Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Office Space

I may or may not have mentioned that I lost my office at the close of the school year.  The high school got a new administrator, who took over another counselor's office, who got booted back into the guidance office area into my office, naturally.  They spent all summer knocking down the wall between my office and another office, creating a big nice roomy office for the counselor who got booted out of her other bit nice roomy office in the administrative wing.  

The two people who became homeless in this process, myself and the regular school social worker, were due to move into one of two storage closets in the guidance office.  One was a bona fide office that had been used as a storage space.  The other was an honest to goodness storage closet.  I did my part and attempted to request the actual office office, seeing as how I'm there every day and the social worker covers several schools in the district, and therefore only pops in here and there - maybe once or twice a week.  

Of course, I'm not the school social worker.  I'm the social worker attached to the school on a grant program.  So, I guess I wasn't too surprised when I ended up with the storage closet.

My friend Becky and I went over to check it out today, and...wow.  I thought my last office was small!  The new one appears to be about half the size.  Of course, it's not.  But it's extra skinny (thin?  narrow?) and it feels a bit claustrophobic. 

Oh, but wait, my friends.  There's more.  Imagine my surprise when we saw that the school's electrical fuse box is now located in my office???!  Which makes it really difficult for my furniture placement, since I have been strictly informed to not place any furniture within three feet of the box.  

But the fun doesn't stop there!  There is a small box plugged into an outlet in my office.  I have been instructed that absolutely under no circumstances can I unplug this little box.  Why?  Well, naturally, because it's attached to the school's alarm system.  What I'm not quite sure of is whether the alarm goes off if I unplug it, or if unplugging it disables the alarm.  Hmmm.  Only one way to find out...

So.  That's my new office, friends.  I will officially "move in" in a couple of weeks, after I return from my southern roadtrip with Lisa.  I plan on decorating the crap out of it to try and forget the fact that I now work in a closet.  To be honest, I'm surprised there aren't mops and a laundry sink in the corner!!!  And, don't worry, I'll take photos.  

Any good tiny office decorating tips?  Please keep in mind that I have absolutely no windows, either. 

17 comments:

Sherrie said...

That stinks! Will you be meeting with students in your office? Maybe there are safety concerns you can share in that respect. Good luck with the decorating. Boo to no window.

Taryn said...

Oh sweetheart- I am so sorry. Good luck. I am claustrophobic just thinking about your office! Maybe do like the cruise ships and have drapes over a little section of the wall like a window you just don't want to see out of. Good luck.

Pretty Personal Gifts said...

I just found myself gasping for air reading that post. Isn't there some sort of fire code that would require 2 means of egress? Like door and window....I'm scared for you!!!!

AEO said...

Shaina,

It's not your week, is it? Could you drape the walls in a cool, drapey fabric (even a white or ivory muslin- cheap!) in order to bring light to the room and then hang artwork on top of the fabric? Would they let you paint a huge rectangle on one of the walls with chalkboard paint, and then you could get a few art students to come and pretty up the wall with some chalk? You could have a monthly change over with the students which would allow you to get to know a few of them better!

kilax said...

Speaking from an architectural background, this does not sound up to code or legal at all. You could probably really get out of it that way if you wanted to ;)

Brittany Ann said...

Don't you just love the public school system? Seriously, I have a similar closet full of wires and boxes in my office, and it drives me crazy.

My question, though, is how they expect you to meet with students (who probably have some needs that require privacy and a welcoming environment) in your cubbyhole they allotted you? Oh, I am mad for you!

Crazy Shenanigans said...

Shelfs that you screw directly into the walls is always a good way to put stuff up and display it.

Molly Lou Gifts said...

You can rock it! Don't get too ahead of yourself...the school year hasn't started yet so there is still time for the mops, brooms, and week old dirty water.

If you ever get REALLY fed up, you certainly know how to get everyone's attention with a little unplugging! :)

Keep us posted...at least you have an "office."

Lucy Marie said...

Well, I'm positive that you will be able to do wonders with your closet. All the other staff are going to be jealous of your closet and wish they could be in there too. I am SURE it will be the coolest closet on the block! :D

shipra said...

Hi there! First of all I feel bad for you!With such a small office space it would be difficult. But take a look at these Office spaces. For decorating tips use light colored wallpaper to give it a larger volume outlook. Use small wall hangings as larger ones would make the walls look small. Cover up the main electricity box with a proper plastic cover to make it look tidy.

brown eyed girl said...

Hm, wtf. I'd put up some kind of drapey, tapestry type of fabric or something to cover up some ugly on the walls, but then maybe create some kind of artificial "wall" with filing units or your desk or something? I'd need to see a picture tho, because what's in my head is unlikely to be what your office truly looks like!

Jenn said...

ooo i cant wait to see it! at least my cube is spacious and i have a skylight above my head.

as one person stated - this does not sound like it would be up to fire code at all, and it probably is illegal to have you in that space...

Lucky in Love said...

Oh my gosh...that sounds awful! I can't wait for pictures!

I'm sure you'll find great ways to spruce it up and make it your own though. Get those creative juices flowing!

Jennifer said...

It's just an extra challenge for you! Bring in lots of art, pictures, and color and it will feel better in no time!

(And to follow up on kilax's comment, if you're meeting with students, you can definitely protest it with building codes/accessibility issues...)

Time and Sand said...

Hi, I found your post and would suggest that you create a window. Find a old window, put pictures of nature behind it, or paint the glass with flowers, leaves, trees, etc. and then hang the "window" put a window treatment on it and voila, you have a window in your "office" and you can change your scenery as you need a change or as the seasons change. I too have had a closet office and you can make the best of it.

...Mrs. Southern Bride... said...

No fun!! : \

Perfectly Imperfect said...

oh girl. not cool. I would be freaking!