Friday, September 30, 2005

Crazy Farm

Hold onto your horses and get a load of this . . . .

After two weeks of working from home in the comfort of my sweatpants, yesterday I ventured back out into the working world for a new freelance gig.

The client: Concept Farm

The office: What happens when an award-winning ad agency with oodles of money hires an interior decorator and says, "Welcome to Concept Farm! We want you to work your magic and go hog wild!"

When the elevator doors opened and I found myself standing in front of the rustic receptionist's deck, it could have been a sick dream. To my right was a waiting area where plexiglass coffee tables filled with straw sat bewteen plush leather chairs. And to my left, was the silo conference area.

Yes, I said silo:

I thought, as I was lead up to the second floor of the homestead to work, that I was leaving the land of farm decour for the benefit of high-paying clients. However, I was wrong. Enroute to my plywood farmer's desk, past the barn doors of indivdual offices, I encountered stuffed pigs and cow sculptures.
In one corner stood post signs that said things like, "No Hunting" and "Protect Our Cornfields", and throughout the entire office the furnitute and decorations were crafted from such objects as milk jugs, wood barrels, horse shoes, saddles, tractor wheels, cowboy hats, fake burlap cornstalks, wheel barrows, pitch forks, fake lanterns and cowbells. I noticed the farmers also enjoy an old-fashioned shoe shine station and a very fancy pool table. The only thing missing was a constantly looping soundtrack of farm animal noises.

It gets better.

Amoung the farmers and cows I experienced the ulitmate awkward freelance experience. Mid-day, while quietly working at my desk, I was summoned by an over-excited young male recpetionist to the birthday party of a co-worker about to take place downstairs. So I went, and joined 20 strangers while they sang happy birthday to someone, whose name I didn't know, clapped and served blue-frosted ice cream cake. I dutifully took my piece of cake and stood off to the side eating it while one-by-one, the other farmers would get their cake, check me out from a safe distance and then quietly proceed past me to strike up conversation with someone else. Slowly I chewed, smiled and waited until I could slip back upstairs to the comfortable anonimity I had experienced earlier that day.

I couldn't have felt sillier. Me, in an office disguised as a farm!

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