broom closet

I cleaned out my desk yesterday, which is as archaic a way of saying packed up & moved out as it is to say I dial phones when I’m using phones that have no dials. In our office, there are no desks, only particle board slabs screwed to brackets on the walls of our cubicles. They’re shelves, really. I cleaned off my shelf. When you put that way it sounds even more sad and pathetic, doesn’t it?

Even though my job was terminated, a job much like mine was created in its place, and someone else within the company was hired to do it. She’s been working out of a tiny cubicle a few doors down (another anacronism; there are no doors to any of our cubicles), and when I say tiny, I’m talking broom-closet tiny, no exaggeration. It would, in fact, have been a challenge to stuff it with the typical janitorial supplies you would need to sweep and clean on a daily basis. Run a shelf along the wall of said tiny broom closet and you’ve got a good mental picture of her cubicle.

When I passed by it the other day, two other people were jammed in there with her. It was a conference. She’s been having a lot of them in preparation for the many huge changes she’ll have to make in the department when those of us whose jobs were eliminated vanish into thin air at the end of this month and she’s left with a much smaller crew to handle the increased work load. Compared to her cubicle, my office was the size of Texas. It seemed a little incongruous, and a poor use of the available space, that I, the outgoing guy, still had a big cube that I wasn’t using as much as she was using her tiny cube, so I shot her an e-mail: “Let’s swap desks.”

She didn’t want to. She said it made her feel like she was pushing me aside. And bless her heart for that, but I said I thought of this as practical, not personal. She needed the bigger desk (shelf, whatever) for the transition a lot more than I did. So we swapped cubes and I’ve got myself one bitchin broom closet now.

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