Stares

Today was my first day back at work after a four week hiatus. My group moved in the interim, and my office is now in an entirely new building.

Before my departure I was asked if I wanted to go over and see my new digs, but I declined, thinking the visit unnecessary. I was also asked if I wanted the building coordinators to arrange my desk and chair so that I was facing the door or facing the back wall. Again, thinking this an inconsequential decision, I opted to face the wall.

But moments after waltzing into my office this morning, I realized that I had made a grave error. The entire back “wall” of my office is, in fact, a window, one which looks out over the building’s central atrium. This open area contains a huge, winding staircase that employees use to traverse the five floors.

Because this window serves as a backdrop to my monitor, I need only move my eyes a few millimeters to instantly transform between Guy Diligently Working On A Program and Guy Watching People Walk Up And Down The Stairs. This is a problem for a host of reasons, the two main ones being (a) I’m almost certainly afflicted with Adult Attention Deficit Disorder, and (b) my new building boasts a seemingly inexhaustible supply of pretty girls, all of whom, at any given moment, are either walking down the stairs to the Expresso stand in the lobby or walking up the stairs as they return to their desk. If I had a webcam perched on the top of my monitor today, a viewer might well conclude that I was watching the French Open.

I asked my office manager if I could manhandle my desk into the center of the office, turn my computer around, and position my chair so that my back would be to the window. He said I could not. To get the office rearranged, I was told, I would have to submit a special request; If approved, the building coordinator / furniture movers / feng shui experts would come and do the deed in the dead of night.

I’m not sure I want to go through bureaucratic channels to get this problem resolved, but I picked up an Office Reconfiguration Form all the same. In the “Reason For Request” box, I plan to write “Women.”

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