Code And Cocktails

A Year Without a Office Desk

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(Well not quite true I don’t have a desk at all… but effectively I don’t have one).

About a year ago I changed to a new job. In all previous jobs I’ve had I had a desk, in fact I had a office (sometimes shared) or at least a cube of my own. It was different at the new job; when I showed up on my first day at the new work there was a little bit of confusion about what cube I could be given and as a ‘temporary’ solution I was given a desk in the lab.

Given the way we work on the team, I spent very little time at my desk. It became simply a place where I put my bag & coat; a place for my coffee mug; a place for my notebook at the end of the day. I did use it to check my email first thing in the morning before everyone arrived (I’m an early person) - but other than that - unused. As the months went on I used it less and less everyday.

Then in January the new DBA consultant started sitting at it with his laptop so he could be with the team; thus I was partially evicted from my ‘desk’. I still kept my inbox there - but now I didn’t even use the desk to read my email in the morning.

At this same time there was a new coworker starting and with that a little angst about where they would sit (the cube situation was in fact no better; but actually worse). A cube was found for her; but I felt that by giving up my desk entirely I was making a personal statement about desks, cubes, offices.

I do have regrets periodically when I need to do some personal matters; but we have a shared office nearby the lab and a few cubes that can be used in a pinch for private work/calls.

In all - I have not really missed having a desk. I have found out that I don’t need much more than space for my inbox; maybe someday space for some filing. This conclusion is NOT what I would have expected from myself; I remember clearly wanting an office and bemoaning my fate of being in cubes. It seems I have accepted the team-room setting more than I had imagined I could have.