Is the way I feel today after birthday greetings from so many friends.
I considered taking off the day, but realized that I would rather wait for warm weather and spend the day outside, maybe in the city, with the Cucciolo pretending to be a city dog at some sidewalk cafe.
One of our admins loves to cook and bake and since she has started with us, our office is never without treats, which as you can imagine, is good and bad. She puts out quite a spread and I have turned down more homemade apple pies, cakes, and cookies than I can count. So imagine how touched I was when she came in today and brought for my birthday a fresh fruit platter, crudities (with baby veggies!) and spinach dip. I gave her a great big hug and then ate my weight in dip.
The "new" tradition in my office is to decorate the birthday person's cubicle. It used to just be a support staff thing, but since we have spent the last year in "temporary" offices where the lawyers and the staff work side by side in cubicles, the tradition has morphed over to the lawyers, too.
As you can see, it has become quite elaborate. It's silly and unnecessary and absolutely the right thing for an office where everyone feels overworked and harried. This isn't my cube, but one of my paras. I was grateful, though, that they didn't quite go to this extreme as I'd feel a little foolish in a crepe paper teepee talking to a client on the phone.
Cubicle culture is interesting. It took us quite awhile to get used to not listening to our voicemails on speaker, to turning down CD players, lowering our voices when on the phone, and overhearing the details of your colleague's fight with his wife, which you'd rather not know about. On the whole, though, the lack of offices has caused the attorneys to become more of a team, drawing out even the grumpiest lawyers at about 3:30 when the microwave popcorn gets going and there's a lot of hanging over the cube walls. It's helped everyone realize that we are all overworked and harried and we're not alone in our huge pendings.
Our diplomas and licenses remain in boxes and we all desperately want a door to close, but little by little we've become acclimated to our new environment. I've managed to warm up the taupe and grays with my favorite calendar, some quilted art, and these gorgeous tulip parrots. Soon we will move into permanent space with proper offices. I'll be happy to have some peace and quiet when I need to actually think and write a motion, or just when I want to make a doctor's appointment without ten other people knowing I need to go to the gyn.
On the other hand, I've developed a craving for popcorn and cubicle volleyball and know all about my staff's kids, breaks, snacks, and radio stations. I hope we keep up the camaraderie (but I admit I look forward to not sharing my snacks. . . )