Dreamt of deciding to renovate an old, abandoned warehouse on South Broadway across from Soldiers’ Field Park. I started by installing vertical, orange scaffolding poles from floor to ceiling. I then installed heavy, plywood plates spaced at 8′ intervals above one another, creating a dozen floors. I secured each plate with special, ceramic-coated bolts. I spent some time arranging and rearranging the platforms, leaving the grid open against the interior side walls and making sure that I had spaces for staircases, which I pre-assembled from wood to fit the 8′ by 8′ by 8′ grid. Finally, I outfitted the top floor with bookcases, shelves, a desk and some chairs, all of which I painted in a striking red and black. This was to be my office.
One day I arrived at my warehouse to discover that my coworkers from Mayo Clinic had decided to throw me an open house party. They wanted to see what I’d been building after work. They had set up a grouping of chairs so people had places to sit. A little embarrassed to find them there, I jumped down an unfinished corner bay into the snow bank that had accumulated below and ran to K-mart for some chips and salsa. Climbing the stairs back up to the party, I discovered two things: first, I’d installed one of the stair units at a 90-degree angle to the rest, making for a dangerous transition over a multi-story fall. I was surprised everyone had made it up to my office without anyone getting hurt. And second, that the lower floors were coated with dust and sawdust. I added cleaning to my to-do list.
I was a little stressed at this point, trying to clear a place on my desk to put the food and beverages. And it was at this point that Denny S. decided to make a joke at my expense. But he mumbled it under his breath, then immediately started laughing quietly to himself, so I didn’t hear what he said. “What was that, Denny?” He responded in the same mumbled tones, but was even harder to understand because of his chuckling. Out of patience, I rolled my eyes and decided to ignore him. As I turned away to place a large bag of chips against one of the bookshelves, I found one of the summer interns standing there. “Please move,” I told him, but he just looked at me as if I hadn’t said anything. “Get out of my way!” I yelled and he moved.
My boss, Brian M., overheard this interaction. “I can see we came at a bad time,” he said, “We’ll come back later.” And everyone started clearing out. I breathed a sigh of relief as I sat down at my desk.
That is when the building inspector showed up. He was concerned that I’d spent the last two years making renovations to a warehouse that belonged to someone else. He thought I was squatting. I assured him that the property was mine. I’d bought it from the previous owner for $10 as he was desperate to get rid of it. But the deed wasn’t in my files. “Just bring it to my office in the next week or so,” he said, “Otherwise I’ll have to shut you down.”
I took the elevator to street level and started walking home to look for the deed. As I walked, I thought about what I would call my new business venture. “Anderson Holding, L.L.C.” seemed like a good name, as did *Anderson Personal Storage*.