Furniture, Transition, The Not-So-Virtual Office, An Office Fido-Ciary and The Very Real Landfill.


In recent months, I have been in the process of closing a former law firm and writing a new professional chapter. The former law office was housed in a up-and-coming area of Denver, a building whose brick history was accessorized with more industrial touches. It was—and is—a lovely building. The suite of attorneys and firms who hung their shingles there formed an unrivaled collegial family. There was always a brain to pick, a doorway to darken when procrastination could not be resisted and a partner with whom to order a delivered lunch.

The building became too trendy. The building’s new owner had plans that did not include lawyers. The office suite had to disband. Some are off to fancy digs in the suburbs. Others have found amazing space within Denver’s confines. Another colleague is dipping her toe into the world of co-working, sharing space as needed with a variety of professionals and creative (and likely a cappuccino machine). I will always be grateful for the friendships forged and wisdom generated by those others in my former suite.

As for me, I return to a former workspace—an office where I nested for five years before going to the trendy suite mentioned above.  My office rests atop a garage. The support staff consists of a terrier named Liam and a network of lawyer friends on speed dial. Liam’s toys and bones compete for floor space with my own professional accoutrements of notebooks, legal pads and briefcases. I know I will be happy here.  How can I be unhappy in the company of a dog, with a view of the trees and the energetic flow of youngsters making their way to-and-from the elementary school at the end of the block?

Transition is challenging in many ways. One of the biggest challenges, I have determined, is the issue of what to do with my former beloved desks. This office furniture, including a roll-top desk that was my first lawyer venue, don’t “fit” into my new professional home. While they can’t be carted up the stairs to my office, their solid and heavy presence remains much loved by me.  But I am very much alone in this affection. I want them to bring joy and storage to another generation of professionals or families. But today, experts tell me, only large numbers of identical pieces of glass and metal or leather bean bag chairs or electric standing desks have economic value in the office desk world. These same experts tell me that my oak pieces, only slightly the worse for wear after decades of holding books (and, at times, my hands buried in my face) are bound for a landfill.

I cannot accede to this expert prediction. I continue to search for a good, non-virtual home, for these dear, wooden friends. Stay tuned as I try to launch these wooden vessels into new professional ventures and not into the community landfill.

Soma Helen Escobedo