Posts Tagged ‘buildings’


In Thoughts on March 11, 2011 at 4:40 pm

After a long radio silence—in which the only communication between our office buildings, via the System, was (Sean) “TOO BUSY” and (Reply) “DITTO”—we have activity.

Sean: “TgIF!!!”

We finally know why our anonymous communicator used a lower-case ‘g’ for her “ARgH.” Capital ‘g’s with post-its are impossible.

Trans-Office Communications System #3

In Thoughts on February 15, 2011 at 1:41 pm

Sean Conner‘s most recent dispatch: “FORECAST: YETIS.” Except without the colon because he ran out of room.

There’s been no word from the 7th floor since initial contact, but we received another reply from our as-yet-unidentified 9th-floor correspondent: “ViVA!” Again with the one lowercase letter…

If Sean’s forecast is correct, we’ll probably seek higher ground via our anonymous neighbor. How we’ll cross the street is a question we’ve not yet answered.

Transmission intercepted!

In Thoughts on February 4, 2011 at 3:47 pm

W/r/t the Transoffice Communications System, I didn’t think about the fact that Sean was in essence broadcasting his messages (Tuesday’s: “SNOW?”) into the airy ether. Rather than a direct, secure line to Erin’s 7th-floor law-library window, his message could be received by anyone distractedly glancing out the window.

Today over lunch, Geoff—a very gentlemanly, very well-read cohort of mine—looked up from his Kashi lunch (it never changes) and said, “Oh, someone’s writing back.”

That someone was not Erin of the 7th floor, but unnamed portly woman of the 9th. Carefully arranging her similarly colored post-its, she spelled out “ARgH!” Why the lower-case ‘g’ I don’t know.

With any luck, we’ll soon have responses from every window on every visible floor of the facing building. Pedestrians below will hurry on, oblivious to the dialogue happening stories above them.

Trans-Office Communications System

In Thoughts on February 1, 2011 at 7:45 am

Friday morning I walk into the office and see what at first looks like a cartoonishly pixelated message on our 8th-floor window. It reads “!YOHA.”

I know it’s Sean. The cream-colored post-its—“AHOY!” from the right vantage—could be anyone’s, but it’s Sean who has the friend studying law on the 7th floor of the DePaul building, directly opposite ours. It’s he who’s made first contact with his new invention: the Transoffice Communications System.

The day unfolds, and as it does, it decides to push my ‘built environment’ buttons. First, Terror and Wonder, Blair Kamin’s new book comes in the mail, courtesy of the University of Chicago Press. I’d forgotten I’d requested it. I flaunt it in front of Sean. His publishers never grant his requests for media copies. “Review copies,” he corrects me. “Gah, you call them ‘media copies’ and they still give them to you.” I still gloat my way back to my desk.

As I slog through the daily editing—25% due today, 50% next Monday—I read a phenomenal quote in a story on Works Partnership, a Portland architecture firm: “We work to find the simplicity in things, because in that simplicity will be an economy of means. In that economy is a truth, and in that truth there can be profound beauty.” I want to kiss Carrie Strickland for making this story worth reading. And I want to spend my day working with material this good.

At some point in the afternoon, commotion by the window makes me take off my headphones and engage with something other than cliche leads and woeful transition sentences. The message has been received. On the window of the 7th floor study area, printer paper’s been cut out to read “HEY!” in chunky white letters. TCS is a success. I tell him to put “LAND HO!” on Monday.

Today when I walk in, it just says “!DNAL” He must’ve run out of post-its.