Last week I walked into my office at the municipality to find some random guy sitting at my desk, amidst my things, working on the computer. I stood there for a moment confused, not really sure what to do. He looked up, greeted me, and then went back to work.
“Vas a estar trabajando ahí? (Are you going to be working there?)” I asked.He looked up and smiled. “Yes” he said.
Just then Daniel, who shared the office with me walked in. “Este joven va a estar trabajando ahí desde ahora. (this young man is going to be working there from now on)” he informed me. He then went on to say that there was an open desk in the next office over that I could use. Somewhat frustrated, I collected my things and moved over to the next office.
I walked into the other office where I was greeted by one of my socios, the Director of Social Development. “You can work at this desk”, he told me, and showed me to a desk by the window. I set up my things, replaced the white plastic chair with a more comfortable one and began to work on my posters for the classes that I’m going to be teaching. When I finished the posters, I went downstairs to hang them up outside the building.
I was only gone about 10 minutes but when I came back to my new office, there were two men sitting at my new desk, amidst all my things, sitting in my new comfy chair, doing some sort of paperwork. I was at a loss for words. I thought maybe they had given me someone else’s desk by mistake so I asked,
“Do you work at this desk?” The man looked at me, somewhat confused.
“No” he responded, “ I work over in logistics but my desk is full right of stuff right now so I came to work here.”
I stood there for a moment not really knowing how to respond.
“Oh… well I was told this morning that this is my new desk.”
“No problem” he said, “we just need to finish this. It will only take a few minutes.”
I removed my laptop from my desk and went to sit in the white plastic chair in the corner of the room while I waited for them to finish. About an hour later, they left and I was able to go back to my desk.
Everything was going smoothly in my new office space until one day I walked in to find an unknown 17-year-old girl sitting at my new desk, in my comfy chair. I began to experience a sense of Déjà vu at the familiarity of the situation.
“Good morning”, I said. “Are you going to be working there from now on?”
“Yes”, she responded. “I’m the new secretary of the new Sub-Director of Social Development.
I sighed and collected my things from my desk and moved to the last remaining open desk on the other side of the room. As sat down in the broken chair behind the desk I looked over at my old desk and at the comfy chair. I thought about asking to switch but I decided not to sweat it and to let her have the more comfortable chair since she would be spending more time in it.