Sunday, October 17, 2010

Movin' on up

This is the weekend of the Big Move (or as those of us who like bathroom humor, the big BM).  Friday morning we packed up the last of our cubicles.  Monday morning our stuff should magically appear at our new pods.

Not everyone will be in a pod.  The new rule is only senior VPs get floor-to-ceiling offices, so some are losing their offices.  Not all, though, as serendipitously several non-senior VPs received last minute reprieves in the form of promotions.  Not that they do not deserve to be promoted, it is just the timing that seems a little suspicious.

Since I started my career in software development, I have worked in a variety of office setups.  The first place was a start-up where we fought over the chairs.  I don't know what the owners thought we were going to sit on when they hired us.  Eventually, some used office furniture showed up, but we were still sitting cheek-to-jowl, elbow-to-asshole, sharing phones, user manuals, scissors, and too few bathrooms.

Like many start-ups, this one was feast or famine, and during a famine I was released.  Imagine my shock at my next place of employment where I not only had my own cubicle and my own phone, but my own scissors, stapler, user manuals, and an office chair no one was going to co-opt behind my back.  Unfortunately, that place was less than ideal in other ways, and I eventually returned to the start-up when they hit a new feast phase.

The start-up had moved and now all the engineers had offices.  Except me.  I had to wait for someone to leave the company before I could take over an office.  And what a nice office it was, with a window that overlooked a pond.  Eventually, the feast gave way to famine again, and I went back to company number 2 and back to a cubicle.

It was not too long after that when I decided to give consulting a try.  My home office - the Florida room - was not posh, but I replaced the windows to make it a three-and-a-half-season room, supplemented with a space heater.  My home-based business lasted about a year, but during the year I learned to love working out of my house.

Since then I have worked in cubicles and bullpens.  In neither case have I been exposed to natural light, which is one plus of the arrangement in our new building.  Cubicles give the illusion of privacy without the reality, so I doubt pod life will be much different in that respect.  The acoustics in the new building are supposed to be sound-dampening, so hopefully the lack of cloth walls will not equate to a higher noise level.  And there are privacy rooms for those who talk too loud.

I have not been in the new building yet, but I know where I will be sitting on the third floor.  My group is tucked into a corner, and I will be on the aisle.  In the general vicinity are two conference rooms, a stairwell, the printer room, and a coat closet.  I'm hoping the traffic is not too disruptive.

Oddly enough, the men have expressed concern that there are too few sit-down toilets for them in the new building.  There has been a lot of angst expressed over the limited storage we will each have in our pods; some actuaries were actually calculating cubic-inches available.  I'm not looking forward to losing my chair, as we are all getting new ones, all the same style.

But you know what?  My paycheck is still automatically deposited in my checking account every two weeks.  I have great benefits, including life, health, dental, and eye care insurance.  The work, while stultifying, is not overwhelming.  My co-workers are pleasant (for the most part).  And now we will be working in a green and well-lighted place.

I'm not going to complain.  Much.

P.S.  My dog Betsy has recovered completely from her bout of pancreatitis.  Yay!

No comments: