Thursday, April 09, 2009

True Story

The building in which I work really isn't big enough for us all. We moved in about 3 years ago and even back then space was a little tight. We've got people working in elevator shafts and storage closets. In the past 3 years we've grown a lot so you can imagine the workspace issues we face now.

At the beginning of the year I moved out of the IT department and into Client Services. This was nice, because IT resides in the windowless portion of the basement, behind a locked door, in cubes. I was often a bit depressed there for some reason. Client Services was up on the third floor (where's there's sunshine!) but there was nowhere for me to sit, so I took up residence in the hallway behind one of those little half-walls at an empty receptionist desk, in front of the printer and next to the shared mini-fridge. While this made snacking easy, the desk itself was too small to house both my bigass monitors, my keyboard and any notes, pens, my phone or my arms. I was elated when we learned we'd be moving. True, it was back to the basement, but this section has windows and I would actually occupy an office. A real office. For the first time in years.

So down we went and while it was wonderful, we were lacking in office space (of course) and the walls were missing things like lightswitch covers. There were giant skid marks from frequent furniture rearranging and big holes where various wall hangings had once resided. Oh, and the sign outside our section identified us as Accounting and Finance.

Several weeks after we moved we were granted approval to put up a new wall, thus creating another office, and to get lightswitch covers, some touch-ups on the paint and maybe even a new sign. They put the wall up at night while we were all at home sleeping. Then we started to notice they were doing the finishing work while we were all there. First, they came in to paint the new offices. Our area is pretty closed off, so we all quickly became light-headed. There's a conference room that sits between our offices and the main hallway, so we opened the doors to that and, despite the cold, the windows in the new offices. Happily, I had a meeting which got me out of the immediate area. When I returned, I opened the door to our department and it stopped 2/3 of the way, hitting some chairs. Then I turned the corner into my office only to find all the furniture in my office had been moved into the center of the room and the window in there opened. They'd come in and spackled the holes in my office walls while I was out. I climbed over a couple chairs and eeked my way back to my spot at my desk.

By now the paint fumes were wafting down the hall and permeating the entire basement. One of my co-workers was walking past the open conference door when she bumped into our building manager, who was in the act of closing said door. "The smell." she said to my co-worker in a stage whisper, waving a hand in front of her nose for emphasis and closed us all in with the fumes. My co-worker shared this with me as I sat trapped behind my own office furniture. "Does she think we didn't notice 'the smell'?" she asked then gave me one of those wide-eyed, apoplectic looks.

We soldiered on, only wondering aloud once or twice how many brain cells we were losing. It was close to 4 and I'd gotten used to my new office arrangement, and to being cold (it meant the smell was less pungent). I was on the phone when, without warning, a man walked into my office, set up a ladder and began painting the crown mouldings. He said nothing to me. I said "Errrr..." Then his boss came in carrying more paint supplies, he gave me a warm smile and wished me a good afternoon. "His ladder is blocking my exit." I said, indicating the painter with my head while I was still on the phone. "Yes, sorry. We're painting the trim today and we'll paint the walls tomorrow. Maybe you want to come in around noon tomorrow?" Yes. I want to come in around noon. Because I don't do anything here. "You know I'm working here, right?" I asked. "Yes, yes, I'm sorry for the inconvenience, but I mean, if we can't get this done now when will we do it?" I blinked at him. "Are we on a sitcom?" He laughed uncomfortably. I decided it would be a good time to go home. I climbed over the chairs again, squeezed behind the back of my desk, ducked under the ladder and escaped the office. I took a picture of the scene with my phone. How could I be mad? This is easily the funniest thing that's ever happened at my office (notice how I don't mention work much? ZZZzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz). And, I did want the holes in my walls patched...


The Plaid Sheep said...

It's like The Sting. Are you sure they didn't have some nefarious purpose?

LMP said...

God love `em, they just aren't that organized.

Keith said...

I was thinking more along the lines of the 3 Stooges when they were painters. The swinging ladders. The sledgehammer that they needed as painters for some reason.