I have packrat tendencies, always have had. I used to really like my little treasures; less so these days as I am seeking simplicity in all areas of my life. It occurred to me this afternoon that work might be a little better if my office was a little more attractive. Just a little.
The photo above is the wall to the right of my desk. My warehouse is in a complex of buildings right off Route 66 in midtown Tulsa. It doesn't look like a warehouse and it stretches nearly a block in length, though it's kind of skinny.
It is ugly, though. We wholesale antiques to a number of dealers across the country, sell some things online and to local designers. I make it very clear that we are a wholesale warehouse so I don't have to (a) dress up to go to work or (b) tidy up that which will only get messed up again once a new truckload comes in. The photo below is my phone book, a compilation of former employees, suppliers, delivery people, one accountant, two accountants, a friend now in prison (Mick ~ VIP), friends free to roam, plus the phone number of the lady living next to my building, the one whose Beagles yodel in my back window and frequently make clever escapes.
I had a pickup at the shop yesterday, a rare sale to a "homeowner" who lived nearby. Homeowner is the (jaded) dealer's term for those ninnies who flat out will not quit bidding on something at auction (usually something I crave for myself) and who drive the prices to dizzying heights and thus bring great cheer to auctioneers. This homeowner was trying to load a set of six chairs (beautiful bird's eye Queen Anne with carved knees) into her tiny little car. It was about to rain, so I threw them in the back of my pickup and we headed to her house.
I helped her carry them in because I'm nice like that, and the moment I walked in the door I knew she had a problem. Boxes stacked to the ceiling in several of the rooms. Eau de cat from overflowing litter boxes. Papers everywhere, piles of fabric, clothing, and more boxes, boxes, boxes.
I am pretty sure she's a hoarder. I am pretty sure that these chairs will go the route of the other three sets of six that were strewn about the living and dining rooms.
This is not new. I've had a couple of major buyers over the years who had serious problems. In one instance, a woman died in her Chicago apartment surrounded by so many unpacked boxes she could not move from one room to the next except on little 18" wide paths. Her estranged husband contacted me after her death to see if I'd take back the thirty eight (38!!!) large pieces of furniture I'd sent her in a six month period. I had started by sending her small treasures via FedEx and ended up sending her huge pallets of furniture which, she assured me, would be precisely what was needed to redecorate her new home.
This last photo is a typical shot of my computer: not open to email, in the midst of reading the latest Truthdig or similar. Anyway, I look around my office and I think I could spiff it up a little, maybe frame my anti-Bush propaganda and the newspaper clipping of the doc who saved my little husband's life. I could take all of those little bits of paper down from the walls, paint them. But is it worth it? I'm just not sure it's worth the effort. It's not a self esteem thing, I would be worth it, but I don't really care. I only feel like I should care when strangers come to call. When I want a change of scenery, I can just walk out the door and go home. Pretty home, no ugly issues there. What would you do with this nasty ass office? Anything? In a way it seems to fit the rough and tumble warehouse atmosphere. Maybe I need some Playboy pinups to really give it that authentic aura. Do you work in a pretty place? Would this drive you mad?