Why I wander at work
I don’t really like working at my desk. (By ‘working’ I mean writing, or coming up with ideas. I’m a copywriter.) Apart from the fact that my current place of employ isn’t fitted out with Herman Miller Mirras —yeah, I’ve been spoiled, I know — there are a few reasons I prefer to get away from the desk when it’s time to get off Twitter and down to work.
Environment. Never been all that keen on fluoro lighting.
Noise. When I’m working I prefer a bit of quiet. Not too quiet. Definitely not deathly, spooky quiet. That’s weird and probably worse than a really fucking loud, totally inane conversation about, I dunno, ‘good coffee.’ OK, maybe not, but I do find it hard to concentrate in really noisy environments. And noise of my choosing — that is, music applied directly to my ears isn’t much better.
But the main reason I’ve developed a disappearing act that’s edging closer to Draperesque with every passing day is that it can be pretty easy to lose sight of what I’m doing, and why I’m doing it, if I don’t get up from my desk.
It’s hardly controversial to note that the advertising-media bubble is populated by more than a few individuals and agencies that have lost perspective and routinely turn out work that is —
A) Meaningless to ordinary people
C) Pleasing only to those attending an awards ceremony circle jerk
E) All of the above
Don’t get me wrong. Losing perspective is hardly unique to this line of work. I know teachers whose way of interpreting the world has been shaped by the many years they’ve spent in a classroom, an environment some might argue is not representative of ‘the real world’ you (assuming you’re not a teacher) and I live in.
I’ve also encountered academics so preoccupied with bending data to fit their painstakingly crafted [political] theories that they’re incapable of assessing current events or crises in anything approximating an objective fashion.
And that’s why I get up from my desk as much as I can.
And hopefully a bit of objectivity.
See, getting up brings me into contact with different people — people who probably wouldn’t give a shit about what I’m working on; people who are busy living their lives, raising kids, grieving, paying rent, holding down jobs, partying, whatever. Couriers. Post Office workers. Baristas. Office workers. Sales assistants. Doctors. And it’s these people that I have to entertain/‘engage’/whatever, not some twentysomething media agency bonehead. (To be fair, the boneheads probably fall into certain target markets, too, but you get my drift.)
So, there you go. If you ever lose sight of what you’re doing, or who you’re doing it for, try getting up from your desk.