Office Space

Subject: Office Space
From: Matthew Bin <mattbin -at- HOTMAIL -dot- COM>
Date: Sun, 21 Feb 1999 12:24:16 EST

I suppose it's my turn to share an office space wonderland story.

I have been working on a contract since November on a rather large Year
2000 project; the project was for three months initially, and has been
extended for another six. With this extension, many more engineers were
brought on board and the consulting company decided to lease a huge new
room for the project. (Until this point, I had been working in the
lunch room, board room, and other meeting rooms in the consulting
company's office space.)

The two geniuses who laid out the floor plan--two pointy-haired
undermanagers--somehow forgot to put space in there for myself and the
other writer on the project. The result: the other writer is in an
office twelve floors up (until they think of something else to do with
it); I sit at one corner of my boss' desk. Everyone else on the project
has a chair and table space to call their own; I am nomadic, except that
at least nomads could bring chairs with them if they wanted.

When my boss has to meet with someone or take certain calls, I have to
leave the room. Messages don't get to me because a lot of people can't
find me. I don't have a phone number where people can reach me, I don't
have any connection to the local network, so I can't print, send or
receive e-mail, or use project files without annoying someone for a few
minutes by taking their workstation; I have no privacy, no peace or
quiet, nowhere to meet with clients or other project workers, and
nowhere to eat lunch.

And I probably need not describe the headaches that the situation
creates in trying to manage the project's documentation.

Did I mention that I love my job? That I spring out of bed to get ready
for the one hour commute? That I work as late as I can every day
because the project is fascinating and invigorating and because the
people are excellent?

When I took this job, my pay almost tripled. I am working for an
excellent boss. I got a raise at the beginning of February--something
that didn't happen in my thirteen months at Compaq, despite five months
of "review". I work as many (or as few) hours as I want, and my work is
varied and challenging so I work plenty. The opportunities won't stop
coming up, I am learning an incredible amount about the consulting
business, and I have a secure position in this company (my contract is
until the end of this year)--much more secure than with Compaq.

My point is that one's working space is a frill; I found that out the
easy way. If you have a great job, your desk, cube, office, or lack of
all three are pretty unimportant. Do you love your job? Do you make
reasonable money (or better)? If the answer to these two questions is
yes, I think most people would work under almost any conditions.


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