Visiting the new space

Today, we had meeting back in the office, downtown. Keep in mind that up until now, all I’ve seen of the place has been the pictures Phil sent of the construction progress, two months back. Barring that, we’ve all seen nothing of our new office area since we moved out.

Got to see a ton of folks again, who I haven’t seen in ages. Stopped in for a coffee and said hi to Trent and Greg at Artisan. Saw Karen, who works down at the front desk of the Mart. Inside the office, I stopped in to chat a bit with Bass and Abe, said hi to Ryan, and ended up catching Andy wandering the halls.

Stopped in to see Ned briefly (he, like Abe and Brian, works with audio all day and is quite the guru). The two of us compared digital gadgets: I showed off my camera, he showed me his new, fancy cellphone (that can play mini-DVD movies on it!). He was camera-shy about me taking his photo, so I ended up showing him my site. Instead of a pic of him at his workarea, I snapped one of his clock.

This was crazy to see – normally, there were walls here, and this would be about 3 different “rooms” or areas. Ladders and debris and plastic as far as the eye could see.

I had heard a bit about this area from Angie. She was telling us how everyone else had to be moved, but Phil and Anthony were still in their office… tucked away in back, in the midst of all this crazy construction.

Warning signs all over the place, mostly around unfinished rooms where the floors were all spiky with… whatever in the hell this stuff is.

Building plans – can you believe that two radio stations are crammed in here?

The multi-colored wires caught my eye. Pity this is so blurry.

This used to be the hallway between the Q101 offices and the other stores in the Mart. Post-construction though, our area has leaked over and this huge hallway leads down and around the corner. Before, the entrance to our department was right near here. Now though… we’re pretty much clear at the other end of the whole place.

Ben, Chris, Matt and Deb, getting caught up. Deb has been travelling around (as she often is, jetting off from state to state, or country to country). Though we all have seen one another on occasion during the hiatus, it’s been a solid three months plus since we’ve seen Deb.

Mike, checking out his cubicle. His area is one of the few that has an actual “door” that he can use, should he desire a bit of privacy. Here, he’s testing out whether or not he can change without anyone else noticing.

We had our meeting scheduled for the main conference room, but the Morning Show was in there before us, and ran late with their meeting. On walking into the room, we found a nice welcome back sign from them.

Whatever. This probably got under my skin more than it should have.

It’s not like it’s an untrue statement. I fully acknowledge my nerd self: I work with computers, I enjoy code, I play video games, I like poetry. Hell, I even taped up my glasses once. I’m a nerd through and through, for sure.

Here’s an up side though: us nerds can tell the difference between a dry erase marker and a permanent one.

Ben, Chris and Kashif chatting about the new space.

Funny thing – Kashif has been working with us for about a month plus now, but he got hired on in the middle of our work-at-home stint. It’s totally cool to see him in person, as a full-fledged member of our group. He started working for us as a freelancer, so it’s flattering that he enjoyed our company (in both senses of the word) enough to want to sign up full time. He joked to us, describing how over the past few weeks, checks would “mysteriously appear in his mailbox.”

Great to see everyone again today. I miss my coworkers, and I miss the silly trashtalk we kick around to one another. I miss a lot of the folks at the station and it just feels good to leave the house with some purpose. It really does feel like emerging from a cocoon to some degree.

Someone told me that Phil described our return was akin to “the first day of school.” I couldn’t agree more – there’s a
mix of newness, of excitement, and of starting all over again that pervaded the day.

I’m ready to get back to working downtown again. Even though today was a meeting day and our official move-in day is next Tuesday… I’m ready. I loved working from home, but I think it made my introversion that much easier to slide into. I holed up WAY more than I would (or could) have, were I working in an office.

Here’s to having a commute again. Here’s to drinking Illy coffee again. Here’s to encountering faces friendly and antagonistic, impatient taxicab drivers, bums begging change, food court lunches, air conditioning, a fantastic view of the city, and spending a good part of my day hanging out with some of the coolest people I know.

Here’s to walking down the streets of downtown Chicago, in the midst of a sea of pretty girls. Here’s to me smiling at every one of them, and to the chance that one of them might smile back.

Here’s to re-entering the world.

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