Distractions

The office building my department’s new office is in is fourteen stories tall. That’s not all that tall, even for Salt Lake City standards, but it’s tall enough to have a great view. It’s on the southern end of skyscraper row, and while there are tall buildings to the three other sides, the side our conference room faces is practically unobstructed.

This makes it very hard to concentrate during meetings in there. To the southwest they’re building a new federal office building. That’s always good entertainment. I’m frequently impressed with the tower crane operator’s skill. My son would kill to have a front-row seat for heavy construction.

There’s also the freeway to watch. That’s always good fun, picking out individual cars and trucks, observing the flow and how heavy traffic is in relation to the time of day. Not to mention all the billboards, especially the big video ones.

The weather is also a frequent source of entertainment. We’ve got a good view of the Oquirrh Mountains, the lake, and Antelope Island, all of which can become obscured in bad weather, which we’ve had in abundance lately.

But nothing tops the airport. Despite having lived the last five years just off the flight line to Boise Airport I still haven’t grown sick of watching airplanes. And we have a wonderful view of the airport. We can watch them taxi, take off, land…the works. They get all sizes there, too, from little private Cessnas to jumbo jets that can reach other continents. And, of course, helicopters. It’s a fairly busy airport, especially at certain times of the day, and there’s usually plenty to watch.

Of course to hear me go on you’re probably thinking I never pay attention in meetings. Not true. It’s only in certain meetings I have difficulty. And only when I sit facing the window. But yes, I suppose I’m the corporate version of the dogs from “Up!”

Squirrel! Airplane! Cool clouds! If it moves, it catches my eye.

It’s a good thing I don’t have that many meetings or I might not get much done. But when I’m not in meetings I’m facing a corner of two blank, interior walls. Nothing to see there. Move along. I have to change my screen background to get a change of scenery. Perhaps that’s why the conference window draws my attention so easily. It’s quite a contrast from my own little corner, in my own little chair.

Ooh! Seagull!