Friday, December 30, 2011

The Big Move. Or, Another Day At Sirius Cybernetics

After a particularly difficult few months at work, I called in a pile of favors and managed a transfer to another department.

There was much rejoicing.

Then it came time to move my desk.

I have a great collection of tech manuals, and these bricks are the most difficult when doing a cube move. However, I never brought them into this office. The programmers in my department were the kind of psycho-weenies that memorize every line of our code base, and think anyone who uses books is a cretin. So I gave in to peer pressure. Besides, why haul books around when Professor Google can produce it for you?

My spartan cube consisted of a few toys, pictures, magnets, pens, dust, etc. Barely enough to fill a copy paper box. Plus, I didn't have to move my computer monitor. Every cube has the same one, so they're left in place. It's not like they're heavy anyway. I'm not talking about those those giant, forty pound, boxy things from ten years ago. This was a slim-line, flat monitor that I could pick up easily with one hand.

Other than my box of cube detritus, the only other item to move was the docking station for my laptop, which weighs about one pound. 

Now, everywhere I've worked in the past, a cube move is not a big deal. You pick up your shite and go. Apparently that's not the way it works here at Sirius Cybernetics.

Welcome to the world of bureaucracy and unions.

So, when I started filling my copy paper box with stuff, my cube neighbor, Daphne the Socialist, informs me I can't do this by myself.

“Do 'what' by myself, exactly? Throw some photos and toys in a box?” I said.

Daphne is super nice, and extremely good at her job. A real go-to person when you've got an application functionality question, but all of her conversations gravitate to national healthcare or that the President is going to give everyone a free college education. 

“The desktop IT department has to move your stuff. It's their job!” she exclaims.

“That's silly, I don't have much to move... ”

She cuts me off. “It doesn’t matter. It's a union job and they're supposed to do it. I can't believe you didn't know that! You can get in big trouble! Just put in a work ticket and assign it to their group. They'll come over with a hand cart and move your things to the new cube.”


Okay fine. Whatever. I relent, and put in my ticket.

(As a side note: This procedure was put into place back when dinosaurs roamed the earth, because computer equipment was made of rocks, and too heavy for programmers to lift. Now that technology made everything smaller and lighter, it seems nobody thought to change this rule.)

I waited all day, then called the help desk for a status. They told me the ticket would be completed in the order it was received. I begged and pleaded. No dice.

The next morning, I returned to my old desk - since that's where my stuff was, and waited. Called again. No status. It could take a while, they said, depending on how busy they are.

I tried doing some work. New job requires a bit more concentration, and a bit more quiet. Unfortunately, my soon-to-be old cube is in the middle of a high traffic row, across from the men's room, and was apparently constructed of leftover partitions. Half the walls were full size, and the other half being a mismatched pair of four foot high slabs that left an unusually large exit/entry point. This meant that the flow of screaming, cursing (in several languages), sneezing, bellowing and giggling floated through my cube like a hot cabbage fart. Violent and noxious.

I decided I'd had enough. This was stupid - I had work to do, and this was holding up my productivity.

I grabbed my copy paper box in one hand, the docking station in the other, and slid out. I just needed to get past a few conference rooms and one of those key-card doors. Once I reached the door, I tucked the docking station under my arm, and with my free hand, pushed the door open.

Sadly, I was unaware that our department head was also opening the door from the other side (I swear, I think I only saw this guy twice in all the time I'd been there, but there he was). I fell through the doorway, and somehow managed not to sucker punch him in the gut with my Box O' Crap.

“Where are you going with that?” he asked.

At that point, something in my brain snapped. Nothing was going to make me stay in that adjunct ring of hell for another second.

“Whaaa? Nowhere. Stuff. Box for new cube....moving. Bye!” Then I ran.

With my two measly items, I reported to the “Facilities Engineer”, “Floor Plan Artist”, “Cube Farm Controller”, or whatever they're calling the person who assigns the human stalls these days. She also lectured me on moving my own cube-shite, tickets, union, etc. Aargh.

Finally, she lead me to my new digs. No window, but hey, no noise or weird smells, either. Desk was filthy, but that's fairly normal – I'm probably the only person who actually mopped off my scungey desk when I vacated.

However, in the middle of my new cube sat an apparently dead old laserjet with the plastic casing busted, two monitors and giant ball of cables.

“Oh dear,” says Cube Lady, “I put a ticket in for Desktop IT to come and pick those up a week ago. I'll have to give them a call.”

“ do that.” I sighed.