05 April 2009


Despite the low pay, the perks of working where I do largely outweigh the lack of money to do a lot of other things. Such as:

a) No dress code. I can wear whatever I want.
b) No set lunchtimes. I can eat whenever I want for as long as I want. (I prefer to just munch on things all day long while I work, instead of having an actual mealtime.)
c) No required clock-in/clock-out times. I can work whenever I want, so long as I do 40 hours' worth per week.
d) Full internet access. I can do whatever else I want at work, so long as I do 40 hours' worth of work per week. (We're not allowed to look at porn, and we'd get in serious trouble if caught, but it's not actually blocked (at least, not as far as I know. I've never checked).)
e) No restrictions on how we decorate our work areas. (Weaponry isn't permitted, but compared to tales I've heard of other places, that's minor - and doesn't really apply to me anyhow.)
f) Beautiful workplace. We're next to a river, surrounded by trees, and have our own nature trail.

My first office was in a large labspace at the far end of a building with no other offices near it, and I had it all to myself. I had multiple large windows with great views of the trees and river. I had full control of the thermostat, could play my music as loud as I wanted, and could eat whatever I wanted (e.g. Indian curry was not a problem). When I code, I tend to do a lot of pacing, muttering, and bouts of maniacal laughter - which was possible without bothering anyone else.

Then some drama happened with the owner of the lab, and my second office was in a cluster of other offices, and about a quarter the size of the first office. It had a single small window with a view of a parking lot and a brick building. It had thin walls, no thermostat control, and a tantrum-prone grad student across the hall who came in no more than twice a week on no predictable schedule and hated my music, my food, and the way I breathed.

Then some politics elsewhere shook out, and my third office is in the main building, is shared with someone else, and my part of it is half the size of my second office. I have no view of our small window because the other guy decided to take the half that includes it, and then he put up a bookshelf between us. Despite the lack of view and thermostat control, it's still a step up from Office #2 because the walls are thick, and everyone around me is on a predictable schedule - I can plan food, music, and the bulk of coding accordingly.

Last week I got an email about how my phoneline has been scheduled to transfer to a "workstation" in our new, almost-finished building. My fourth office will be a cubicle in a large, central plaza, with about half the space of my current office.

I'm wondering if I can beg my way back into my first office (the drama resolved while I was in the process of moving out, and then it was too late). If not, my new workschedule will resemble my current one, but the four days will be Sunday, Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday - and on Tues/Thurs I'll probably just not arrive until 4:30pm.

If there's ever a fifth move, I'll probably have to request a red stapler.


Jim Wright said...

Ha! I swear I was thinking of the Red Stapler the entire time I was reading that.

For the conceivable future I shall visualize you as Stephen Root.

MWT said...

Hehe. You can visualize my current officemate that way too. He's been here nearly 30 years and has already earned a red stapler. The shop guys took pity on him at one point and painted one for him. ;)

Megadeus said...

You know, they didn't make red Swingline staplers until after that movie came out and people kept calling in requesting them.

The prop for the movie was just a standard black Swingline, painted red.

I need a red Swingline at some point...

MWT said...

Oh, they make them now? Well that's no fun...

My officemate's was specially painted for him. ;) But he started out with a labspace of 950 sq. ft. and ended up down at 250, so he earned it.

mattw said...

OfficeMax used to carry the red staplers around Christmas with the office presents, but they were popular enough that when I quit working there they were selling them year-round.

Sorry about all the shifting. Hopefully you can get that first office back.