Brave New World | The Office Shenanigans I

“Sometimes I’ll start a sentence and I don’t even know where it’s going. I just hope I find it along the way.” | Michael Scott | The Office

In other words, everything is an adventure, even speaking. When you live with your eyes wide open, there is never a dull moment.

So I mentioned in my “Sailing Our Ships Into The New Year” post that I switched offices at work in mid-October of 2018. At first, I was peeved. Not greatly, but peeved nonetheless. My job is a GA–Graduate Assistantship–position at the university where I’m finishing my Master’s Degree. It’s a riot. Honestly. I work for the Faculty Senate (I know, running with the hotshots) and the various sub-committees. I meet fascinating humans, some of whom are lovely, others of whom are not so lovely, but all fascinating and all made in the image of the Creator of the Universe which I always need to remind myself. But this post isn’t supposed to be about them so let me move onward and forward.

I had a cozy, tiny (and I mean tiny) office on the 2nd floor of the library where it was just me, myself, and I and it was grand. My introverted soul never breathed more fully. A rectangular window brought in loads of sunlight, though I must confess the blinds were pretty much closed 24/7 because my eyes have gotten extra sensitive over the past few years. I came and went when I wanted (I didn’t have official hours since all of my work can be done from home…it’s quite the stellar arrangement, though I do have hours now in my new situation). I could sing along to my music, talk to myself (shameless habit that I’m in no hurry to kill), watch YouTube without headphones, take naps, and generally just behave as if I was in my room at home. Luxury, I know. Jobs aren’t like that in the “real world”, or so I’ve been told; though given what I’m about to share in subsequent posts about this new office, I’m not sure if “real world” jobs are that serious after all…

So imagine my discomfort when my “boss” (she’s not really my boss but she’s the closest thing to one for me right now…hierarchies are a bit muddled with this particular job but that’s just how it is and I couldn’t really tell you why), when my “boss” called me into one of her two offices and told me to hand over my keys ’cause they were giving my office to an international PhD student or some other such rubbish. I was not a happy camper but I wasn’t exactly going to argue. As if to soften the blow, she listed off the perks of the new office: a Keurig, a mini fridge, and increased human interaction (which I had steadfastly and successfully been trying to avoid).

Mmkay, let me pause here. I seem like an arrogant snob but, lovely humans, once you’ve breathed the college air for four years, inhaling it for another two doesn’t exactly make you wanna turn somersaults in the driveway. Shallow talk, equally shallow people, filthy language, a God-forsaken environment (and I mean that in every sense of the word)…yeah, well it doesn’t add up to paradise. I was tired. Emotionally and spiritually drained from battling it out with worldlings on a daily basis. I’d go to my Grad classes at night and hide away in my cozy, tiny, 2nd-floor library office the rest of the day. I’d had it. Hence my aversion to unnecessary human interaction at this point in time. Don’t worry, the lessons are coming later ’cause I’m not saying I handled the situation without a stain.

Back to my “boss”. She took my keys and told me that Ava would have a new set waiting for me in the new office: in the basement of the library, right in the heart of the technology center. I’d be sharing the office (which was my “boss’s” second office though she never used it) with a fellow Grad Student from the English Department for which I should have been more grateful at the time (since we already knew one another) but I wasn’t. I received my marching orders and obediently headed to The Office a few days later.

I entered the office suite through the doors to the foyer and asked at the front desk for Ava which elicited a bit of confusion because I’d gotten her name a bit wrong. It was sorted eventually. Ava was sick when she handed me the key but she wiped it down with a Lysol wipe before I touched it so I’m sure it was all fine…My new office was larger than the 2nd floor one with two rather spacious desks, a table, ergonomic chairs, the promised mini fridge, bookshelves, annnnd not a window in sight which they compensated for with harsh florescent lighting. My office-mate wasn’t in and I rejoiced since that would give me time to acclimate myself at my own pace.

I digress yet again for a quick office tour. The basement of the library sounds a sight worse than it really is. Save for the lack of windows, which I somehow didn’t notice until a few weeks ago, it’s really quite cozy but perhaps that’s just because my mindset towards this whole affair has changed for the better.

You enter through these glass double doors, walk down a tiled open hallway with stellar acoustics (I know this because I sang Never Enough from The Greatest Showman to test them out and they did not disappoint), and go through another set of doors, this time wooden and kind of heavy. Now you’re in the foyer of the TLTC, The Office’s official name. There’s a couch, an arm chair and other common office-foyer paraphernalia. Say hello to the front desk where Sheila (one of the fascinating and enigmatic lovely humans I work with, more on her in a later post) sits on her throne. Another hallway extends behind her but we’re not interested in that one right now. Turn right at Sheila’s Throne and head into a open space with Mikhail’s office directly on your left, Ava’s is after it, and the notice board on the wall after that. A heavy-duty printer/copy machine sits on your right.

Reginald’s office is facing you at the end of the open space and then to your right, another hallway, which we’re also not interested in right now. Turn left, my office is down here. First up, on your left is the Keurig (the scene of many shenanigans and adventures which will also be documented in a later post), a fridge, a sink, a microwave, and cabinets filled with coffee-related paraphernalia. Across from the Keurig Station is May’s office and then Liza’s office and then Kristoff’s office after that. Next to the Keurig Station on the left side of the hallway (stay with me, lovely humans) is Toby’s office (which is really more a technology lab) which is shared by the other tech guys who rotate throughout the day in shifts: Seamus and Alex. Say hello to my office next to Toby’s which I share with Ellissa.

Now you’ve reached the end of the hallway and you’re turning left because you can’t turn right since that’s Tim’s office. Steve, Jessa, and Kenobi share another office/tech lab right before Tim’s. But you were turning right so let’s turn right. Directly in front of you is The Lab where the Student Techs reside. They’re tall, lanky, scruffy guys who have names like Ryan and Jack and Derrick. And curiously enough, the females are mainly blonde and have names like Aurora and Lauren and Jenna. Don’t worry, they’ll all feature in subsequent posts ’cause they’re just as fascinating as everyone else in The Office.

So you’ve turned right and Milo’s office is down there somewhere along with Waldo’s and Nathan’s and Dina’s and some other beautiful souls whom I haven’t met yet. Those other hallways I mentioned, the ones that weren’t important, well those are filled with people like Rina and Newman and Mitchell and Maria. They’ll weave in and out of the Story.

End of tour. There’s loads more I could say but I’ll just point out that I’m beyond glad the Most High had me switch offices. He knew I was actually starved for human interaction at Grad School even when I believed quite the opposite. He put me in a place where the humans really are lovely and many of the things I disliked about my college environment are mercifully absent, at least for the most part but I can handle the other bits with His grace and strength. The people I’ve met have already impacted me in numerous ways and you know what, I’m probably gonna cry when I have to leave them all in May which is not AT ALL what I envisioned when my “boss” told me to hand over my keys. God doesn’t always give us what we want but He ALWAYS gives us EXACTLY what we need.

The shenanigans and adventures are coming in later posts, never fear, but I just wanted to introduce you to The Office where all of us are starting things and though we don’t know quite where they’re going, we’re just hoping we find them along the way.

| We’re in a War, my friends, and we all need Courage on the Front Lines ❤ |

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