Sunday, October 25, 2009

My New Office

Shortly before I arrived at Balad, my office was finished being built and my predecessor moved into it. The building I am in has been there since this was an Iraqi base. It had a courtyard that was closed in to create additional offices including mine. Being a new office, it had nice clean white walls and a new tile floor. My furniture included a new modular desk with a matching vertical bookshelf, a comfortable mesh desk chair, and a large leather chair that was very comfortable. Once my 40+ inch flat panel TV was hung on the wall (it took 4 months to get someone to do it!), it was a great office to work in and watch football on Saturday and Sunday nights (after work hours, I promise I'm not wasting your tax dollars). Easily one of the best offices in the building.

I'm talking about it in the past tense because I recently was moved to another office. A few weeks ago the general told me he wanted my office for a waiting room for his visitors. He said he chose my office because it is the closest to his (which is true) and I shouldn't take it personally. However, this news came at the same time as a couple of other less than stellar comments about me, so it was hard not to take it personal. It took a couple of days to get over it. I was happier though when I found out there was another room in the headquarters building so I wouldn't have to find some place in another building. When it came time to make the move, it wasn't that big of deal to me.

My new office isn't as nice as my old one, to put it nicely. Considering Iraq's history, I could imagine it being used as a place to beat up people Saddam didn't like. It has a prison shower motif to it due to the dingy yellow tile on the floor and walls. The only thing missing is a drain in the middle of the floor. I still don't mind the move because I was given a large wooden desk that I really like and I don't look around the room anyways. When I'm in there, I'm focused on my computer screens. What did bother me was the constant stream of people coming by my first day in the office to offer their condolences for me getting shafted. I appreciated the concern, but I had heard it enough by the seventh person. I did laugh when someone asked me if I knew where my stapler is (Office Space reference). The pity party died off after a couple of days and it's no longer a big deal.

I only bring this up because of the latest development. We had a heavy thunderstorm Friday night. When I got to my office, I could tell the ceiling in my office leaked. Where did it leak? Right above my desk where I have all of my electronics--two computers, two phones, and two monitors. Thankfully nothing was damaged. There is a duct right above my desk that obviously wasn't sealed very well. I could put my desk on the other side of the room, but then I would be looking right into the ladies' bathroom. Um, no. Instead I put in a request to get the duct sealed. Hopefully they take care of it soon (at least faster than they installed the TV in my old office; speaking of the old office, I don't think it has been used once in the 2 weeks it has been a waiting room). The forecast called for another thunderstorm last night, but thankfully it missed us. In the meantime, I'll break out the umbrella and trash bags to cover everything. Still beats the heck out of being in a tent in the middle of the desert.

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