Skrip - tyur' - i - ent: adj. Possessing the violent desire to write.


#089 In which our hero finally talks about the new office.

So, the new office.

When I drove down here for the interview, my first reaction was, "Wow, what a cool little building." First, you have to understand that this agency is located in a quaint little middle-of-nowhere town in Ohio. Driving down the main street (and it's only apparent that it's the main street because it's named "Main St.") all you see on either side is antique shop, antique shop, residential house, antique shop, residential house, antique shop. And lots and lots of old lady tourists/antique hunters. The building itself was built in the 1800s, and was apparently a bank. Not that it looks like what I expect a bank to look like today, it's clear that it was one of those tiny mom 'n pop operations.

But there are nice big windows out front (including some cool stained glass), and a very cool iron spiral staircase leading to a loft. It's right next to a ravine, and the trees and river next door all combine to create a rather idyllic setting. While I was waiting in the front, I said casually to one of the employees, "Wow, this is a really cool space." To which she replied, "Uh, yeah, I guess so."

Now I understand why her response was less than enthusiastic.

Now that I've been here for a bit and have had a good look around, it's apparent that this building has been many things in its life. A bank as previously mentioned (even thought there's no outward signs of that era remaining), a bookstore, and apartments, judging from the added bathrooms in the loft and in the basement. Walls have been cobbled together, making for some odd twists and turns. And it has all the problems of an old building, including leaky roof and termites. In short, the place is a shithole.

But, it's certainly a shithole with character. And while this might bother some people, I have to say I embrace it. Here's the thing: my first job in Cleveland was for a big agency downtown. At the time, they were the biggest agency in Ohio. Their offices were the top three floors of an office building -- I'd say skyscraper, but remember, this is downtown Cleveland, not downtown New York. Everything was resplendent in polished wood, steel and glass. Everyone had their own office -- and I mean that literally. Four walls, a desk and, in my case, a great view of the river and Gund Arena. It was pretty amazing, actually, considering that I had just moved to Cleveland from Columbus (where my work space was a tiny cubicle) I thought, "So, this is how they play it in Cleveland. Rock."

Naturally, it all went to hell. I was laid off after two years and spent the next year and a half desperately searching for a new job in the industry. To this day, I have to wonder: how much did those lavish digs contribute to my downfall? I mean, it couldn't have been cheap to maintain that agency, I'm sure my salary didn't come close to even covering the rent alone.

So, now I'm working in this dingy little building, and I know for a fact that the yearly rent is less than a third of my salary.

So I'm more than happy to work in a ramshackle building in exchange for continuing to have a job. A big blue tarp over the roof to keep out the rain? A layer of dust in the back room due to termites in the ceiling? Air conditioning that only works periodically?

It all sounds like job security to me.


Post a Comment

<< Home