seating arrangements

Subject: seating arrangements
From: "Humphries, Ola" <Ola -dot- Humphries -at- Caminus -dot- com>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Thu, 11 Jul 2002 09:21:09 -0500

Recently, market forces required that my company transfer me to another
division of the company.
Now instead of working from home four days a week and taking a short bus
ride to a downtown office, I must commute 1.5 hours by bus or buy a car. (I
hate cars.) I also must report to work at the site all days of the week, as
this division does not allow home workers.
But the main kicker is the seating arrangment. The new location sits its
lone techwriter at a long table among the programmers. No cubicle and small
desk space. Possibly a file drawer, but no bookcases. Just the same amount
of work area that the programmers have. I find these accommodations
unpalatable. I'm wondering if having a bit of privacy (in the way of a
cubicle) is generally a job requirement for most of you. Does anyone know of
studies done with writers to show how their creativity is impacted by this
open and crowded environment? The manager of this situation, by the way,
thinks its great that his workers show their team spirit by such
arrangements. I can only think of them as uncomplaining, self-effacing
At one of my prior jobs I did sit among the programmers and liked the
arrangement, but there everyone (including the programmers) had cubicles
with high walls, almost rooms. At another prior job, writers were housed
together in such an arrangement. The turnover was very high.
My writer friends have occasionally discussed how programmers are sometimes
subjected to such arrangements and we always felt that even non-complaining
programmers would be happier with more private work spaces.
Should I just thank my lucky stars for even having a job in Houston's
downsized energy market and just gwichurgriping? I do know that my resume
has now hit the streets.

Ola Humphries
Technical Writer

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