Office Space Ant Farms

Things in my life seem to be shifting between hot and cold so quickly that I feel like I am about to crack. I have been spending a lot of time just wrapping up this past phase of my life. I suppose I have spent the past few months getting in to healthy routines like working out, eating better, and focusing. I have been feeling out my newer relationships and learning more about myself through them.

I feel the holidays coming on quickly. Though I find myself going out intermittently, I have spent most of my time at home contemplating, working, and creating space. I now have a telescope but I can`t quite figure out how to use the thing. I have a few friends who are gifted in these things so hopefully they will give me a crash course.
I don`t so much want to look into outer space but more so into office space. I want to keep the office buildings across the river in downtown Edmonton as my own private little Ant Farm, so to speak. It will serve as a reminder of the life that I have left behind. If I ever feel unmotivated or complascent, I can spy into someone`s random cubicle and feel grateful not to be there. This is about how close I can get to office life.

Recently, I visited the downtown core to hear an investment presentation from a friend. I felt quite a lot like I was entering a foreign land and walking through a circus. It was surreal for me as I passed through the glass, marble and mirror laden environment. I appreciated the perfectly color coordinated waiting room but couldn`t help noticing the how dull it was. The office was decorated with class and was quite rich looking but there was a certain cold emptiness about it. As elegant and pretty as it was, it was still just a box. I remember what life comes out of these places. I know what I lost in the all-consuming corporate machine. I remember how blank and nameless I became when I sold my individuality for an employee number. What becomes of you when your identity becomes regulated?

I am not trying to sound like a snob but this is my experience. I remember the day that I was excited to work in an office. I thought it would be fun to have that sense of community separated by particleboard. I had a wonderful time navigating the mazes of workspaces and memorizing org charts and floor maps. I took pride in decorating my space to make it mine and enjoyed playing box games with my cube mates. But all that got old fast when I began to feel like a computer, when I no longer had a voice.

I knew things were heading down the wrong track fast when they took away the free pop. I was the president of the Social Committee and quickly became a target once we were acquired by a bigger company. They dissolved anything that would boost morale and encourage happiness. There would be no more fun around here. Just endless rounds of layoffs, budget cuts and more “efficient” procedures. Looking back, I was lucky to get out when I did. My ex-co-workers would tell me the gruesome stories of the ominous graveyard atmosphere that remained. They now worked in a tension filled sweatshop and were quickly becoming robotic drones.

I didn`t lie when the salesman joked that I was going to become a voyeur with my new toy. Ofcourse, I admitted! You would too, if you had my view, I remarked. What he doesn`t understand is that it is a tool to give me a bit of perspective. I want to remember where I am not and why, but from a safe distance. Sometimes looking through the magnification can help one remember the big picture. Funny paradox, no?

Grateful for perspective.

This entry was posted in In Reflection. Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply