the love you have in your heart. You are beautiful and worthy… they can never take that from you.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I know right? I swear I’m going to have some alone time with that tree… table and apologize to it.

      I don’t know how long I will last with this company because I actually love the work I do there, but one thing for sure is that my values and theirs do not align:(

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I remember having to switch locations a few years back and I hated the place! It was dark and dreary and cold and it made me anxious every day going into work! So I understand your anxiety over this new change. I️ don’t think it’s cool at all that you get a small office with them knowing how much space you need. All I can say is it may not be as bad once you actually go into the new office space. I know our minds have a way of making things worse before we have even seen what’s making us anxious. Fingers crossed that you feel better once you’re there!

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