So the move was completed at 4pm, with a bunch of tired, sore IT folks limping out into the rain. We knew it would get interesting the first time it rained in the new area. Even if there were no leaks, the noise would make it sound like World War II, with the rain banging on the windows in the ceiling.
HA! The joke was on us. Back in the dingy old IT area (Area51), we noted that the new area was pretty much free from leaks. Our own area, however, was a different story entirely. You know those light fixtures they put in drop ceilings? The ones with the fluorescent bulbs that take up an entire tile space? Well, one of ours was full of water.
While deciding who to call, we spent some quality time deciding whose desk would get the worst of it, when it finally gave up. If the water shorted out the power, we’d all lose (except yours truly, who has his own UPS by his desk, which sounds only slightly less manageable than an airport). If the fixture opened on its hinges, one of my team would get the brunt of the mini-lake. If it simply blew out the lens, a different guy would get it.
As one of my people was in danger, I volunteered to make the call for repairs. Shortly thereafter, our crack building team, so named because they’re all on crack, came running to assess the situation. They were so concerned about the potential for damage that they were not seen for another twenty six hours. The puddle on the inside of the lens had expanded to fill the entire surface. If the lens let go, we’d have an interesting small lake on our floor. My UPS would be very unhappy.
Meanwhile, back at the new area, I had arrived at 7:45am Monday morning to make certain everyone’s needs were addressed. And darnit, there wasn’t a single peep until an hour or so later. What was the peep in reference to? You’re gonna love this…
We went with VOIP (voice over IP) phones, meaning the data and voice share one network cable. The ones I purchased have some molding on them which makes the phone sit uneven. When I say uneven, I mean a slight bump. There were ten complaints about this within the space of an hour, with more later.
What’s worse, the entire team forgot its instructions about what to do in this inevitability: hit the person with an aluminum baseball bat that happens to have a spike through it. Put the person’s head on a pole outside of the IT office to serve as a lesson to the other whiners.
Someday I’ll have total mastery of quantum physics and will be able to transport the unbelievably offended coworker back to when we walked into the building and allow them to fully experience the six hours of hell involved in making sure the computers would be ready for the ungrateful bastards on Monday morning.
Six hours of grief and aggravation. We’re salaried so there’s no compensation or comp time. Six hours of crawling under desks, hanging upside down, and imagining which complaints we’ll get first thing in the morning.
And what do we get? A big thank you for all the time spent pulling this off! Of course I’m $*#@ing kidding. We get a boatload of complaints about the network cable making phones unstable. And they can’t simply complain, no sir. They need to sit down with us, look us in the eye, and make sure we understand the depths of their unhappiness. Oh My God…. their phones aren’t completely flat! Somebody call the Attorney General! Alert the media! Get Ted Koppel on the line. We haven’t seen this level of abject suffering since the time the new mice didn’t match the keyboards. Oh, the humanity…
Once we got the roar down to merely defeaning, we could apply ourselves to the other pressing issues.
- the lady who was out the entire weekend and forgot her password (this was such a high priority she waited two days to try the new password)
- the lady who was out two weeks and forgot her password
- the guy who forgot his login (hint: it’s your first name, Einstein)
- the biggest sh*t fit we’ve seen in two years: one department flatly refused to walk ten extra feet to their new printer. You have to feel sorry for these folks, who can’t tolerate the additional cardiac stress required. Normally walking is a good thing, especially if you’re fifty or more pounds overweight. And this particular department is at least fifty or more pounds overweight. Perhaps the Benefits Department realized there’s no way we can afford the increase in premiums from making these people walk. Or stand.
- the other guy who can print spreadsheets but not email
- twelve people who don’t like where their computer is sitting. They would prefer it back in the old building (not that this is our problem – they just like to complain)
The most plentiful complaint is not about the computer, its placement, non-level phones, pencils needing sharpening, or even the walk to the exit. The largest complaint is from every single person who had to stay in the old section of the building.
There is no doubt an entire branch of psychology dedicated to working in offices. There’s the coworker who literally counted ceiling tiles to make sure no one got a bigger office. The apoplectic people who didn’t get a window. The department stuck with their old desks. The folks bitching that the new bathroom is so much nicer than theirs.
I am convinced that if people are denied the chance to go to a new office or building, they are going to be upset. Not even the fact that the new space features twenty four inch rotating blades and is smoking-only will deter the inevitable bitching, coveting, and general whiny-mindedness.
Meanwhile, I’m probably the only guy in the building who is happy to not have been moved. I’d much rather not get a new space. I’d prefer additional space, but that’s another matter entirely. The IT department is not exactly a high-priority department when it comes to space allocation. Or when it comes to bathroom allocation. Or allocation of pretty much anything, servers aside. I’ll rant about that later. Or next.