I have so much to tell you. So much has changed in the last two weeks that it’s hard to know where to start, but I guess I should start with the desk. It’s a cursed desk. Whenever you have a cursed desk, you should probably start there.
This was an impressive desk. It was a huge corner desk with a massive table top extending in a nine foot sweep along two walls. The desk was made of steel I-beams held together with massive bolts. It looked like a bridge span with a table balanced on top. Several people could easily stand on top of it with no fear of collapse. Moving it was almost impossible. You had to disassemble it and then it took multiple people to move the support beams. This monstrous desk occupied the majority of the space in the small home office I shared with IT Guy. If our home was ever vaporized, I knew the only thing left would be that desk. It was indestructible.
And IT Guy was convinced that it was cursed.
The desk came into our lives years ago when we owned and ran our own television production company. IT Guy bought it from an architect friend who had an entire warehouse full of these desks. The company for which they were built had gone under, and the architect was stuck with them. Within a year of purchasing the desk, our television production company went under. We lost two big contracts and couldn’t recover. The company was no more. But we still had the desk, so IT Guy lugged it to our home office and set it up. It sat here, hulking in the corner, for 6 years.
During those 6 years, we struggled financially IT Guy was hired and miserable multiple times until he finally found his current position where he is happy. Despite his good job now, we’ve still struggled because of debt left over from the company folding, as well as large health care bills due to substandard health insurance policies. When Tink started kindergarten, I started looking for work because we needed to make more money. I’ve gone down some wrong paths. I’ve hit some dead ends. Then I went back to teaching college English, and for the past three years, I’ve been trying to get a full-time faculty position. I’ve interviewed three times, and I’ve never made it. It seemed like we were irredeemably stuck.
Late one night last summer, IT Guy turned to me and said, “I want to get rid of the desk. I think it’s cursed.”
He meant it, too. He’s a surprisingly superstitious guy.
“Think about it,” he said. “We’ve been struggling financially since we got that damn thing. Our company went under. The company those desks were made for went under. Even the architect’s company is no more. We’ve had all these struggles with health care. We can’t catch a financial break. You can’t get a job. I think that desk is cursed. I want it out of here.”
While I wasn’t ready to agree that the desk was cursed, I certainly wasn’t going to argue about getting rid of that damn desk. I hated the thing because it was so huge and unwieldy. I also just hated our office in general. It was a cramped, messy, Frankenstein of a room. Most days I worked at the kitchen table instead of the office because I couldn’t think in all the clutter. I was happy to make some changes, and if IT Guy needed to think the furniture was cursed to make that happen, then so be it.
On January 5, armed with a stack of Ikea gift cards, we ventured forth to the land of Borgsjo and Sveios to purchase new, sleek, lightweight Galant desks that could be easily assembled with an allen wrench.
Then, upon returning home with our new Swedish furniture, IT Guy took a series of large tools and disassembled the Desk, and between the two of us, we managed to drag the entire thing, steel I-beams and all, out of the house. We stacked the pieces of the cursed desk in an untidy pile against the fence, and then we turned our back on it and walked away.
The next day we allen-wrenched until our allen wrenches were sore. The day after that, Monday, IT Guy had to go to work, but I continued to allen wrench until our office finally looked like this.
That night, after IT Guy returned home and set up the internet, we sat happily computing next to each other at our sleek, matching, Galant desks. I decided to check my college email, which I almost never do over break. I don’t know why I decided to check it.
In my inbox? A message from the dean at my college asking if I could come in the next day. More specifically, the message specified that a full-time faculty member had retired and she (the dean) would like to speak to me as soon as possible.
48 hours after the removal of the desk from our house, I got a job offer.
I am now, officially, a full-time Assistant Professor of English. My salary is almost twice what I have ever made before. I have full benefits, including a great health plan, vision, dental and retirement. I have sick leave and personal leave. I have my own office on campus. I have never, ever had any of these things.
All of the financial problems my family has struggled with for years are gone. Poof. Just like that. We’re going to make it. I still can’t believe this is real.
And while I know that I got this job through a tremendous amount of hard work and perseverance, I can’t help but wonder about that jumble of steel and wood in my backyard.
Maybe IT Guy was right about the curse.
Why has it taken me two weeks to write about this incredible, life-changing event? It’s taken me this long to finally believe that it’s happening. I spent several days waiting for someone to call and say, “Whoops! All a mistake. Just kidding!” But now I’ve been to orientation and signed a contract and been assigned an office. I’m still having trouble wrapping my head around all of this, but I feel confident enough that it’s real to post about it. I got the job. I finally got the job. Happy doesn’t even begin to describe how I feel.