Installation day had finally arrived. Terry and Pete weren’t the only ones excited—everyone in the office was curious how the space would turn out. The room originally had one long open wall, creating a three-wall box that they had separated with a decorative series of chains hanging down to create an industrial-style beaded curtain. The room itself had been painted a clean white with a large table surrounded by chairs in the middle. It looked as though the room had never been used.
First, the walls were painted a deep gray, with the back wall a slightly darker shade than the other two. The table and chairs were removed, and a leather couch and loveseat combination created a seating area for clients. The standing desk was larger than the one they had originally requested because they had the space to accommodate the added size while still leaving room for another three desks just like it should they need to expand. The mounted television and studio monitors faced the couch, and when not actively working with clients, the editing station functioned independently using a headset—the editor didn’t need to be isolated just to ensure clear sound. In a way, the room looked like a stage, viewed through the open wall as though the cubicles could be traded for rows of theatre seats.
“I can’t believe you made this work,” Terry said, beaming. “I never would have thought of this.”
Phil smiled. “It just made sense.” He reached out and touched the thick layers of gray velour standing in proxy for the fourth wall. “Theater curtains—they absorb sound when they need to, and can be left open the rest of the time. And no one needs to check with the landlord before hanging a curtain.”
Throughout the day, various employees stopped by, commenting on the change. It wasn’t until the project was completed that Pete hesitantly joined them. “Hi.”
“Hi Pete. Where’ve you been all day?” Kimberly offered a hug on instinct and Pete accepted.
“In the closet. It just…doesn’t seem real.” Pete looked around like he wasn’t sure if what he was seeing would disappear if he tried blinked. “So, tomorrow, I work in here?”
Phil smiled and nodded. “Yes, Pete. This is now your office. You went from having the smallest, most ridiculous workspace in the building to having one of the best, right in the middle of everything.”
Pete wandered around the space, touching the edges of things tentatively as he passed. He stopped at the standing desk. “This is my desk.”
Kimberly walked up behind him. “Yes it is. How long have you been in the other space.”
“Two years,” Pete answered, his eyes locked on his new workstation. The three of them stood silently for a moment, just taking it in. Suddenly, Pete spun on his heels to face them, his eyes glowing. “I’m bringing in a picture of my wife tomorrow. It’s going right there.” He pointed at a spot on the desk. “I have room now.”
“And you’ll get to go home at a reasonable time every day now that the system is up to date,” Kimberly added. “You’ll get to see your wife in person more, too.”
“Starting tomorrow,” Pete said. “I’m gonna stay late tonight. I’ve got to move in to my new office.”