In a few weeks, Woodson Art Museum staff will receive long-awaited upgrades to their offices. As the coordinator of this endeavor, I originally thought this would be a fun little wintertime project. “A little paint, a few flowers, a couple of throw pillows . . .”
Then, the needs began to pile up.
Besides replacing the carpet in the entire upper level where staff offices are located, all of these walls are getting a fresh coat of paint and several staff members are getting new desks, chairs, storage units, bookshelves, file cabinets, tackboards, computer monitor arms, jing tinglers, flu flubers, and other Dr. Seuss-esque items that are part of modern offices. The days of large, open offices where workers are stripped of their individuality, living menial working lives are over (much to my chagrin).
Between desk finish choices, fabric colors, paint colors, carpet samples, furniture options, re-imagined workspaces, and scheduling subcontractors as well as timing for staff members to vacate their offices for an extended period, this has become an enormous headache in my eye.
Who would have thought that after planning an entire addition to the Museum, re-configuring existing Museum spaces, and replacing windows and a roof on an eighty-five-year-old building, that “gettin’ some new furniture” would be the most challenging of them all?
Fortunately, even though several variables are still in the air, my fellow staff members have been patient about the details. In choosing finishes and colors, they made decisions quickly and – so far – remained easygoing about how the project will affect their work. As it gets closer to crunch time and I have to temporarily re-locate them to a worse workspace ala Milton from Office Space, they might not be as patient or nice. Once the project is over, I’ll do my best to make sure they still have their staplers.