It was probably a mistake to start my career in such a sexy office.
A massive warehouse complete with full basketball court, a park with real trees, dudes playing Playstation, and a community of dogs who were seen as human. A pioneer to the open workspace concept; an office so cool they shot movies in it!
It was the sexiest office. It was the worst job.
Or was I the worst at it? I’m still not sure. The point is, we were not meant for each other. My year there was the darkest of my life, ending in a combustion dramatic enough for, well, the movies.
I moved on to another job in another sexy, albeit smaller, warehouse, where my experience was less dark but more colorful. Like the day our CEO used a status meeting to show us his new Tesla (pun unintended) or the one where I had to sprint from my chair the restroom and back any time I needed to pee because our deadline for the two-for-one hamburger promo was so tight.
As the years progressed, the offices of my employment grew less and less flashy. Their locations migrated south from LA’s glamorous West Side into semi-suburban cities like Torrance or El Segundo. Offices that were cool enough once you got inside, but were housed in the kind of taupe business buildings that crushed all entitlement from our parents.
And then last year I started working from home — the ultimate in convenience; the opposite of sexiness (I rarely put on a bra).
The alarming thing is that as the sexiness of my workplaces has decreased, I have found myself happier within them. I feel more fulfilled and yet also unnerved at the sight of my sparkly resume dimming.
It’s left me wondering, what was the point of all the sexiness? Did it really make us more creative? Was it there simply to make up for the fact we were expending so much creative energy on two-for-one promos?
I hadn’t realized how far behind I’d left the sexy office until I visited one last month. Its lobby boasted an enormous Christmas tree decked in non-denominational pink ornaments. There were banners on the walls blaring, “BE A WARRIOR NOT A WORRIER” or “CARE THE MOST,” each devastatingly hip in its design. The kitchen offered slushies on tap since this easily-googlable ad agency services Taco Bell. It was extremely sexy. It made me question all my life choices.
I spent the hour drive home wondering why I couldn’t just stick it out in the sexy office. Having grown used to the solitary confinement of my home workspace, I suddenly found myself starved for the validation that comes with a snazzy one. I tried to make myself feel better - but people were still working when I left at 10 PM! Agency life is miserable! But that feels too convenient.
The fact is I miss the sexy office. I miss its energy and the people it draws and the free sandwiches forever in the conference room. I miss going on shoots and hanging out on edits; I miss belonging to the type of office whose name sparkles on a resume.
But I do not miss that job.
And so, for now, I continue to work from our second bedroom, waking each day to don sweatpants, walk down the hall, and send my work into the void. I like the work so much. But I’d kill for a round of afternoon ping pong.