In the office: Desk with a view
October 5, 2005
For the past four years and three months I’ve sat at the top of the stairs in the editorial department of The Aspen Times, and today is my last day sitting here.Newspapers are known for having high turnover rates, especially small-town papers where reporters and photographers charge in looking confident and leave just a couple of years later, a little jaded and ready for something else. The Aspen Times has a revolving door that moves a little slower than at other small papers, so I’ve gotten to know a lot about my co-workers by how they sound on the stairs.A few of my co-workers race up the stairs two steps at a time, dashing toward the next phone interview or hustling to get copy in before deadline. A former editor used to run up and down the stairs singing Black Sabbath, occasionally while headbanging.Some of my co-workers stomp up the stairs, their firm footsteps reminding me not to disagree with them on a bad day. One of them ambles up the stairs and around the corner to his desk as though he’s wearing spurs on the back of his boots.There’s one person who sits nearby who takes the stairs so slowly and cautiously that I can hear the steps creaking a full 60 seconds before catching sight of him. Some are silent on the stairs but like to tease any dogs sitting at the top of the landing into barking.Working with people who make you laugh and think has always been one of my goals – it just so happens that in a newsroom, the hilarity factor is intensified. One Saturday afternoon I sat at my desk across from two co-workers as they rooted for competing college football teams – I couldn’t see the game on the TV, but their alternating crestfallen and elated faces told me all I needed to know about the on-screen plays.I’ll miss observing the world and my co-workers from this spot in the office, but eventually we’re all on to other adventures. For the sake of my deskmate, who often observes and laughs with me, I hope my replacement will fill this niche in the newsroom. But I’ll warn him or her in advance – your productivity may suffer by sitting at this desk in a high-traffic area.It’s worth it, though.