Jim’s arms strained under the fat stack of binders. He shifted the ponderous weight onto his hip and snapped a set of knocks onto the meeting room door.
“Come on in, Jim.”
Blowing out a sigh, he found the door handle and threw his shoulder into the door.
Ivan leaned over a table already strewn with blueprints, furniture designs and swatches. He scribbled on the yellow legal pad at his elbow. “Are those all of the contracts?” he asked without looking up from the sharp ink edges.
Jim straightened and stumbled forward. “All of the contracts, yes sir.” He managed to reach the table before toppling under the weight of the binders. “Ow,” he shook out his squished fingers.
“Good because this just isn’t going to work.”
A rustle of blueprints drew Jim’s attention away from reestablishing the circulation in his arms.
“What’s your opinion of this?” Ivan reordered the gray-blue designs and tapped an unclicked pen onto the etched arrangement of cubicles.
“Might be too small.”
“Too small, definitely,” said Jim with a nod. He mimicked Ivan’s lean over the skewed pages.
“Definitely, but there’s only so much room on the floor and we need all twelve spaces.”
“The spaces might not have to be arranged quite like that.”
Ivan frowned. “What do you mean?”
“Well,” Jim tugged at his collar. “What if they weren’t set in a line? Weren’t boxes?”
“Instead of boxes, maybe…” Jim gathered another legal pad and abandoned pen and made a few sketches. “Something like this.”
Ivan tucked his pen into his shirt pocket and rested his hands on his hips. “That’s circular.”
“Well…” Jim laid down the pen and braced his hands on the edge of the table. “More rect – “
With a wave of his hand, Ivan cut him off and picked up the long pad and Jim’s pen. He added a few lines to further define the walls and then drew ringed numbers at each possible desk area. “That’s the space of eight where the designers had six. We’d have four free…”
Jim shrugged and kept his mouth closed.
“This might work…” Ivan continued. He plopped Jim’s sketches back onto the table and leaned over the blue prints once more. Drawing over the desk and chair designs, Ivan overlapped the computer generated floor plan.
“You’re original plan might be – .”
“No…no…no.” Ivan thrust his finger enthusiastically at the furniture etches. “The desks would fit and the chairs too. Then cabinets in each corner.” Ivan’s bearded face broke with a broad smile. “No one would have to go heading off to the storage room for recent files anymore.”
“Might save time…”
“And meetings could occur right in the cube space.” Ivan scanned the cluttered room. “This could be set up permanently for clients.”
Jim followed the sweeping glance. “Might be able to make two.”
“Two rooms?” Ivan rubbed at his fuzzy chin. “With those extra cubicle walls, right.”
Ivan glanced at his watch. “I’m going to give Hexler’s a call tomorrow and see if they can work up some diagrams of this. Better than trying to renegotiate those contracts.” He swung his jacket off the back of the chair at his side. “You can get all of this out of here before you go right?”
Jim managed to swallow down a contrary retort. “Of course.”
Ivan headed for the exit. Jim rubbed his hands and then his biceps as he surveyed the papers and notebooks. Behind him the door hinges squealed.
Jim’s arms dropped as he turned.
Ivan gave him a curt nod. “Great job today.”
“Thanks,” Jim said as soon as he regained control over his tongue.
Ivan adjusted his jacket collar. “And don’t forget those binders,” he added, stepping from the office and letting the door swing closed behind him.