Monday, November 9, 2009

I could get used to this

Public defenders don't usually get very fancy digs.  Our offices aren't in very swanky buildings.  We never get to order new furniture.  Usually, we get the battered, bruised left-overs from the state's surplus warehouse of used furniture.  When we get really lucky, the banking commission buys new furniture and let us pick from their cast-offs.  Once, we were actually allowed to buy a brand new conference table, but I'm pretty sure that is the only piece of new furniture purchased for us by the state.  If we have comfy chairs in our offices, we brought them in ourselves.  Nothing matches, drawers don't always work well, and file cabinets have rust spots.  We don't have an office coffee maker, we bought our own fridge, and we pay for our own water cooler.  We are the red-headed stepchild of state agencies. 

So none of us quite knew how to react today when we learned we would each get to select new paint colors for our offices.  We have had our walls painted once since I have worked here (over 8 years).  But we all just got an ugly industrial beige.  I wouldn't have thought the building management would offer to paint our offices again for several more years.  But they have decided we are due for a new coat of paint.  And each and every one of us gets to pick out our own, individual color.  It feels kind of like our own Sally Field "Norma Rae" moment.  Someone likes us!

We can't handle such VIP treatment.  We are overwhelmed by choices.  We weren't just given a list of 10 choices.  We were given the entire Sherwin Williams catalog.  You know those paint color rolodex-things interior designers have.  We got one of those.  There are over 100 cards in there.  And each card has 7 colors on it.  And I can choose whatever I want.  I think my head might explode.

One attorney has already declared he doesn't want to choose.  Another just picked up the paint thing, closed his eyes, and pointed.  He landed on a decent shade of blue, but most of us want to be much more careful with our choices.  Public defenders don't get opportunities like this very often.  We want to make it count.  Plus, they might not re-paint for 5 years, so we have to live with whatever we choose.

I'm leaning towards Quixotic Plum.  It's a good name and a good color.  A deep, but not too vibrant, plum.  Some look at it and think it's too dark for my cave-like office, but I like dark colors on walls.  Evergreens is the leading contender if I decide to go green.  I thought about red (naturally), but I'm not sure I trust our building management to take the time necessary to paint the red the way it needs to be done.  My mom suggested Bateau Brown, because it's got plum undertones, but I'm not sure I can live with that much brown.  But there are so many more I haven't even looked at yet.

Whatever color I pick, it has to be better than the nasty beige I've got now.  And I will necessarily like it simply because no one else forced it on me.  Our entire office will be a pretty collection of unique color choices because I'm sure no two people in the office will select the same color.  I just hope we don't all get big heads and thing that we're entitled to such treatment on a recurring basis.  I'd hate to see us get greedy and think that we should get bookshelves that aren't dented or chairs with functioning height-adjusters.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Plum is nice, but I'm leaning towards "I don't want to deal with the crap associated with getting my office painted." It's a shade darker than fire engine red.

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