Thursday, June 21, 2007
Tribeca, June 2007
Packing up the office to move has been an interesting experience.
I love moving, so for me the task has been tinged with excitement. We’re moving from an exceptionally old office building - with its exceptionally old plumbing, exceptionally old elevators and exceptionally old tile, paint and linoleum - into one that is brand-spanking-new and designed by a famous architect.
The new space will be very sleek and minimal, and unlike our current quarters, the walls will be entirely glass. How could such a change not be exciting?
Well, ask my coworkers. Neither one is particularly enthusiastic about it. Yesterday, as one was packing her desk, she said, “I hate moving.”
I asked her why, and she said she’s sentimental. She finds it painful not only to leave our old building, but to clean out the accumulated stuff on her desk. Throwing things away, for her, is an arduous and even emotional task.
For me, it’s cleansing. It’s a chance to get rid of stuff that’s been lying around for years - the posters from the editors’ meeting in 2000, the office supplies that weren’t quite right, the stacks of bizarre plastic attachments for the slow, ancient printer that we’re leaving behind. I will be thrilled to have all this stuff out of my life.
To me, it feels like a progression, a step ahead, to clean things out and start anew in a more modern space. To my coworkers, it feels like a loss. My challenge has been to understand where they’re coming from, and - as move coordinator for our office - not pressure them too much. I’ve let them handle their packing and organizing at their own pace.
I do wish they could be as happy about this move as I am, though. I wish they could see it as a gain, a chance to trade dowdy brick walls for a bright new vista of glass.