Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Office space

Our federal agency received a generous helping of stimulus money a few years back (thank you, Mr. and Mrs. American Taxpayer!), and decided to use it to “modernize” our building. It seems that everybody is going from offices to cubicles – or perhaps, worse, “benching”, which, as near as I can figure, is the kind of configuration one normally associates with a garment sweatshop in Guatemala.

Mrs. Paco found this article, which could provide an alternative: round desks with plastic bubbles. What would really be cool, though, would be elongated desks topped with classic-car cabs. I’m thinking 1951 Desoto with the split-windshield.

Boss [angrily approaching my work station]: Hey, what about that report that was due two weeks ago?

Me [rolls window up, locks door, and tunes dash radio to the 24-hour bagpipe channel]: What? Sorry, can’t hear you. [Scribbles on a post-it note and holds up to window] “Put it in an email – and while you’re out there, how about cleaning the windshield? Thanks.”



Spiny Norman said...

Cube farm? Ah! The sweet Dilbert life!

JeffS said...

Ah, cube farms! Where the phrase "gophering" means more than fetching something.

I've spent the last 20 odd years in Cubical City, and while the concept might be Da Bomb for Big Brother, it can be hell on morale and team work.

Not to mention, every time you want to rearrange the furniture (which WILL happen), you must DISASSEMBLE the furniture, and hope you have the right parts to reassemble into the desired new configuration.

Thinking upon it, we have re-organized our Cubicle Complex, hmmmmm, at least 4 times since we moved into our current building. In that process, my rump has not moved more than 20 feet from the original location. Except for my two post 9/11 deployments, of course.

The last round of moves and rearrangements was also the result of stimulus funding, when we ramped up our hiring, and needed more cubbies for new employees to squeeze into. This meant losing a great deal of file and storage space. So files either went into archives or the shredder; equipment was stuffed into every nook and cranny, or sent out for disposal Through Official Channels™.

Funny thing, though. Nearly half of the new cubbies remain unoccupied. Either the managers didn't get around to doing the paperwork, or they couldn't find anyone to take the job. And now with sequestration looming on the horizon, we have a hiring freeze.

Yay! Maybe I can move the boxes under my cubbie counter out.

Or not; maybe I make a crawl space behind the boxes for post-lunch naps.

Steve Burri said...

The Cone of Silence!

SwampWoman said...

Dang, I'd want mine tinted for privacy.

/you lookin' at ME?

mojo said...

Catapults. Now.

bruce said...

The bagpipe channel yes, turning the dial late at night I sometimes faintly hear it, calling me back to the green hills o' Killiecrankie.

Anonymous said...

Deborah said .... Paco, you're welcome. Does seniority get a larger bubble? Northern style pow wow music works well too.

Swampie, how about reflective tint?

SwampWoman said...

Reflective tints would mean that the office floozies would always be stopping by to check whether their cleavage exposure is optimal. That would be annoying. On the other hand, my other office inmates couldn't see me giving them the finger.

I'll have to consider this.

RebeccaH said...

Good grief. Are we men or are we Hobbits?

Spiny Norman said...


Well, in the book at least, the Hobbits finally rose up against "Sharkey" and his Chicago-style goons.

Martin said...

I've 'benched' for the last 6 years, it's actually ok - provided you get on with the people you 'bench' with. A friend of mine has it worse; they 'hot desk'; IOW, they have to take whatever's available.
The worst thing for me is that last year they started making us all wear suits, even though we never see any clients in my department. It used to be just 'smart informal', much better IMHO.

SwampWoman said...

Oh, I dunno. I think I'd wear a tux and a top hat. Maybe a walking stick, too. You could whistle "Puttin' on the Ritz" while you work.

Paco said...

Swampy: I've often considered doing that very thing; maybe add some spats.

SwampWoman said...

Heh. I think I'll dress Steampunk for my next several jobs. I expect my employment would be of very short duration.