Today I am working underwater.
Well, good thing that's not precisely true, as I don't have gills, but it makes for a good beginning, don't you think?
My work location today is in what used to be a school gymnasium. They installed wall-to-wall carpeting (in a very forgiving though not very pretty grey and brown pattern), chose some fun colours for the walls, and brought in a few pieces of office furniture. Despite the cosmetic sleight-of-hand, there is no disguising this cavernous space was once filled with the sound of bouncing basketballs and the ripe odour of physical activity. Every sound - including the tapping of my keys - expands outward and bounces off the far-away walls.
I sit along one short wall while my colleagues are arranged against the long wall to my left. I can hear the scissors snipping at the desk half a soccer pitch away as if they were in my own hand. Imagine if you will, then, what it is like in this room when a group of 50 large, enthusiastic, talkative IT guys (with a very few women sprinkled in) gather here for a celebratory lunch and awards presentation. It got loud. Very loud.
So I put my bright green earbuds in (the ones with the pretty orange flowers) and went through my Rockin' playlist which not only allowed me to win my very own lip sync challenge, but also muffled the voices around me. I could see hands gesturing energetically, and mouths moving with gusto, but to me it was as if I was hearing it all from underwater, which was very calming and peaceful.
Tomorrow I work at the school library. I wonder if anyone will notice my underwater trick when the kindergarten class comes for a visit?