We all stood in a neat line on the corridor conveyor belt that carried us through the main building of the new lakeside campus. We were interested to see our new workplace and discover the names of our future office mates.
I advised the new head of school that the last time we moved campus we elected to share rooms with others outside our home research groups. This was to encourage interdisciplinary research. I also noted that it was not a good idea for line managers to share with their reportees.
While I had easily partnered up with BB last time around, now it was more difficult to choose an office mate, not least due to the recent influx of new appointees. One – a man called Vivien – was a jewellery maker. He had set up a stall to display his wares as a means of introduction to our colleagues, even though he wasn’t there in attendance himself.
Really I just wanted to share my office with BR. The only issue here was that he wanted a water feature in the room. When I found him to propose that we partner up, he was busy constructing channels for a stream to flow past his desk and into the lake.