Monday, July 6, 2015

Pull up a chair

Office assistant takes a seat
When I first joined the corporate world, my dream was to have a desk. Instead I had partial use of a drawer, a place to stash my pocketbook while I worked in a photography lab.

When I got my first writing job, my dream was to have an office. Instead I had a cubicle, a place where I could hear three conversations, sometimes simultaneously, as I tried to write.

When I joined a corporate communications department, my cube shrank in size and was directly outside the men's room. The only good to come of the location was a strategy to catch executives as they were headed in, to get quick answers on copy questions.

As I moved through jobs and companies, I eventually got my own office. And with the office came expectations about wardrobe, with even business casual putting more of an emphasis on business than casual.

For the past 15 years, I've had the ideal work environment: my own office, outfitted the way I like it, with two windows, and no dress code (other than to change from PJs). I thought my home office was perfect, until I began to read about the hazards of sitting at a desk all day.

What's a writer to do? Well, I could use a standing desk, but standing all day has its own risks. I could add a Level from FluidStance, which keeps the body in subtle motion using a mashup between a skateboard and a balance board. Or I could get a treadmill desk, but space and coordination requirements put the kibosh on that for me.

If I wanted to go with the latest corporate trends, I would close my dedicated office and work from anywhere -- the dining room, the patio, the coffee shop. I would work from any space currently unoccupied, so as not to waste assets on a single-use office. That's just how I worked in the photo lab, grabbing a seat where and when I could. And you know what? I didn't like that at all.

At this stage of my career, I think I've earned my seat at the table -- and the desk. And I'm not giving it up anytime soon.


  1. Lovely to read... thank you for taking the time to write it.
    BY all means you have earned your place, in a chair, and at any table you wish!
    Your talent at writing, and hunting down the value in the story to write about, is unmatched in all the years I have known you--
    Continue to enjoy contributing your talents at any table lucky enough to get you! Anne.

  2. Many thanks to you Anne. It was your support, very early in my freelance career, that helped me to establish a firm foundation for continued growth. I miss the days of working together -- and hope to see you soon, whether personally or professionally. All the best. A.