November 4, 2010

Stuff on My Desk: Poster of Snow Tracks

OK. So. If you've been reading my blog for some time, you'll remember (or maybe you won't, who knows?) a little series I liked to call "Stuff on My Desk." It was fun, it was fabulous, it was loved by...few.

I stopped it awhile back because, frankly, there's only so much stuff on my desk.

This NaBloPoMo thing, however, has me running scared looking for topics. And I realized that, somehow, I'd left out bar-none the most popular item on my desk (or, technically, on my cube wall; now is not the time for semantics, a'ight?):


Dun dun dun!

(Did you just get a little shiver of excitement? Uh, me either. Let's just go with it.)

So, the poster. I got it from a designer I used to work with, who'd received it as a freebie from a stock photo company. I said to her, "Hey, designer" (which wasn't her actual name, but I can't REMEMBER her name just now, all right? Let's not dwell on it) "are you going to do anything with that poster? My cube's looking a little bare."

OK, take a good look at this poster. We're apparently looking at a parking lot. It's snowy. There are tire tracks. There are telephone poles. There are a few parked cars. And there are, inexplicably, boats. There are corners of buildings. There's possible evidence of either a road or railroad tracks in one corner.

Not exactly super art fabulosity personified.

But when I say this is the most popular item in my cube? It's because no fewer than 30-40 people (many of whom I'd never met before) have stopped by my desk with the EXPRESS PURPOSE of discussing the apparent profundity of this poster.

A sample conversation:

Me: (working, working, working)

Guy I've Never Seen Before: Hey, are you Shannon?

Me: (glancing pointedly at the nameplate adorning my cube) Um. Yes. Can I help you?

GINSB: I was walking past your cube last night and I saw this poster, and I just had to stop by and ask you: What does it mean?

Me: Excuse me?

GINSB: I mean, I stood here for probably 20 minutes last night just staring at it. Like, the tire tracks. And then the boats? I mean, what is this supposed to BE?

Me: (feverishly willing my phone to ring) Uh...a parking lot with some tire tracks and boats?

GINSB: But if you REALLY look at it, like, the tire tracks? Some of them don't seem to do anything but just drive in circles. Like, they never parked; they just drove around. And then those footprints -- I mean, they don't even LEAD anywhere. (leaning forward, really getting into this now) I've been thinking about this all night. I just HAD to come over and ask you about it. I mean, I'm thinking, "Where did she get this poster? What does it MEAN?"

Me: Uhhh...I got it for free? From an old co-worker? And...I just needed something on that wall there. So...I have no idea what it "means." It's just kind of taking up space.

GINSB: (visibly disappointed) Oh. Oh, OK. I just thought...OK, never mind. (dejectedly walks away)

Me: Sigh.


I've had nearly identical conversations with at least two dozen colleagues and a handful of cleaning staff. And I know that the above seems sort of farcical in its earnestness, but I'm here to tell you: It ain't.

Everyone wants to know: WHAT DOES IT MEAN??

They cannot fathom that I just hung up this CLEARLY PROFOUND AND FULL OF THE MEANING OF LIFE poster because I wanted something to take up space.

And, I suppose, if you look at it long enough to see all the little pieces and parts of it, it IS kind of a cool photograph.

But I'm here today to say, now and forever, THAT'S ALL IT IS.

Unless you also see something totally deep and profound, and you really want to study and worship it, in which case there are apparently some like-minded individuals at my office ready to join your Church of the Snowy Tracks.

May peace be with you.

PS: Am I crazy for kind of liking the name Ginsbey?

7 backtalk:

Running Chatter said...

It never fails. . . you always make me laugh.

Love this post.

Love the poster.

Won't be attending that church, but peace be with you, as well.

Mickey D. said...

I see that in the upper left hand corner of this that the tracks seem to end.


That all good things must end? That we shouldn't worry about running around in circles a lot of the time because in the end we will figure it out and will just park?
That snow is dangerous and causes you to do doughnuts (yum, doughnuts!) in parking lots all day?
Maybe I should get better tread on my tires?

A picture is worth 1,000 words. And even more dumb comments.

This is kinda cool. I'd hang it up.

Sarah said...

I like this picture. At first glance, it does appear to be nothing. But the more you look at it the more questions it poses.

Pretty cool.

BUT - I'd be annoyed too if every Tom, Dick and Harry pranced into my office wanting to talk about it!

Nadja said...

Don't you love a little bit that you're slowly driving people mad?

Trophy Life said...

really like the poster, don't get me wrong. i just don't think i'd approach a stranger to get all riled up about the meaning of it! super weird.

(since my word verification is "Eurpties", I think you should say that your poster was in the town of Eurpties, NE"

SketchDon said...

Depending on your mood and the appearance of the nosy, rubbernecking employee, you can say it's:
(1) An early Jackson Pollock.
(2) The inspiration that led to the invention of the Spirograph.
(3) A reminder of how easy it used to be to find parking at Polaris.
or (4) how you eluded police that time when __________.

Erika Jean said...

I guess it is kind of a "work of art" if it gets people to stop and think...

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