View from the Corner Suite

Posted: 31 March 2010 in observations

During my entire professional life, I have steadfastly resisted the corner office.   It isn’t always in the corner.  It’s the one with the window.  It’s the one with the nice paint.  It’s the one closest to the boss.  It’s the second (and sometimes first) best.  Twice, I didn’t have a choice.  I was plunked down right into spacious, gorgeous offices.  The effects were mitigated by looking at an alley, in one case, and, in another, being in a separate building from my boss.

It isn’t that I don’t like to work.  I’m actually an excellent and dedicated worker.  But I like to work at my own pace and I don’t love acquiring work simply because of my proximity to my supervisor.  I find that most folks rely on themselves except when they think they don’t have to, and having a minion right there makes it a tiny bit too easy to pass something on without thinking of the best person to pass it on to.  Some offices, some fields, are worse than others, true.  But I like to limit the possibility.

This has meant giving up some nice digs.  I’m always able to smooth it over delicately (I like being near the action…It’s easier to keep an eye on things from here…) when in reality it’s closer to an exit, it’s out of the line of sight, it’s quiet, it has a nicer set-up, furniture, etc.  It also means compromising appearances sometimes.  No, just because I have the office without the window doesn’t mean I’m less important.  It doesn’t mean anything except, here’s my office, there’s someone else’s office.  Some rank-conscious people might fall over dead just thinking about it, but it suits me.

On the other hand, making these choices sometimes brings with a subtle shadow.   There shouldn’t be any reason to think maybe she’s not ready for this…or, she’s not one of us.  But there is.  My wife pointed this out, ever so subtly, when I resisted the latest attempt to shift me into a corner office with a picture window looking over a garden.  I eventually conceded.  She’s right, it has made a difference in other folks perceptions.  Ridiculous, but true.


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