Cubicle Assignments

On the day that we were to receive our desk assignments, I noticed that my desk hadn’t been assigned. I felt that this was an opportunity for me to choose my seat. I remember feeling a bit slighted since I wasn’t already assigned a desk like some of the others. I decided to find a seat I liked. I did just that and  Jeffrey, who didn’t seem too pleased with my decision to enter the particular office in which he was sitting, confronted me. Apparently, he’d chosen to work in that office after his first year with the university. He’d moved up in the world as it were.  I had made it clear to him that it was my understanding that we could choose our seats. He didn’t have much to say after that.  I later found that  I did have a cubicle assigned to me and that I didn’t have a choice in the matter. Lo and behold, someone assigned me to what looked like the most disgusting seat of them all. Whoever had sat there last didn’t clean it after they left. In fact, they destroyed it. It looked so bad that I thought that some of the other teachers had destroyed the desk just so that it would annoy me further. There was a dead bug that at first glance looked like a cockroach. Then there were plenty of books strewn over the desktop. It hadn’t been cleaned. Who had done this? Is this what people thought of me? Is this what people wanted to see me as? Dirty? Downtrodden? After all I’m the only black guy at the university. There were other desks at which I surely could have been assigned. Someone had to put my name tag at that desk. It was ridiculous.  I quickly cleaned it so it looked more presentable. It’s much nicer now. I can bear it.

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