I set undue import on my office and what it looks like. I’ve occupied a variety of them and note now that what I thought was the finest office was, in fact, the worst.
Teaching at a parochial girls’ high school, I didn’t have an office but could habitate a lounge randomly during the school day. It was like a big shared locker where teachers plunked their flotsam and sat in comfy chairs. Mostly we stared into space, pondering what fates had landed us teaching high school girls.
In graduate school, I had an office because I had an assistantship and assistants got offices. Mine was airless and the size of a walk-in closet. I didn’t need the office but was so flattered to have one I decorated with pastel vases and a big poster featuring a pastel vase. It was the loneliest place on campus but I fussed over it.
Journalists at Chicago Tribune herded themselves around desks in a giant office space. Doors would have been rude so we didn’t have them. Personal tendencies, like singing or coughing were discouraged. I liked this arrangement. It was chummy.
As an editor at an educational think tank, I occupied a space with a window AND a door. This seemed to require gravity of manner on my part.
As a director at an educational product company, I occupied a bedroom-size space with a window AND a door AND a credenza. Here gravity reached mammoth proportion and as a result I left any creative urges at the doorway.