On Material Possessions

I love where I work. I work out of the best coworking space in Chicago (the best city on Earth — does this mean, by commutative property, that I work at the best coworking space on Earth? Maybe.)

There I have a great setup: an Apple Cinema Display, a Das Keyboard, a little thingy to prop my laptop up so the screen is level with my display, and a cute little bamboo thing that someone put on my desk a while ago and has stayed there.

Over the last ten or so months since I started working there, from what I’ve gathered, I’ve grown a reputation for two things:

  1. My keyboard is loud as hell. Some people hate this but a surprising number of people appreciate it because it adds white noise so they can have more private conversations.
  2. My display is precious to me. So don’t fuck with it.

The former is apparent to anyone who walks within a one mile radius of the office, and the latter is because any time there’s some kind of event and we need to move our stuff around, I make an unreasonably big deal about what to do about my display so no one fucks with it.

Two weeks ago, I left the office for the last time before a two week trip to China. I cleaned up my desk so someone else could use it (it is, after all, a coworking space). I moved my display into the corner, turned it facing away from the desk (but still protected from the sun), unplugged it, and wrapped up the cables. I moved the rest of my stuff into neat piles nearby. I figured this, along with my reputation, would leave my display safe. To be sure, I asked a few people to watch it. (Or at least I thought I did.)

This this morning, my first day back in the office, I came to the office to find all my stuff curiously set up, and my display – gasp! – covered in fingerprints. The instant I saw it I shouted “someone finger-raped my display!

(Let me be clear: there is absolutley no way the fingerprints were mine. Maybe a spot or two from eating at my desk, but absolutely no fingerprints on my display. If I ever touch it by mistake, I clean it immediately after.)

That got me to thinking:

Maybe I’m too possessive about my stuff. Maybe I value physical objects too much. Maybe I’m too attached to my things. Maybe I should be a better hippy and let other people use my stuff when I’m not. Maybe I should be more sharing. Maybe I shouldn’t get so upset — I mean, after all, it only took my twenty minutes and some magic cleaning stuff to wipe all the smudges off. Right?

Wait, on second thought, fuck that._ _

Don’t touch my stuff.

#materialism #coworking

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