A Desk of Many Colors
On the first floor of the LSSND building in Fargo, an eye-catching pop of color marks the Unaccompanied Refugee Minor program cubicles. Decorated in rainbow hues, the desks in this area shout, we’re having fun!, as plastic flamingos poke their heads up into the air. URM team-member Brandon Fitzgerald is one of the proud people responsible for this.
“We find things that are fun and put them up,” he said, pointing out various objects and decorations around his desk. Everything is colorful, and his collection varies, including a rainbow pinwheel, a rubber squid named Sausage (named by one of the kids Fitzgerald worked with) and a more-than-slightly creepy plastic baby that Fitzgerald and his co-workers found in the warehouse behind the LSS building.
How does a desk reflect who you are?
Filled with an abundance of interesting things, Fitzgerald’s desk is perfect for someone who works with youth.
“I’m weird and I work with weird kids,” Fitzgerald said. “Everyone’s unique, and the kids I work with come from all different backgrounds and cultures.”
He also explained that a lot of things on his desk come from kids he worked with, given as little gifts and mementos to remind him of youth he’s made connections with. His desk, then, allows the past to be in the present.
The flamingos residing at Fitzgerald’s and his co-workers’ desks also point toward the future. They will be used for a float about foster care and LSS in the Fargo pride parade this August, marking the first time LSS will be represented in a pride parade—something Fitzgerald and his teammates pushed for. The many rainbow decorations also honor June as Pride Month.
Out of all of the objects that have found a home on his desk, Fitzgerald’s favorite is his King Unicorn rubber duck that sits on a pedestal-like box, flanked by two yellow rubber ducks. Attached to the pedestal is Fitzgerald’s LSS business card. The whole scene seems to symbolize the union of doing work and having fun, which, as it turns out, may not have to be that different after all.
“We’ve got to have fun at work,” Fitzgerald said. “If you can’t have fun at work, then what are you going to do?”
Think Fizgerald’s desk—and his fellow URM teammates’ desks—will stay this way forever? Don’t count on it. Fitzgerald said that he plans on including more unicorns to his desk in the future “because unicorns are awesome.” As for other things he might add, anything could happen.
“Our desks will continue to get more and more ridiculous,” Fitzgerald said. “I guarantee it.”
Compiled by Michelle Foster - LSSND Communications