I’m not sure if I’ve mentioned this here or not, but I had to move my office this week. My new one is about a third smaller than the old one and still doesn’t have a window.
My department has shared a small suite of offices on a little isolated hallway at the front corner of the building. I think this has enhanced a certain sense of group identity. As I’ve mentioned before, we go to lunch together and socialize with each other outside of work to an extent that is very unusual compared to other departments in the college.
The new Vice-President is being moved into our office suite, as is the dean of our division and the director of Instructional Services and we are all being moved out. There is a general shuffle going on so that, for the most part, the three departments in our division – we are all located on the lower floor of our building – will be roughly together. Our department is sharing a hallway with the English department.
The moves started on Thursday as the offices some of us were moving into were being cleared out. One of the people who was supposed to move is a notorious slacker and has a REALLY messy office. We talked our Campus Resource Officer – the deputy sheriff who is on-campus all day – to get a blank eviction notice faxed over from his office. He then served it on that instructor, evicting him from his office for “health code violations”. The three other members of the department and I all moved on Friday. It was supposed to take all day, but we were mostly done before lunch. Our department chair and the remaining member of the department will move next week – supposedly Wednesday. All-in-all the day was tiring and full of the irritations of moving (there was a bit of a flare of tempers between two of the others, but I wasn’t directly involved), but by the time it was done I had everything unpacked and ready to go for Monday.
We’re still pretty close to each other, but it feels oddly like we’ve been broken up. We are used to just calling out to each other, sharing jokes, etc… Our two newest members have been sharing an office this year, and have liked that. Now they are in separate, but adjoining, offices. Because no one wanted to inconvenience two of the senior instructors, my office is at the far end of the hallway from the other members of the department. The other history instructor waked down to show me a book during the afternoon and said “This is unacceptable – you are just too far away.” Actually, the current plan is that I’ll move down to the other end of the hall when one of the senior instructors retires (and she has a window!).
On the other hand, I’m now right next door to my friend Steve and right across from my friend Dana – thus I’m going to get lots more “guy time.” Unfortunately, they weren’t in on Friday. Because of that I left in the afternoon with a strange sense of loneliness and separation.
It is just funny to realize the things you come to rely on to get through the day.