Missing meters, missing time

A new spacious office leads to an analogy where a section of time goes missing, or a time stasis is set up. But first…money, time and space. What’s the connection?


People say that money isn’t everything, yet most people want it. Lots of it. Having money often means that we can spend less time working – consider how many times we pay someone to do a job for us that actually we could do perfectly well ourselves. Cleaners for the house, painting and decorating, day care for our children, and so on.


Perhaps we want time more than we want money. After all, in theory we can earn more money but we can’t always gain more time. Then again, if we don’t enjoy our work we can be in for a store of trouble. Cue the lottery, where without work (or at least, with minimal effort) we can attain vast amounts of cash.

Oh. Back to cash.

There’s a saying that there’s no such thing as a free lunch. But there are those who would like to scoff and gorge themselves on the backs and work of others; lottery winners often complain of vultures and scavengers who want some (or all) of the winnings for themselves and will plague the cash recipient with various begging petitions of one kind or another.

(Missing) Space

It’s been a little bit similar since our recent office move. Now I’m in a new office (on a lower level, and strangely, with a new department coffee mug).

When it came to dishing out the new offices we could give preferences but finally who got what, with whom and where was pretty much a lottery. I (and my office mates) came out a winner!

My new office is excellent! It’s in a corner with windows on two sides and a nice view over Holland. Holland is famous for being flat, so I can see quite far. OK, head should be down when I work, but I do look outside for my inspirational moments!

Another nice feature of the office is its size. Size may not be everything, but it is a nice feature, and the square meterage I and my two office mates share is a cause of envy of many of our other colleagues.

Quite often people walk by and make comments that the space is underutilised, or give snarky comments that the 3 of us have more space than the discussion rooms which can at times hold 6 or more.

And so, like lottery winners, we live in fear of person or persons finding ways to take our space. To store various bits of crap (like a spare filing cabinet), to house a student on placement or some other part-time member of staff.

Or, as we’ve latterly been thinking…pure theft of square meterage.

What would happen if one day we came in and the wall had shuffled over by a meter? Could happen, but that would only benefit the office next to us.

missing area

So then we got close to a panic about a theft of an actual square meter. We’d come back from a tea break research focus meeting, and in the middle of the office is a shimmering square of non-space. We can’t focus on it because it’s missing. Simply not there. We can’t put things there, because there doesn’t exist. And we can’t step onto it, because…it’s missing.

But we’d be able to step over it. Actually, we’d touch one side with a foot and the foot immediately reappears a meter away on the other side. It’s like a worm hole, or a portal. Warp drive, except there’s no bending of space…it’s just not there. It’s missing. It’s been stolen.

(Come to think of it, it would be a volume theft not an area theft, much as smoking areas are really smoking volumes. Smoke doesn’t stay flat against the floor!)

All this might sound far-fetched or impossible, but the same already happens with time. For example, how often is it that you’re driving somewhere and suddenly think “I really don’t remember driving the last mile…”?

Maybe we were on autopilot of sorts…or that there was a time stasis allowing us to perform actions (such as driving) during that period when time doesn’t move with is. Or possibly it was a spatial jump.

Who knows?

Yes, the unknown can be a fearful thing.

And my profession? I work in research! 😉

Paul the brave!

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