I've moaned and groaned before about having a cute little OT lab coat that will likely never get worn. This is a similar vein about office space.
Realistically, I should have known there would be office space inequality from the very first job interview I ever had. My future boss was showing me around the outpatient office, and started in the PT office- nice hardwood floors, large comfy office chairs, large full-size wooden desks. Not crowded, and very nice. Then we went to the OT office, which may or may not have been a closet in a previous life, with pieces of formica attached to the walls and mismatched chairs that needed to be shared with the treatment space.
The hospital side was a little better... PTs all shared the gym area and a computer or two in there while the OT had co-opted a closet (complete with washing machine!) to shove a couple of desks and phone into. This worked out alright until we had multiple OTs and not enough desks or chairs. My luck turned around when a spare desk was found in surplus. It had belonged to a little person, but a couple of wooden blocks under the legs allowed me to just slide my legs under the keyboard tray. This was a good ergonomic solution for me and so unworkable for anyone else that I got some private space there. (being petite has its advantages!!)
I had a couple of jobs with cubicles which allowed a little customization and privacy, but the vast majority of my workplaces have just had a shared zone with limited seating and workspace, and no area for personalization.
This is a little frustrating, because I had this image of being a professional and having a "real office," probably stemmed from watching my mom work in her office as a child. I want a space to hang diplomas and plaques that are gathering dust, somewhere for my books to be instead of a milk crate, well organized folders. When we bought our house and had a legitimate office area which I then needed to use frequently as an independent contractor (not frequently enough for a tax discount, but that is another topic) I thought this might finally become my dream office. But it is definitely still "shared space" and my husband has put the squash on most of my ideas. We have upgraded from a kitchen table to a legitimate desk, but I have to fight for drawer space and the right to keep my most-needed references nearby. I lost the diploma battle completely.
Will I ever get a "real" office? Maybe if I take a teaching job or open my own business. Until then, everything will just continue to get pushed into boxes in stray corners instead of sitting out. It's not a life necessity, certainly, but it would be nice to have some "me" space.
To end with a laugh- here's a photo of my college desk (on the right) which may explain why I need some space. :-)