We’re playing musical offices here at my organization and so my office is being changed. In fact, our whole department is being relocated to another part of the building. It’s all about office politics. The funny thing is that when this building was being planned, the person responsible for its development and vision was my office mate. There were many times we would sit and talk about how my unit should be located, what special concerns should be considered. She loved the work that I did and we would sit and do “dream sessions” about how our new building would look and what function it would play not just for our organization, but also for the communities it serves.
One day, a young lady relived a gang rape episode in my office and my office mate was outraged that this woman had to do this in a cubicle while other people walked by and went on their daily activities as if nothing were happening. She swore that she would design our new location in a way that would respect the dignity of the people I serve. I deal with some harrowing situations, to say the least. I also deal with highly confidential and oftentimes legal matters.
I cannot do my work in a cubicle. At least not in the manner that affords people a level of confidentiality, safety, and respect. In many ways, I’m back to where I was years ago, when this organization barely knew what re-entry work entailed.
One of the things I loved about working here was that I felt my organization cared about and even implemented my ideas and vision. Sure, they didn’t install the Zen-like “serenity” garden like I asked them to, but up until recently, I have felt that my ideas and passion have been respected. In fact, I’m quite proud of the fact that I had a say-so in the way my workspace was designed. Even the color of the rug (blue) was the result of special consideration.
Anyway, our department is the only department in the building that has offices instead of cubicles because of the nature of the work we do. Today, we’re being moved and I’m not taking this too well. While my new location does offer a little privacy, I interpret this move as my organization backing away from the commitment to the work I do. If things continue down this road, I doubt I’ll be here before the year is over.
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I’ve been getting some comments regarding my main profile pic (and today’s blog photo) since posting it yesterday. That pic, contrary to appearances, is not a prison photo, though it definitely looks like it. That photo was taken in the lobby of the Caribe Hilton in San Juan, Puerto Rico. It’s a couple of years old. I especially love that photo because it was taken during a time when I was invited to Puerto Rico to run workshops. It was an all-expense paid trip plus $300 per workshop hour stipend. I’ll let you know that yours truly really is a bad-assed ma’ffucca. I was running workshops in English and Spanish! LOL
Here’s the photo unclipped:
I thought it would be funny to take a photo in front of a cage, considering your fearless blogger’s history. As you can see, it’s a birdcage with some exotic birds in it. When I first joined singles sites, I used the clipped version as my main pic and women would send me messages asking me what prison I was currently incarcerated. LMAOOO!
Every year, I would be invited to this conference and I was one of the most popular speakers/ facilitators (I know this because the conference organizers would send me the feedback forms). I would stay a week and work only five workshop hours. It was a blast! Unfortunately, funding was pulled for this conference a couple of years back. Some of the workshops I ran revolved around leadership development, coalition building, and working with formerly incarcerated men and women.
Partly because of my work at this conference, I was invited to speak at many other cities all over the US until my former boss started getting a little insecure about the “Eddie Show,” as he would call it. Hey, I couldn’t help it if they were asking for me and not him!
Anyway, that’s the story about the photograph…