The first day I heard I'd have an office, I was ecstatic. I get a job and an office I don't have to share with 15 other people? I just couldn't wait. I called every week I could, asking if my keys were ready, if the furniture was moved in, if the paint had dried. Finally, I got the room number. The person who gave me my office assignment laughed a little when she gave me the keys, but seeing the confusion on my face, she pulled herself together. "Well," she said as lightly as she could, "No one will come to bother you there."
I did not know what that meant.
At least, I did not know what that meant until I moved in. Andrew and I loaded about 6 heavy boxes of books and other paraphernalia and set off for the fifth floor of the building where I work. What with required ADA compliance, I didn't even consider the possibility that the elevator only stopped at the fourth. I should have.
Forty-five minutes later, all of the books had been hauled upstairs to a stifling attic with no air conditioning. The ends of the hallway were littered with "take me" books and discarded waste bins and broken filing cabinets. The lights were out.
But I didn't care. I was excited to see what the view from the fifth floor looked like. And, anyway, I'm healthy. I can take stairs.
I flung open my office door and was greeted with a view of . . . the roof. A rusted nasty debris-littered roof whose slopes and angles hindered any view of the city or its river. My furniture was peeling, the handles on my office chair brown with rust. My carpet was filthy, and my desks and bookshelf were covered in a fine layer of gray dust, no doubt courtesy of a long stay in a storage building. I felt as if someone had poked a hole in my elation.
I channel my mother, and wonder what she'd do. She certainly wouldn't whine, not after all it took to get to this dusty attic office. So with Andrew's support and the downtown Ikea, we reconstructed it. And these were our results.