I’m getting ready for our very first Art Office meeting this evening. We’ve got one group already going. At first I was calling them the Gamma Test Group, because Gamma comes after Beta in the Greek alphabet, but then I realized.. they are the first test group, so shouldn’t they be the Alpha Test Group? So I Googled “why beta test not alpha,” and I learned something new! Turns out, the terms are used in the tech industry, and an Alpha Test is one that’s performed on software– looking for bugs and such. Then the Beta Test is carried out by humans.
Now you know.
Anyway! I’m getting ready for our first meeting, ironing out the wrinkles in my plan, making sure I know what I’m going to say. I have to admit, I’m pretty excited. Nothing has really excited me like this in a long, long time. It feels like the real beginning of something.
I was daydreaming earlier about the brick-and-mortar edition of Art Office. I envisioned me, coming out of my office ringing a triangle and yelling across the great expanse of cubicles, “All right everyone, conference room in five. Get to a stopping place, this is a mandatory meeting.” Everyone looks up and rolls their eyes, but then smirks a little. We love role-playing. When we’re all in the conference room, I shut the door and shove my hands in my pockets, look down at the floor, and let a tense sigh fall loudly out of my nose. I look up, look around at my “staff,” slowly, for effect, then say, “It’s come to my attention…” (big pause), “…that it’s RYAN’S BIRTHDAY!!” And then a few people burst in with cake and confetti.
I’ve only had one surprise work birthday “party,” if I can call it that. My boss got me a cake and everyone signed a card, and there were no candles, so one of my coworkers stuck his lit cigarette in the middle. It was one of the greatest days. I think that was year twenty-three. A good year.
I’ve never worked in a real office before. I remember going to the bank with my parents when I was super young and absolutely falling in love with the cubicles. I couldn’t stop pushing on them. They were so soft and perfect for putting tacks in! I’ve never stopped wanting one. There was an office going out of business last year– here in Iowa City– and they were giving away all of their cubicles, desks, chairs, and tons of other office supplies. They said they just wanted it to go to a small business or start-up who needed it. At the time, I was only just starting to formulate the concrete idea of Art Office, and figured I shouldn’t jump the gun. I probably still shouldn’t even be thinking about it yet. It’s so hard for me not to think five steps ahead.
Okay, well, I hope you’ve enjoyed this first blog post from Art Office. I’ll let you know how the meeting goes.