Things I hate (and love) about the Catalyst office

by Finbar O’Mallon | @finbaromallon

At the end of last year, Catalyst Magazine was forced to move its office over onto Victoria St. Not the good part of Victoria St –where’s there’s pho and junkies everywhere– but the shit part, where Victoria St is the urban colon for truck traffic: everyone has to pass through it. Here are some things you should know about our new office.

The building’s elevator. It’s not just the fact the clock inside it is over a decade behind (it’s New Years 2003 right now), but the fact it grinds and shudders constantly. If I jump up and down the whole thing shakes. Occasionally the light’s flicker and a voice tells me to burn down the school and I like it.

It’s like Crown Casino. No clocks and no windows in our office. All the other people we share the building with get their own offices with carpet, air-conditioning and desks. They all have clean skin and a twinkle in their eyes. I swear I saw one of them skip down the hall and clap their heels together. Meanwhile I wonder if it’s still light out.

There are windows looking out of our office into other offices. It’s like living in a fishbowl. Anyone who’s walking by to use the kitchen or take a shit can see what we’re doing and most of the time it’s Sharns freebasing at her desk. They say they don’t judge but they totally have those judgy eyes.

The laser cutter. There is a laser cutter in a room connected to our office we can’t get to. This is a magazine, it’s not fucking Moonraker.

We bring my dog in occasionally. I have a deaf dog my girlfriend and I called Soap. He was born deaf and so he grunts constantly as if he’s talking. He came into the office and all the girls in the building came to pat him and so I picked up heavy things at random just in case they were looking.

Soap the deaf, grunty dog. Photo – Finbar O’Mallon

Our door automatically locks. It means every time I want to get a glass of water or Richard wants to exorcise the curry he had for lunch, we have to use our swipe cards to get in and out. So what we do is use a box of old copies of Catalyst Vol 70 to prop the door open (METAPHOR). If Junkee did a print edition we’d use those instead (METAPHOR).

No air conditioning. I know I mentioned this but there’s no air con in our office. We have to point fans at the back of our computers so they don’t overheat and shut down automatically. I also sweat a lot and not a healthy sweat, like, you-smell-like-pork-fat sweat.

We’re not even on campus anymore. Once upon a time we were in Building 8, opposite RMIT City Fitness. While we don’t get to see the constant stream of gym-bros going to preach the swoly bible, it means we may as well be on fucking Mars when we say you can drop by at anytime (no gym-bros).

Photo by Finbar O’Mallon

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Catalyst has been the student publication of RMIT University since 1944. We may be older than your parents but we’re still going strong!

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