Today marks a sad day for me. I am losing my office tomorrow and today is the day I take everything home with me. I am losing my office because the company I work for was bought by a much larger consulting firm that wanted access to our clients and projects. Well they got it but in their purchase, I am losing my office. I have had an office with a door for the last 10 years and I am not sure if I am going to know how to operate in cube land. Actually, the new company doesn't even have cubes - they use an open floor plan with dog-bone workstations. They use a "hoteling" system to reserve workstations for a week or two at a time. Research has shown that this type of work environment is lousy and does not increase productivity but rather breeds resentment and a miserable work environment. I guess I will learn if I can work in this environment next week but I can already tell you that my new co-workers are not going to like the chaos and noise I bring to the workplace.
As I whine and cry with my co-workers (we are an office of 7 people that work incredibly well together) about our move, I have been looking for any excuse NOT to work. Yes - I am still getting my job done but it is the in-between times that find me looking at old photos, surfing the internet, and even shopping for Christmas gifts for my boys. That is when I found this photo I titled "Two Balls".
I took this SnakeSelfie last winter on a sunny afternoon in my living room. The snakes were new to me and I needed to get to know them before I used them in any snake programs. I don't mind being bitten by snakes but I cannot have any of my snakes bite anyone else - that would just not be good for business. The snake on my right shoulder is a biter but the snake on my left shoulder is a sweetheart.
The photo title, "Two Balls", has double meaning in that it references the species of snake - ball python and it references the male anatomy. Now, I can already feel you rolling your eyes at me and hear your thought of "that's disgusting" but really it is kind of funny if you can just let your immature self out for a moment. I certainly can and probably do let my immaturity out too much but right now that is my frame of mind. I am moving into an office where I am being treated as a dollar sign rather than an employee (new company is all about profit) and forced to work in a setting that resembles the a computer lab with white noise blaring from speakers to help drown out conversations. This is a perfect storm to bring out my immaturity and this photo represents my mood almost perfectly if you can remove the sadness of losing my office.
I let my immature frame of mind about this move slip during a recent "integration" meeting that the new company had with us a few weeks ago. They were introducing the "hoteling" and open floor plan to us in addition to other benefit related changes (I never even knew that there could be a spousal surcharge for health insurance). During a pause in their presentation, I raised my hand and asked what day and time the Nerf wars occurred. You should have seen the blank stares I got and the two people giving the presentation are two of the folks I thought had the better senses of humor in the new company. FUCK - I am so screwed.
|Seating Chart for my first week at the new office|
One positive is that my boss is also having to give up his office and will join me in "hotel hell". Just this week, we received our assigned workstations and Andrew (my boss) is close enough to shoot rubber bands at throughout the day. Actually, at a previous employer, he was a part of the rogue group in their cube land that was responsible for a rubber band policy banning all shooting of rubber bands in the office. I can see similar policy being enforced in our near future.
So despite all the negatives of being sold to a company with a very different and profit driven culture, I think my work family will find a way to bring our fun with us. If not, I can only hope to be laid off so I will be forced to pursue my snake dream.