My first workspace after college graduation was a newspaper copydesk.
I’d been hired as a copy editor at the Beaumont, Texas, Enterprise. The title was grander than the reality of the entry-level job; I was one of four copy editors, and my workspace was a desk pushed against seven other desks to form a squat “H.” We were collaborative and team-based about three decades before it became corporate cool.
It was a perfectly comfortable space for me. My last semester before graduation, I had worked in exactly the same kind of space for the college newspaper. The space in college and the space at Enterprise required learned deafness; you learned to blot out a lot of sounds – reporters talking with editors; wire service machines; the whirr of pre-fax telephone transmissions; people from page paste-up coming to an editor to trim a story; the sports department on the other side of a wall that was not floor-to-ceiling; and the nearby receptionist who enthusiastically (loudly) greeted visitors, told jokes, and handled incoming telephone calls.
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