For Your Consideration

At work, the small mechanic’s office where I spend half of each day is under renovation.  The former head mechanic, a kind and gracious man, retired at the end of October.  The new head mechanic and I felt the space, last updated circa 1980, needed some love. Our supervisors agreed. The floor, chipped and worn and stained, would be replaced.  The yellowing walls would get a fresh coat of paint.  The desk, circa 1960, stained and cramped and ultra masculine would prove a nice donation to the local community garden office.

In short, a total makeover.

Working together, the head mechanic (R.) and I discussed paint colors.

“What color would you like?” I asked.

“Whatever you want,” he replied.


Can I just say here that I have no real aesthetic?  I like certain things and I dislike others.  I have no idea what my style is.  I like free stuff.  Does that count?  I like comfortable furniture that invites conversation and intimacy.  I don’t like modern stuff with clean lines and sharp edges.  Too sterile.

I found a nice shade of near-sky blue.  I figured it wouldn’t offend.  Aptly named “Pool Party”, it might even foster fun. The guy doing the painting and reflooring, K., had me deciding on outlet covers, molding, flooring and new overhead lighting.

“What you have now is pretty industrial,” he said, pointing to the ceiling where two trays of fluorescent lighting sans covers cast a bright but pale glow over the 9 x 15 office.

True enough.

We scrolled through the choices on the Home Depot website.  Can lights.  Track lights.  Pendant lights.  Aaagh! Too.Many.Choices.

Finally, we tracked down a swoopy sort of track lighting.

“What about an area rug?  My wife suggested it.  It would could really warm up the space.”


“Ooh!  Look!  Here are some animal print ones!” I said to the mechanic, checking out the website again.

He looked over my shoulder at the computer screen, trying to oblige.

“No,” R. said, with a hint of prejudice.


Did I mention Home Depot has more than 20 pages of indoor/outdoor area rugs?  Yeah. I narrowed the criteria down to:  dark, with a pattern, but no flowers. I whittled that down to 7 options. We found one we could both live with.

This office sharing, like most of life, is a balancing act.  R.’s going to be coming in and out, with greasy hands and oil on his work boots.  I want him to feel comfortable in the space.  Yet I don’t want to be grossed out every time I walk in the door.  That tanks my morale. We must work together to forge a solution we both can live with. If we pool our ideas, we can come up with something even better than we could on our own. Heck, it might even be magnificent.

Two people are better off than one, for they can help each other succeed.
 – Ecclesiastes 4:9




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