July 7, 2004

Office White Tornado

You ought to see the carpets in our offices. I assure you, that beneath the stains there are carpets under there. When we first inherited our offices from the university (7 years or so ago), we noticed the carpets were messy and smelly, with numerous unidentifiable stains scattered everywhere. There was talk last year of replacing the carpets, but I have a feeling that minds changed on the matter. Instead, they sent in the cleaning brigade.

Now, people clean floors every day. What was amazing about our office cleaning was the number of people who brought their talents to bear on the problem. It took 3 people to vacuum my postage-stamp office. All throughout the day, there were different people wandering around. It appeared that there were only a couple of cleaning machines, so I have to wonder how many people it takes to work these machines.

The fun never starts!

I can almost swear that as each hour passed I saw different people coming in looking around, standing around for a while and then leaving. I saw at least 6 different people come in to stare at the pile of boxes at the end of the hall. That’s where we keep our copy-machine paper. Did they movie the boxes? Apparently, not enough manpower. However, they did spend a good deal of time regarding the boxes. “Hmmmm. Hmmmmmmmm. We gonna move those? Nope.

From all I could tell, these were decent folks. Unfortunately, they invaded like bulls in a china shop. No one bothered to ask about the electrical power situation.They blew the circuit breaker for our room, forcing us to go for a long walk. Programmers don’t get too much debugging done without electricity.

When we came back we found that their solution to tripping the circuit breaker was to simply switch to another plug. They left a number of offices without power for more than two hours. Not even the people in charge had the wherewithal to look for and flip the breaker back on. When we realized they had taken off for a break and didn’t plan to fix the electricity, we did it ourselves.

When they returned, they repeatedly caused power surges that shut my computer down a number of times. Hard restart anyone? Great for the motherboard and hard drive. Even after tripping the breaker, they didn’t bother to ask about other problems they might be causing. At that point, the day was creeping into the “loss” category.

In case anyone is wondering, this is why we’re glad most of the time that the campus facilities leave us alone. As long as the friendly and competent custodians stop by twice a week to empty the garbage and such, we’re generally happy.

And the carpets? Well, the cleanish spots now look even cleaner, which throws the stains into stark relief. Wunderbar!

This bitter rant brought to you by basically losing a day of work unexpectedly.

Posted by James at July 7, 2004 9:11 PM
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"They blew the circuit breaker for our room, forcing us to go for a long walk."

Honey, this is a _good_ thing.

"When we realized they had taken off for a break and didnít plan to fix the electricity, we did it ourselves."

No no no. This would have been the golden opportunity to take yet another nice long walk or go on an extended lunch to a nice place that has, say, delicious lobster sandwiches (yes, I said "sandwiches" and not "rolls").

I don't wish to diminish your carpet pain, but I doubt the carpeting at your place could hold a candle to the carpets at Foliage. Those are nasty. See? Things could always be worse.

Posted by: Patti M. at July 9, 2004 11:38 AM

I should have done that.

What we did was walk to the library to return some books. But it was hot and I wasn't dressed for a comfortable walk. So, while it was nice to get outside, it wasn't as enjoyable as it could have been.

Yes, things can always be worth. I think I found out that this week I was simply on edge. And that makes me sensitive to large numbers of people tromping through the office and interrupting me by staring at me as if their heads are devoid of thought one, but they are trying to form a question. And then wandering off.

Posted by: James at July 9, 2004 12:10 PM

Ok, next time this sort of thing happens, go to a nice outdoor cafe and have either an iced coffee or a gin and tonic.

Trust me.

Posted by: Patti M. at July 9, 2004 12:31 PM

It certainly is gin and tonic weather.

We have to hang out more often.

Posted by: James at July 9, 2004 12:59 PM

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