As you probably know by now, I work in IT. IT can mean many things to many companies. I have been asked to set vcr’s, dub VHS tapes to DVD’s, fix cell phones, and most everything else except plumbing. And it’s only a matter of time until the plumbing request pops into my inbox.
Some companies value their IT people. Some companies need to be reminded they have IT people. Some companies actively seek the input of their computer people. Some companies act really confused and look around quizically when the concept of IT comes up.
And then there’s my company. Let’s say we have recently graduated to checking in with IT before servers are purchased.
Picture twelve people in a room. Now picture their desks… the room is suddenly much smaller than it appeared earlier in the sentence. Now picture mounds of computers, raising the temperature well above the building’s ability to cool it. Finally, picture all of IT’s inventory (computers, monitors, stock, etc.) piled up in front of and around half of the desks. Why half of the desks? Because only half of the people do hardware/software.
In case you’re having visualization difficulties, let me assist you: it looks like a Category Three Hurricane blew through the room, leaving only the desks where they were. This was after the a-bomb went off but only slightly before the delivery of all thirty new pc’s and servers for the new area.
It wasn’t always like this, no sir. We used to be in a smaller room.
Appeals for more space seemed to be landing on deaf ears. I figured I’d abandon the Old Ways of doing things and go into Agitation Mode<tm>. Leftystrat, Agent Provocateur, was on the case (pardon my French). Sometimes people keep doing things the old way because it’s the only way they know. Sometimes people keep doing things the old way because they’re stupid.
I figured we’d counter this like true agitators. We’d simply let the stuff pile up like mad. It’s not like it’s junk… we need to keep a lot of stock on-hand. It got halfway to the very high ceiling and people actually started to notice(!). They would wonder aloud how we could `work in all that’. They’d openly state that we needed more room. The plan was working.
The plan worked so well that they offered us more space! Yes, we could have the small closet down the hall.
This was the only time Agitation Mode<tm> has ever failed me. An optimist would say `but you did get some extra space.’ I hate *$&#ing optimists. Some of the people I work with insist that the glass is one percent full, not ninety-nine percent empty – know what I mean? You just want to grab their optimistic little necks and squeeze until one hundred percent of their lungs are empty.
So there still aren’t a lot of places to put things these days. The company is expanding faster than the department that procured doctor’s notes so they wouldn’t have to walk ten feet further to the printer. There is very little free space. Except for the huge area next door.
I put my corporate thinking cap on (as opposed to the one that says EAT ME) and suggested that we get the huge area next door. Since there are only temporary walls separating the rooms, there would be almost zero cost to break on through to the other side, as it were. I even volunteered to give the crew sledgehammers and we’d do it ourselves. It could be used for storage, so it wouldn’t have to be renovated; it would just be one huge closet. It was win-win all around!
It was win-win all around right up until I asked. They told me it was a pretty good idea, all things considered. About three hours later Boss Colon tells me that they changed their alleged minds. Apparently that space is being used as an after-hours exercise room.
That’s right – you heard right; an after-hours exercise room.
Someone in their right mind would be prompted to wonder why it couldn’t also be used for storage, as the exercise only happens after hours. This would presuppose that we work with anyone in their right mind.
Someone else would ask about the relative importance of the IT department being able to work (or walk) versus the after-hours exercising. I think we have a relatively firm idea of where we stand now. Let’s just say that we’re still standing, as well as bailing as quickly as we’re able.
Now that the building’s being renovated, they will be doing some further space re-allocation. I hear they finally want to move us.
To the roof.