[about the author]
i actually like speaking in front of large crowds. freakish,
i work crossword puzzles in ink.
i am the american nigella lawson. or maybe the american eddie
izzard. can't decide, really.
i would be a really good mom, but i'm cool with being a really
i am sometimes more perceptive than i would like to be.
i am fiercely loyal. sometimes, stupidly so.
i never play dumb. never.
i am way too hard on myself.
i am a change agent.
i sometimes cross that fine line between assertive and aggressive.
i am not afraid to tell people that i love them.
i am militantly pro-choice.
i am pro-adoption.
i know a little bit about alot of things.
i typically enjoy the company of men more than women.
i am capable of being really mean and nasty, but i fight it.
i am a lifelong cubs fan. do not laugh.
i have been known to hold a grudge.
i have hips.
i am not my sister.
i am lousy at forgiving myself.
i am an indoor kind of gal.
i am a bargain shopper. to the point of obsession.
i am 32 flavors. and then some.
every day i do not get fired is a freaking christmas miracle
we had a department meeting this morning, as we do every friday morning. eventually, we came to an agenda item that isn't exactly within the scope of our department's responsibilities, but our manager wanted to make us all aware of it anyway.
"we're out of space. we've filled up all of the available offices here, but they're still bringing on new people. now, when we move to the new offices next year, this won't be an issue, but, until then, we have a serious space problem."
"so, what are they going to do?"
"well, they're going to start doubling people up in offices."
"yes, it does suck. but we all just have to make due for a while."
"a while being a year."
"more or less."
we're chattering around the table, discussing various office configurations, and trying to decide which would be the least onerous.
"i don't want to face someone all day long, man, that is weird."
"well, how about sitting there with your back to someone else all day? it's like you're pretending that there isn't someone right behind you. that's even more weird."
"okay, well, what if your back was to them, but they were facing you?! they'd be, like, staring at your back all day long. that has to be the creepiest."
murmurs of agreement begin to ripple around the table.
"you know," i say, "i think there's a solution we're overlooking here."
"yeah. i mean, you've been to ikea, right?"
"well, i'm sure you've seen the ikea loft bed. it has a bed with a ladder that goes up to it, you know? and underneath is a work space where you can put a desk and a computer and stuff."
"are you saying we should put loft beds in offices?"
"no. last time i was there i saw that they have this new thing. it's sort of a variation on the loft bed thing. it's a loft office."
"a loft office?" my manager asked with a smile on his face.
"you kill me," said one of my coworkers.
"i'm not kidding you guys! i swear. here, let me show you how it works," i say and head to the white board.
"okay," i say, picking up a marker. "here's your office. well, here's an office. let's say it's a partner's office. and here's our partner. happily billing away."
"let's say his office is twelve feet in height."
"i don't know how tall rooms are. i'm bad at weights and measures. blame my liberal arts education. we'll say twelve feet, okay?"
"where's his coffee?"
"um, someone's bringing it to him. okay? now, here's how the loft office from ikea works..."
"wow. it has stairs?"
"yeah. i mean, the loft bed had a ladder, but this is for the workplace, and, you know, a ladder in the workplace has serious osha implications. plus it just doesn't scream 'professional,' you know? so, yeah. it has stairs instead. and this platform up here? that's 100% mdf. the high grade stuff. plus, it's cool because you can do a custom paint job on it. like, you know, flames...or maybe even faux marbling or something."
"well, stencils like, what? like, hearts and chickens? no. this is a professional office, man. keep it real."
"well, you said flames."
"well, what i want to know," said another coworker, "is about the space breakdown. i mean, that loft office..."
"let me stop you there. we like to refer to it as the 'mezzanine.'"
"okay, whatever. so, the mezzanine...how tall is that?"
"well, again, i'm not so good with the weights and measures, but i'd say..."
"...that's probably about right."
"that's not even enough space to stand up."
"well, you don't need to stand up to file, man..."
"does he have coffee in his hand?"
"actually, it's gruel."
"all i'm saying is, you put a couple of filing boxes up there, and this guy can knock out a full eight hours of billable work. document review. redacting. sure, you're gonna have a few workers' comp claims, what with the hunchback potential, but we're totally maximizing space."
"and you can get this at ikea? 'cause i don't remember seeing this at ikea."
"well, like i said, it's a new item. but i'm sure i remember seeing it there. it was the name i remember. you know how funny the names are at ikea."
"oh my god. you kill me."
"it was the umlaut that did it, wasn't it? i thought that was my masterstroke, honestly."
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