With the team on their first road-trip of the season, I've decided to focus this edition of the Journal to what will be domain over the next few days – and most of the next month. When there are no practices or games at Rexall Place, the Oilers front office becomes my home away from home, and – as of right now – that home is quite cozy but also a bit lonely.
The Oilers office is an evolving organism. Though summer's flurry of new faces (including my own) has subsided, our working environment is constantly changing and adapting to accommodate the needs of each department.
THE WEB DEN
This summer, the Digital Media department grew to three full-time staff (Marc, Steve, and me), and with the addition of intern Nick Conrad this fall, that makes us a fearsome foursome. As a group, we pushed the IT office past capacity and, as a result, were recently relocated to a spacious room down the hallway.
I'm sure the office will soon fill up with laptops, media guides, and tappity-tapping, but for the time being, I am all alone in the Digital Media Den. With Steve on the road, Marc in meetings, and Nick away from the office for the day, I hauled my stuff down the hall and set up shop in our new workspace.
DIGGIN' THE DESK JOB
In some ways it's nice to spend a day away from the rink. My fingers aren't nearly as frozen as they normally are, and I've got all the conveniences of the office close at hand (printer, kettle, fridge, Manitoba Moose memorabilia – all the useful stuff). If I'm lucky, I'll find some excuse to go upstairs and chat with a few girls from the office – something I sorely missed the past six weeks. (No offense guys.)
But in many other ways, the office is no match for Rexall Place. Nobody's ever asked me for a tour of my desk, and none of my friends are impressed when I say I spent the day in the copy room. (Not that I do that. That's what interns are for, right Nick?) And though it can get quite cold in the press box, nothing warms my heart like a cheering crowd – especially when they're cheering for another excellent edmontonilers.com game recap. Thanks guys. Your enthusiasm really means a lot to me.
I'm sure the players will agree that a little fanfare does wonders for the work ethic. Can you imagine what it would feel like to have 18,000 people cheer whenever you completed a sales report? Or an oil change? Or a trip to the grocery store? I realize that there are certain pressures (heavy pressures) to being a professional athlete, but it would be nice if everyone got to feel that kind of love at least once in their lives. FAN FRIENDLY?
But there are limits to that kind of adoration, and limits to how long I think I could stand it. Fans flocking to my desk on an off-day sounds like fun, but put me in that situation and I would probably snap. What if they booed whenever I made a typo or struggled to compose a sentence? Call me crazy, but I like to make mistakes (and fix them) without an audience.
There are pros and cons to any situation, I guess. Two more road games (including tonight's in Anaheim) and then it's back to Rexall for Saturday morning's skate. Despite the freezing fingers, I'm looking forward to it already.