I have the proverbial corner office…………meh, so what?
Our building layout provides more space than the people require. We moved here in 2000 and had a much higher “headcount” so there were more people occupying more offices. It was a bustling place. There were offices that housed the likes of CHEZ founder Harvey Glatt and Rawlco’s Doug Rawlinson and his assistant. There were larger offices where several people worked. And space was at a premium. It’s not like that now. Many offices are used for storage and where we used to have a squatter’s competition if an occupied office did become available, it’s now like a Detroit neighbourhood in the 90’s. Will a person use it, or will we turn it into a video studio that gets used once a month maybe, or another storage location?
Where I am, it can be great for privacy but mostly it’s lonely. Not a lot of foot traffic passes my office. I like working in an environment where people walk by or drop in all the time. I like to think my office is like the Friendly Giant set…….a rocking chair for those who like to rock, a chair for 2 people to curl up in and sit by the fireplace…..ok, that’s a metaphor. But it is a bright comfortable atmosphere.
I have large windows to look out. I have a good view of the Embassy of Saudi Arabia on one side. No non-diplomat has ever been in there, but rumour had it former Promo guru Dave Schutte visited one day, at least he got into reception. We don’t know what goes on in there but suffice to say, many very expensive Black Mercedes Benz with red Ontario plates come and go with huge body guards in expensive suits escorting what we assume are Saudi diplomats. Each vehicle is checked at a secure gated parking lot. Mirrors under the cars etc. How comforting to know they check for explosives. I remember one day a company was cutting down one of our trees by their fence. (Remember that for an upcoming story). The tree company misjudged the fall radius and the tree went crashing into the Saudi fence. OMG! That was an international incident. OK, not really, but I remember an official looking Saudi came over to our building to demand an explanation…..and he would not even speak to the woman, who was in charge of building issues. We basically said to relax and we’ll get it out of their property. No damage to the fence by the way. If nothing else, it’s a talking point having them there.
I also get to see the guest parking lot through the other window. Many listeners and clients and sometimes staff use the lot to park and come and go to reception to pick up prizes. I see all makes and models of automobiles and trucks and many people.
They have been working on our building for a very long time. I won’t get into the full detail but it’s required some foundation inspection and intervention. In fact, that’s why they took that tree that I mentioned above down. They suspected the root system was affecting the foundation. It wasn’t. In the winter they dug up all around the side where my office is and the same on the other side. It left piles of dirt all winter and when spring arrived it looked terrible. You know that look of new home construction? Yuck……. Well, the contractor came back a few weeks ago and sure enough, did the landscape work needed. Dirt mounds taken down, river rock re-installed around the foundation and lots of new sod and a mixture of grass seed planted in some areas. Not sure why they didn’t lay sod everywhere?
I noticed a large water truck pull up right behind me one afternoon and out from the cab climbed out a small statured woman in a fluorescent safety vest. It was unusual. She goes to the back of the big truck, and turns on the compressor. She then starts pulling a large amount of industrial waterhose from a pulley……. about 75 feet down the building. You could tell it was heavy but she didn’t strain at all. She then threw the nozzle over her shoulder like a firefighter and boom, starts spraying the newly laid grass and seeded area. I thought she was a body builder. She had well-defined arms to be sure.
She did this for about 4 days in a row. After she finished watering one day, I finally decide to go speak with her and find out her story.
After the awkwardness subsided….she wondered what the heck I wanted to know about her, she was awesome……I found out her name is Denise. She is originally from Shediac NB. She was a long haul truck driver (18 wheeler) for 20 years, travelling all over Canada. She has 3 grown kids. She quit driving truck because she wanted to be home more often. She worked over 40 hours that week, by Wednesday. She loves what she does. Loves working outdoors and loves hard work like landscaping and watering. The more she spoke, the more comfortable she became. I asked her about her physique because she is in great shape and wondered if she worked out. She then flexes her guns and said, ‘no, I just like hard work”. Those biceps were circled with a barbed wire tatoo. I asked her about the stereotypes she must encounter in her job and as a truck driver. She said, “you mean about the men”? “Ya”, I said. She shrugged and said she has heard it all and it doesn’t bother her. There are good people out there and A-Holes out there. (she didn’t use A). I thanked her for her time and wished her well and went back to work.
Another adventure in the Corner office. If you take the time and opportunity to experience it.
Steve Colwill dropped by Thurston this week as he regularly does since he retired. In fact, I told Steve I was going to write about that lady watering the lawn. Great to see he’s enjoying life and was telling me about a project he is working on with Russian exchange students getting an introduction to potentially taking a Radio course from Algonquin. It will be interesting to see where that goes.
Did you know……..
- Gord Downie received The Order of Canada this week for his work with Indigenous communities.
- 2 of the Robins on our deck have left the nest, 2 still occupy as of this writing. We are concerned they may not go. It has been a treat watching it all for the past 4 weeks.
- I went to the Red Blacks game last night with my sister Rose and Nephew Kris and his wife Amanda. Good game but terrible officiating…….I mean the worst. Tie game.
- Speaking of my sister Rose. I love her very much. She’s a wonderfully crazy woman. Glad she is visiting. Cousin Kim too. Tonight could be sloppy. Oh well.
- Andy Frost of Q107 fame saw his son Morgan go 27th overall in the NHL draft on Friday. Congrats to all.
- I will make a guest video appearance at Jay Hamilton’s tribute on Wednesday thanks to organizer Daryl Hooke.
- I am really looking forward to next week in Ottawa. It’s going to be insane. Estimates have the potential crowd of 400,000 at Parliament Hill on July 1. I won’t be there thanks, but will love listening about it on CHEZ and seeing the fireworks. Happy 150 Canada.
Have a great weekend. Thanks for reading………
2 responses to “Getting to that Corner Office!!”
Great piece Danny. Those offices that look like 1990’s Detroit, are in radio stations across the country and they look terrible. I feel bad for visitors who see empty, abandoned offices with old equipment and wires strewn everywhere. Meanwhile, our digital competitors have quirky pastel logos, bean bag chairs and they look like the inside of an Apple Store. The problem is that the aesthetics reinforce what digital says about radio: Old, washed up, yesterday’s news etc. Nothing could be further from the truth. If I could write one memo to everyone in radio, it would be to clean up your spaces and find a purpose for every room.
Keep the blogs coming! It’s great stuff.
Thanks for the note Matt. Have you seen share space? It’s pretty cool for environment. Have a great weekend.
Danny Kingsbury Sent from my iPhone