The Hard Work of Where I Work

So January 7th was my Office Anniversary.

Traditionally I’m not an anniversary type of guy, I’d much rather face the future then dwell in the past. Still milestones like birthdays and the end of a tv series do provide a pause and prompt reflection. What just happened? And where are my pants?

One Room, My Room: In my office I’ve recorded podcasts, had meetings, ate Wendy’s, daydreamed which lead to dozing, designed t-shirts, read comics which lead to dozing, listened to music, did lots of writing…which lead to dozing, muttered out loud and yes…even worked…whatever that means to you.

In 2008 a plucky writer decided to have a room of one’s own and signed a lease for an office near College Park. Thus beginning an adventure not just in where I work, rather how I work.

Equipped with standard office furniture…2 chairs and a desk, which means standard office thinking. Yeah this is not gonna work.

Maxim mutterings from schools and well-intentioned adults are actually vague. Work hard…ok at what? Be determined and get ahead…of who or what? Feels like I’m in a slasher movie.

Even the idea of productivity is so antiquated. I’m a writer…I write 2 pages today and 5 pages yesterday, which day was more productive? Neither: I wrote both days, that’s good enough. There’s no benchmarks for writing, I’m not a factory measuring and celebrating output.

Where we work is getting amazing. We work out of Starbucks’ and sometimes on the couch and on tv we see those fancy pants tech companies with video games and nap lounges…ok I’d subscribe to a nap lounge and yes please to all the free food. The work school tired (and failed with me) to train and worse institutionalize was desk, chair and no initiative. Absolutely horrifying to look back at school now.

My Dad used to get on the subway to work, now people are “commuting” to work by airplane. It’s this odd gap in my education…I’m expected to work hard but in what kind of environment? Equally important: will there be comics and Wendy’s? Gratefully that’s how far we’ve come: that’s a legitimate question.

It’s an ongoing figuring out. Part of figuring it out is effectively evicting ancient paradigms such as what I picked up from school and other work experiences like cubicles.

The desk and the 2 chairs remain, Indiana Jones relics that occasionally make me feel like I’m working in a museum. I have carved out an analog spot, I can write by hand, draw by hand…get a break from the machine.

It’s funny, most people struggle with what kind of work they want to do. Or who they want to work for. Me? I know exactly what kind of work and what kind of stories I want to tell and share. But for the first time, I’m figuring how to work and with that…where to work. Which as it turns out, is a lot of hard work.


Also published on Medium.

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