The wareoffice

noiembrie 7, 2013

Door to light

One sunny morning I found myself back in T. and A.’ s office. I returned to work for them having left their company in 2004. I was impressed by the sheer size of their new quarters practically of warehouse proportions. A short corridor led into the ginormous space.

Away from the entrance, two thirds of the territory was filled up with tele-marketing staff. Black headphones with large ear cushions sat on identical heads with faces  impossible to remember. They spread symmetrically like pawns occupying an entire chess table disappearing into the unlit part of the office.

The remaining third, or a very small fraction of the indeterminable room, was used by directors, accounts and  executives. T.  and  A.  chose two desks between those people but not next to each other as I used to know them. Those people were mainly women amongst which two were most active. There were no partitions, cubicles or walls to separate the cohabiting departments of the same enterprise. No, this was not a newspaper agency, was a new media software house.

The noise… There was a noise of constant intensity filling up the space. It never oscillated. It sat at a level impossible to neither accept or to reject. It was so that you could just about hear the person addressing you,  a muffled hum you could get used to, in time, as everyone there seemed to have.

As it was the first day of my return, T. greeted me with a friendly businessy smile.  I smiled back wondering if it was a heartfelt greeting as when almost-friends  meet after many years. Hard to tell. I gladly accepted the smile and dismissed any seed of doubt. A firm handshake and a brief chat standing by the entrance led to a walk through the short corridor and into the wareoffice.  Once there T. walked elegantly back to his desk rounded by busy people. I was now standing alone on an empty spot where I could diagonally watch the entire space.

A.’s desk was facing the tele-sale crowd in a classroom-like layout. Himself was having an intense conversation on the
phone. The moment I blinked he snapped up and shouted toward everyone in the room but I could not hear what. As result, the engulfing noise faded out. A. sat back in his chair and resumed his conversation, elbows resting on the
desk, his chin lowered and the receiver fencing his mouth.

My eyes were swiping the room looking for any area that would indicate the development team camp. No such indices. I started walking toward the darker part of the office. The space around the enterprise seemed to
expand and contract as I walked toward and away from its set-up. After a short while I reached the back of the wareoffice whose walls of MDF (Medium density fibreboard) had two openings cut in them. It was very quiet here. The telesale people disappeared behind me. Each opening indicated that on the other side of the wall there is plenty of light and the two rooms could have very large windows. Neither cut had door and through the one on the left I could see that the room was actually a toilet with sparkling white enamel sinks glinting in the white light. I turned and walked toward the other opening. This was covered negligently with the rectangular MDF board once part of the wall, now hanging in one nail above the upper edge of the cut. Light was spilling out through the gaps created by the incongruity of its position. Voices of men could be heard inside. It must have been the developers’s room. By now I was standing in front of the loose panel watching the fringe of light and wondered why T. and A. didn’t choose it for their office, a far better option than the poorly lit and noisy wareoffice. 

My train of thoughts was suddenly interrupted by the realisation that I could not work here. When I told T. that I cannot work because I haven’t given my month notice on the other job, I  read repugnance. The red haired woman leaned over her desk and shouted something at me but again, all I could hear was the levelled noise of work.

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