life as understood

by jeff carr, master of the arts, -------------------------------------------------------------------------- presumably from a couch


the corner office

courtesy of Jeff |

Room 206 in the Public Relations and Marketing Office on campus might have the best view in the entire gorgeous valley I live in. Since I began occupying said office two months ago, I've actually been approached by a number of colleagues from other buildings who say they've always coveted it. I'll have to get a camera in there as proof, but for now, these probably-copyrighted images will have to do.

When I sit at my computer, in the office's southwest corner, this is what I see, without moving. The left photo represents the view from my left window, only I'm much closer to the historic tower than this.

Appropriately, the right photo represents the view from my right window, also without moving from my computer. It's even better in real life right now, since the mountains are still snow-capped, and the sky, lately, has been bluer. Truly, the sights, and everything about this job and this office, have been pleasures to greet me each day upon arriving in 206.

The truth is that I've been living a professional fantasy life at work for the the past two months. I fell into this wonderful station when a colleague of mine left on maternity leave, and I rose like a spirit from the basement to occupy a place that was never really mine. Over the course of the past nine weeks, though, I've successfully deluded myself into believing that it truly was mine. I printed off a picture of Sarah and taped it over the two tow-headed boys in the frame. I filled it with my music, held meetings, and answered the phone authoritatively. Hello, this is Jeff. I did her job and mine, and did it well.

I almost forgot this day would come. My boss informed me that Maren is returning from maternity leave early, on the 17th. One final week in the corner office, and then the dream is dead.

All along I've known I didn't earn it, such a coveted place, but I worked as though I had. And as I drift back down from whence I came, the basement will likely feel all the more dark, sterile, and lonely, even than it did before. In fact, my former office is no longer available, so I'll finish up my last three months at the blessed place in either the conference room or the kitchen--far from the heights I achieved in my mind, and from the people who held me up in my finest hour simply by treating me as though I belonged.

This final week in the corner office will be a somber one. Who knows how long it will be until I regain such a position. Maybe it'll never happen again. So you'll forgive me if I work longer hours this week. If it's any consolation, you can stop by and see me anytime. I like to be pictured this way.