Zia Hassan

7Am In The Office

I don’t really miss that my desk job that much. I say “that much” because occasionally there are times when I wish I could just sit in the air conditioned cube watching the world outside and listening to streaming radio while doing something mindless.

The funny thing is that I don’t really miss the work or even the environment that much. It’s little things.

Like the fact that occasionally, we’ll say rarely, I used to come in before anyone else. I’d get to the office early at 7:30, maybe because I had to leave early or there was some special reason. And instead of turning the lights on, I’d keep them off.

And then I’d sit at my computer and look at the empty cubicles. The people that occupy these cubes would be here in just a few minutes, but for the moment the world was quiet and still. The breakfast place downstairs still hadn’t opened. There wasn’t an ephemeral click clack sound of keyboards in the office.

And on those hard drives at their desks, all the spreadsheets that have yet to be tabulated, documents yet to be written, code yet to be entered. Emails yet to be sent, meetings yet to be scheduled. It was as if I was frozen in time.

Getting time to yourself in general is quite a luxury but getting time to yourself in an office full of people is a miracle. I’d sit and just stare at the black monitor screen, looking at my reflection and pondering life.

You want to experience awareness? It’s a darkened office before the crowd rolls in. It’s the stillness in the air before the day takes off. It’s the beauty of silence in a noisy place. The dimness of the room in what is normally well-lit by generic florescent lights.

And then the peaceful stillness is interrupted by the second person arriving: “Hey, why are the lights off?”