Day 69: Downsizing day.Posted: March 10, 2011
Office space in the department is at something of a premium, and grad students are at the bottom of the pecking order – which is, I suppose, as it should be. I currently share an 8′ x 10′ office with two other people – or, rather, I shared that office with two other people until today.
The group of grad students who started back in the fall have been without offices up to this point, because there hasn’t been (and, really, still isn’t) room for them – but, since they aren’t teaching, they’ve been able to muddle by without a permanent place to stack their books. But they will be teaching next fall, and a new group of bright-eyed, as-yet-uncynical students will be taking their places as the departmental nomads, and so the current nomads will soon need office space – and that soon is now, apparently. Why this couldn’t wait until the summer, I’m not sure, but nobody asks my opinions about anything.
We all got an email from the departmental secretary to this effect this morning – “blah blah blah, limited space, appreciate your cooperation, &c” – and I scanned it briefly and moved on, having more important things to do (like catching up on Dinosaur Comics).
But then I got another from said secretary, informing me that I was going to have to move out of my office, because one of the soon-to-no-longer-be-nomads was moving into it.
Not “downsized” in the sense of being asked to leave the program – nothing that bad. No, I’m just being asked to move out of my office, and into a closet. That’s right: a closet. It’s so small that I can touch one wall with my right elbow and the opposite wall with my left elbow. There’s one shelf, barely deep enough for my laptop and too low on the wall anyway, that will serve as a desk. No room for a chair, obviously, and no way to hang more shelfs, as the walls are cinderblocks. There’s a door, but it doesn’t lock. It’s unbearably hot with the door closed, and there’s an unidentifiable and incredibly, pungently unpleasant odor that seems to be coming out of the walls themselves.
Also, did I mention it’s in a building on the other side of campus?
It is at least in a building, though; I heard that a few people will be officing in tents on the lawn.