22nd July 1996
Another office re-organisation looms at work. It means I'll sit at the fourth - or is it fifth - desk in less than two years. Even now I can see the high level managers in a boardroom somewhere with a chess board-like diagram of the building, moving pieces around, deciding which departments move to other sites.
The actual move doesn't happen for another couple of weeks, but it's important that everyone knows in advance so they can worry about whether or not they'll end up sitting next to anybody with whom they have a severe personality clash.
Not that there's many people who hate each others' guts on our project team. (Maybe "hate each others' guts" is too strong - let's just say "dislike each others' mannerisms"). While there are always some disagreements and stress in any group of about thirty people who are facing almost continual collective looming deadlines, nobody has, for example, felt strongly enough to code the office layout in Doom. Yet.
Actually, I work with a group of incredibly skilled people, who would never dream of getting into petty squabbles. They use their vast knowledge and teamwork to continually whap deadlines squarely on the head whenever they arise. I learn from and value every hour that I work with these highly experienced professionals. (Yep, some of them will be reading this, did you guess?)
There are important things to consider when Those In Charge decide who sits where. They have to look at who works with whom, who needs extra work space, and who's been working here the longest and deserves the best view from the window.
As it happens, we're moving into a larger area, so everybody gets more desk space - that is, more horizontal surfaces on which to scatter papers chaotically. And just about everyone gets glorious views of St Kilda Road ahem oops, St Kilda Boulevard, which seems to be important sometimes, even if you do spend 95% of your time staring into your monitor. And most of the other 5% in meeting rooms with little or no natural light.
So all looks well for when we move. There'll be the usual disruption as the mass shift of computers, books, files, office furniture and assorted other junk makes it across the building, but when it's all over we'll be in a more spacious, nicer working environment. As a workmate commented, all we'll need now is a flying fox down to the tram stop on the corner.
Guide To Life In The Office