Earlier in the year, my department moved from the 2nd to the 1st floor of the building. We were given very little notice to pack up our things and move downstairs. Having moved jobs too many times in the past many years, I had my things packed within 3 hours of the announcement. My coworkers were left scrambling for days.
The resulting intermixing of the departments took a bit for my hyper-acute senses to acclimate to. I adjusted to the new noises which included, among others, the constant hum of the computer server in the neighboring cubicle and a rather passionate coworker who outwardly expresses her frustration while reading emails. Well, I’ve almost adjusted. Honestly, I’m still getting used to my coworker’s reactions which span the gamut from loud sighs to pressure-cooker like steaming of “OMG,” “You have GOT to be kidding me!” and other various expressions of frustration. Sometimes I just have to walk away from my desk for a bit to let my own blood pressure go down as she continues to let off steam.
Next there are the smells. Yes, smells! Unfortunately for me, not everyone is as selective in their choice of perfume — nor as stingy in the amount applied. I’m have been so sensitive to intense fragrances that I’ve actually (in past jobs) left work with migraines as a result. I suppose that is why I have yet to find a fragrance for myself to wear on those special occasions. In our close-nit quarters, however, the new scents have fooled my mind into thinking they were a whole other smell all together. After wandering around trying to find the source of the bug-spray-like smell, I crawled back to my desk when I realized that it must be someone’s perfume. Why the #^@& they feel the need to apply what smells like 1/2 the bottle after lunch is beyond me. I just hoped that nobody heard me verbalizing my uneasiness.
Other than my brief stay, after Company G purchased Company C and moved me an hour from home, I have not had to deal with cubicle dwelling for upwards of 10 years. Wait, make that EVER. I know it’s just how things are these days, but I still miss having my own office space, and a door that I can shut when I need to shut out the sounds and smells of others — or protect others from my own outbursts and odors.
Did I mention that it’s FREEZING?
Well, now my company has announced that rising costs necessitate that everyone in our building will need to move into one of the two other buildings down the street. I cringe at the thought of what affect that will have on my hyper-sensitive senses. Everyone is fearing what the affect of squeezing us all in will be. There are 40-50 of us who will move and, it appears, little to no space available. But they assure us that there is space.
If only they’d let us work from home a couple of days each week. Yeah, I KNOW; I’m dreaming.
At the end of the day, at least I have my own space to come home to. A house where I am in control of the temperature (or at least the thermostat) that is filled with my own sounds and smells. Err… Well, at least if the teen-boy smells get overbearing there is an easy solution: either send him to the shower or retreat to my personal space.
You see, when I pulled up the carpet in my bedroom, I couldn’t stop. I then pulled it up in the adjoining room: Tom’s old office. The room has largely been ignored for the past nearly-5 years. As if Tom still had some sort of ownership of it. Well, I finally put my foot down.
Not only did I yank up the carpet, I also got ride of the excess of office furniture (some by accident and some on purpose). The remaining desk and chair is all I need. It’s perfect — or nearly perfect.
My next task will be to print, frame, and hang all those photographs I’ve collected up over the years. It’s time, and this change has been long overdue.
I may have a cubicle at work but, at home, I have plenty of office space of my own. Pretty awesome, eh?