Tuesday, 7 June 2011

Confessions of a Workaholic - Part III

Three months, three members of staff have quit the company I work for and all three have barely been there longer than me. For a company that has less than ten employees this seems astounding. The upshot of all this is that Boss Lady is no longer going to be renting the office space we have been using as it seems a little extravagant for me, myself and I. I am politely informed of this by email in the usual incomprehensible style favoured by Boss Lady, her firm disregard for punctuation never ceases to confuse and amaze me in equal measure. Never mind that I am a gringo with an average grasp of the Spanish language; I don’t mind spending half an hour deciphering every unintelligible sentence she writes to me (her manner of talking is much the same which means that on the few occasions that we meet in person, I descend into deep despair, losing all confidence I may have had in my Spanish speaking abilities).

The message notifies me that my options are to work from home, work from her home, or work in the office in the Boedo neighbourhood. I consider the options.

Home: warm, comfortable, don’t need to spend time commuting; can cook myself nice lunches and make hot, delicious, non-Argentine coffee; but lonely; no opportunity to practice Spanish; risk of getting cabin fever; lack of people and therefore lack of stimulation.

Her home: opportunity to practice Spanish, nice lunches cooked by Boss Lady’s maid, but cold, a long commute, cramped space to work; a pet ferret running around; risk of being asked to do things which are not strictly within my job role; risk of deep loss of faith in my Spanish speaking abilities (see above)….and did I mention the ferret?

Boedo: well this one has a an ominous question mark hanging over it as I have yet to see the space. So I investigate….

Meanwhile, on the plus side, we have employed a new member of staff, Kate, part-time and from the U.S. She has also heard a little mentioned about the space in Boedo (and feels the same way about pet ferrets) so we plot our move there. By this point I have seen photos of the office and it looks ideal as a creative studio space. I tell Boss Lady by email that I am interested in working there and ask if, by chance, there is a sewing machine. ‘What kind of machine do you need?’ comes the prompt reply. I tell her something simple will suffice as it would just be for making samples. ‘Decide which machine you want from Carrefour’. Err, ok, I wasn’t expecting such an immediately proactive response but I am clearly not going to argue this offer.

Two days later, Kate and I head to the new office having purchased a sewing machine with 250 of Boss Lady’s dollars in cash and the office keys reassuringly in our possession. On entering the building, an old turn-of-the-century Parisian-style edifice, we are immediately besotted. The main room is high-ceilinged elegance, art-gallery-white walls, light streaming in through huge windows, so clean you can barely see there are glass panes in the frames. At the back, another room with a mezzanine style section, several hidden rooms with boxes piled up inside, a cellar area, a charming kitchen and a roof terrace the size of half a tennis court.

There is no wifi (yet), and it has that unused, unlived-in eeriness about it, but it is warm, spacious, luminous, and has the thrilling sense of potential that we need. Time to install ourselves and begin in earnest.

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