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Notes from the Home Office

office cubicle layout

That’s not really my cube — I’m three rows and a Data Center up from there — but mine is laid out and stuck in the traffic pattern exactly the same. So I don’t have my back to the door, as McGoo feared, but my partitions are only elbow high — people coming in the directions indicated by the arrows can snag a glimpse of each of my two monitors, respectively. I have to employ all my considerable weasel powers to continue goofing off the extent I have become accustomed.

First thing I noticed, watching humanity walk by, was how very many Indian people work at the home office. That’s funny because the president of the company is Indian. And when the head of Research was Chinese, so were most of the scientists. I know, I know…but when they elevated an Irishman to the top of training, suddenly all the new training hires were European, which flat doesn’t make sense however you look at it.

I don’t substantially object; I assume people tap into their prior contacts or their alma mater to make new hires. It just so damned blatant, is all. We forever hear what arrogant bigots Americans are, but I wouldn’t have the gall to take a job abroad and hire nothing but my own kind.

This map hangs on the wall outside my cube; they’ve moved everything around in this area and everybody’s lost. One of my cow orkers pointed out the highlights to me.

“And down here are the Table People,” she said, pointing to the bottom.
“That’s what everybody calls them. The Table People. They don’t have cubes. They sit side by side at big long tables.”
“Oh, they seem happy enough,” she said in the same uneasy way you’d discuss conjoined twins or Romanian orphans.

I worked up my nerve after lunch to walk down and gawp at the Table People. PLEASEOHPLEASE…Weasel will be good! Promise! Don’t make me a Table People!


Comment from Steamboat McGoo
Time: November 8, 2007, 5:50 pm

It pleases me to note that you still have an ol’ cow orker or two around to talk to, Weas.

The big question is: what nationality are the (shudder) Table People? Do they go home at night, or do they unfold little T-People blankets and lay down in a corner (out of traffic, of course) until their next shift?

Well, my brain may be slow, but at least it was wrong. Um…that didn’t come out right. Well, maybe it did.

Comment from S. Weasel
Time: November 8, 2007, 5:55 pm

I asked if they were data entry people or temps or something, but she thought they were software developers. The building kind of dead-ends down there, so if you aren’t going to visit the Table People, you really have no business being there. I skidaddled when I saw that.

Hm. I wonder why T-120 and T-136 don’t get chairs. Maybe they were bad. T-136 has got some sweet privacy, anyhow…might be worth standing up for.

Comment from Steamboat McGoo
Time: November 8, 2007, 6:01 pm

Go for T136, Weas. Always good to have a wall at your back in a pinch. If you take 120, THEY can sneak up and attack you from all directions.

Hell, if you’re really good, go for 137 and let them OFFER you 136.

Comment from BGG
Time: November 8, 2007, 6:36 pm

Once, for a short time that seemed like an eternity, I was a Table People. It was the most horrible experience of my life and I’m pretty sure I nearly had a nervous breakdown. With me though it’s hard to tell.

Comment from S. Weasel
Time: November 8, 2007, 6:48 pm

Brrr…I might could do it if I had headphones and a pile of brainless scut work to do. But if I had to think? I’d jump out of my skin.

When I started working for the company, there was still an ink-and-vellum draughting department. Damnation, was that Dickensian. Fifty giant oak drafting tables laid out like a checkerboard, with fifty draughtsmen on high stools. The supervisor used to walk between them all day. They’d ring handbells to mark the beginning and ending of breaktimes.

I didn’t work there, but we inherited some of their people when it went digital. Several in my department took home oak draughting tables when they broke the department up…those things cost thousands these days (and I’m sure they’re not of the same quality).

We held onto one last draughting board for as many years as they’d let us. We called it Binky.

Comment from Steamboat McGoo
Time: November 8, 2007, 7:31 pm

BGG – I don’t think it affected you. I mean, Look at you now – a typical, healthy, garden variety deadly gas & bio-toxin expert. Hmmph! What could be more normal? 🙂

I always want to pronounce draught as drought. I can’t help it. But draft does look pretty puny on a page. No meat to it.

Comment from S. Weasel
Time: November 8, 2007, 8:20 pm

I go back and forward between “draft” and “draught” sometimes in the same sentence — which has nothing to do with Uncle B and everything to do with all those English novels I read growing up.

I still mentally pronounce “gaol” as “gay-all” though.

Comment from Pupster
Time: November 8, 2007, 8:29 pm

It’s always good to know that it can get worse, I guess.

My first day a couple of jobs ago, my new boss walked me back to my office, which was a converted warehouse/tech bench area, and pointed at the only desk in the room.

It was covered with someone else’s personal effects, family pictures, files, rollodex, memos, and a much doodled upon desk calender. “Oh, that stuff belongs to (brooding sociopathic creepy guy), we demoted him this morning, he’ll be your lead tech. He should be along any minute to collect his things…”

Comment from BGG
Time: November 8, 2007, 8:30 pm

Heh. No Steamboat, I’m sure it didn’t affect me at all, bumping elbows with that fat guy next to me and listening to the chewing…and coughing…wheezing…sneezing. BTW this week I visited a vaccine production plant and a biodefense research center, so I’m all full up on paranoid for weeks to come. If I started blogging again I’d probably just scare people!

Comment from porknbean
Time: November 8, 2007, 11:41 pm

Well, you know sweasel, my husband has lots of Indians working at his company too. He was told by his bosses boss that they could get three of ‘them’ for one of him.

Comment from porknbean
Time: November 8, 2007, 11:43 pm

…oh, and they are software developers.

Comment from porknbean
Time: November 8, 2007, 11:45 pm

Hmm…which means they must pay them not too goodly. ‘Cause we ain’t rich.

Comment from Steamboat McGoo
Time: November 9, 2007, 7:10 am

Looks like the North Sea surge worries were for naught. Good.

..But the Dutch over on the continent got to try out their nifty sea-wall technology. It worked, assuming they can get it to open again later today.

Comment from Gibby Haynes
Time: November 9, 2007, 7:59 am

The person in cubicle T-136 rather than sitting down, has to crouch naked in the stress position up against the partition wall with a large number 3 with sharp teeth hovering behind, like in the diagram of those naked chaps elsewhere on this site. It’s a tradeoff for the extra privacy, which let’s face it, is one worth making.

Comment from Steamboat McGoo
Time: November 9, 2007, 2:16 pm

I never imagined that something as mind-numbingly trivial as the height of a person’s cubicle walls at some anonymous DullGrey Corp somewhere on the East Coast of the US would impact my life here in the mid-west so much.

This inability of Weasel to surf & publish in privacy is driving me to drink.

Hey, Weasel? If all the minions can collect enough donations to cover your salary for the next ~3 months (nov-feb roughly), would you then moon your employer a succinct “goodbye”, go home, and blog full-time until feb?

Comment from Christopher Taylor
Time: November 9, 2007, 3:21 pm

Yes, but are you right across from the receptionist who worries you have a case of the Mondays?

Comment from Muslihoon
Time: November 9, 2007, 4:54 pm

Corporate accounts payable, Nina speaking. Just a moment.

Comment from S. Weasel
Time: November 9, 2007, 7:24 pm

Heh. I forgot to thank you guys for recommending Office Space. Bought a copy from Amazon Born Again. I had somehow missed it before. Loved it.

I made Uncle B sit through it, but I think his Office Space years are too far behind him.

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