My workplace – a high-end commercial law firm which I will not be naming – is doing this ‘advent calendar’ thing. Each day of December until Christmas, someone gets drawn out of a hat to win the contents of this big box, which contains some piece of office furniture that is no longer wanted by management. This is more appealing than it sounds, as the office is decked out in things like Finnish designer chairs with names such as ‘Kalko’ and ‘Guba’, lamps valued at about $400 apiece and pots of rare ferns.


The problem with it is that there are about 50 people in the office, and only 24 advent calendar giveaways. I guess that’s why it’s left to chance as to who gets them, although that means that some people are liable to get more than their fair share. Cassandra in accounts has already taken home an Italian brass fruit bowl, a four year-old potted Wollemi pine, and a framed Banksy signature on the back of a bar coaster. 


Like I said, it’s a heck of an office fitout. Companies Melbourne wide would kill for a space like this, and it’s slightly awkward that my firm churns through furnishings so fast they have to be given away in the form of an advent calendar. Point is, I’m still waiting on my part of the booty, which I’m pretty sure I deserve more than about 70% of the people here. Statistically, that ought to give me a pretty good shot, if merit has anything to do with it… which it doesn’t, because it’s a game of chance.


As if half of these people even appreciate the value of this stuff; they’re just going to drop it off at Cash Converters on their way home. That’s so typical of Melbourne. Office interior design is an underappreciated art form, and this advent calendar business is doing very little to change that. Management says otherwise, but I’m sceptical.