05 March 2008

My office is getting kicked in the nuts

I have a crappy little grey cubicle at the office. This crappy grey cubicle sits in a pale grey room. I am far away from any source of natural light. The very loud PA speaker, which services a tributary area of about 8m x 10 m, is directly over my head.

I am being moved to a new cube.

You’d think I’d be happy about it, but I am not. You see, my new cube will be even worse. Even smaller. Even greyer. The room it’s in is small and prison-like, dark and with cinderblock walls on all sides. It also happens to be on the far side of the building through several additional security doors and past the garbage room in a part of the building that I had never been to before in my life.
I heard from the previous occupants that they called this room "The Morgue."

My current cube has the benefit of being near the rest of my department but far enough away that no one can conveniently bother me or walk by – the best of both worlds, really. The new cube will be the worst of both, as half the department will move with me to the new prison room and the other half will stay put. Now I’ll have to call ahead if I want to see someone from the staying half, and then walk all the way across the building to see them; however, the other half will be so close so as to be practically breathing over my shoulder.

The only improvement will be that I’m closer to the window, though I still can’t see it directly. I forgot to check if the PA speaker is directly overhead again and, since it would take me about 5 minutes to walk there, I don’t think I’ll bother checking now (even if I could find the place again – seriously, I didn’t even know this area of the building existed).

I must look on the bright side of life, though, for the situation is even worse for other people. My supervisor is losing his big office with a window and moving into a much smaller new office featuring zero windows in the walls, zero windows in the dark grey metal door, block walls on all four sides, a low ceiling, poor lighting, door frames and window sills from the previous incarnation of the room that have since been filled-in with masonry, and, inexplicably, a lightswitch that is on the opposite side of the room from the door (knowing my supervisor's predisposition towards clutter, I predict many injuries). Close the door and it really is like being in a storage closet.

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At March 05, 2008 2:07 p.m., Blogger Eamon Knight said...

Whatever happens, hold on tight to your red Swingline stapler ;-).

At March 05, 2008 4:16 p.m., Anonymous atheos said...

Dude, so sorry. Life is too short to live in a grey cube, that's all I have to say.

At March 05, 2008 4:25 p.m., Blogger King Aardvark said...

It makes me feel better if I just imagine that I'm in Star Trek: The Motion Picture.

At March 07, 2008 4:54 p.m., Blogger Necator said...

Makes feel not so bad about my dingy lab.

At March 07, 2008 5:00 p.m., Blogger Carlo said...

Man, you're like livin' 'the' life. Like 9-5, cog-in-the-wheel type stuff. Wow. How I envy thee!

At March 10, 2008 9:08 a.m., Blogger King Aardvark said...

Necator: I'm glad that I can be responsible for your comparitive happiness. "Things are sucky, but at least I'm not KA!"

Carlo, you're a bastard. It's actually 8 to 5.

At March 10, 2008 12:13 p.m., Blogger monado said...

I was domiciled at the far end of a windowless former store-room, once, facing the wall and away from the door. I bought the biggest, brightest Van Gogh poster I could find and it made all the difference looking at that instead of a gray wall.

You can often pick up posters for free from travel agencies.

At March 10, 2008 6:45 p.m., Blogger TheBrummell said...

8 to 5 in a cube. Hmmm...

Take up an outdoors, weekends hobby that you can either do all year round or two hobbies, one in summer, the other in winter. Plus, squeeze every minute out of your vacations.

I also like the posters idea. I'm partial to maps, but I'm sure you have your own ideas.

Are such workspaces considered acceptable under building codes? I think it's a bit ironic that an engineer who helps design and build, er, buildings, works out of the bottom end of a building probably once designed by someone with a similar job description. Do you or your colleagues ever look at a set of blueprints and mutter "I bet I'll end up down here in this area"?


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