All offices have their own quirks.
I've worked in four offices (well five if you count that one internship where I worked in my pj's from my bed) in my short work life and all of them have had their oddities.
I once worked out of my employer's apartment since it was a start-up company and she couldn't afford an office - the kitchen table was my desk and her dog was my foot warmer. The office I worked in last had a theme to it (not one that I can reveal because it would reveal my former company). And my newest office is pretty bland compared to the lavish NYC offices I've seen in the past.
But as bland as it is, I like it because I have more room than I'm used to. More space to move around, more space to store files, more space to hang pictures of vineyards and beaches and more places of where I wished I was instead of stuck behind a cubicle.
My walk down memory lane was brought on by an article I read in Gawker today, about how Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia is pretty anal about how they let their employees set up their desks. So much so that they have an "approved office supplies" list. Does that mean I can't bring my pack of Disney princess pens and multi-colored Gelli Roll pens? Just kidding, I left those in my high school locker. The Martha Stewart employees are also kept white, stark, and they are told to keep their office spaces devoid of personal photos.
All of this reminded me of an office space I worked in once. Where the walls were white, the dividers see-through and all supplies (bought by yours truly) black. This meant no blue pens, no yellow legal pads, and definitely no multi-colored Sharpies.
And since I was only a little bitty intern, it didn't really bother me that I couldn't have personal pictures of my family and friends up on my desk but it did bother some of the other employees. I remember when a newbie had started and she had put up pictures of her and her Jersey Shore girls on the wall by her desk. The next day we had all come to work and her pictures had been taken down and an e-mail was circulated stating that we were to keep the walls clean and pristine with no clutter.
Now that I have my own desk at a company, I have pictures up of my friends that I left behind in New York and my girlfriends from Chicago and of course the pre-requisite picture of me and my family. And while I still don't think I would freak out if I was told to take my personal mementos home, I do think they make my work space just a little bit cheerier. They remind me that there is life beyond my Outlook.
And someday, when I'm rich and own my own company (hey, a girl can dream can't she?), I'm thinking that my office will look something like this:
Because who wouldn't want a professional office space that was originally designed for a teenager (image stolen from PB Teen)?