Monday, May 11, 2009

Entry 76—Central Dallas CDC’s Office, Part II

After you’ve negotiated the streets of Deep Ellum and found our office (remember that you don’t have to put money in the parking meters until after 6:00 p.m.!), then you’ll see a two story building with the fading sign for “Carson Warehouse”. There are two signs in our window. There is the purple house with a key for its door that’s our logo and a plain brown sign with the word “architects” for Brown Architects. Enter and bear left. The suite on the right belongs to the photographer upstairs.

When you walk in our door you will see a long narrow space, maybe eighty feet long and eighteen wide. You will see that almost everybody faces to the left. The architects facing the left wall and the staff at Central Dallas CDC facing the narrow aisle that runs done the middle. If you didn’t know better, then you would swear that there must be a strong wind blowing from the west and we are all sailing before it.

I sit in the far back of the space facing forward. Sort of like the Great Oz—if he had to share his space with a copier, microwave, a plaid sofa from someone’s garage and everyone had to walk through his space to reach the bathroom. It sort of destroys the mystery.

There is a small table in front that the architects use for conferences and a small round table in back that we use. I salvaged it from my family’s restaurant (“Greenan’s” of course) that closed forty years ago.

You never know how many people will be in the office on a given day. Sometimes only a couple of people are here. Other days there can be as many as a dozen with all the desks full, a couple of people at each table and someone sitting on the sofa working on a laptop.

The architects and most of my staff do the best they can to spiff the place up, but I make it almost hopeless. Great piles of paper hide me from view and papers spread out to the table, sofa, sometimes chairs and boxes scattered here and there.

On the wall around me are a strange selection of my diplomas and whatever pictures someone may have given me. There are also a couple of pictures of the colonial period—maybe Jefferson and Monticello? I’ve never actually known what they were or where they came from.

I also have a few odd objects. Among them are a framed copy of the lyrics to Danny Boy that plays the tune if you wind it up, a homemade bass manufactured from an oil pan, and pictures of my children that are years old.

Come to think of it, now that I’ve described where I work, it’s not so strange that everyone says, “It’s not what I imagined.” I think I’d be quite worried about anyone who had imagined an office like ours!

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