November 15, 2012

2013 Office Tour

At lunch before Mass I decided to go on an impromptu "office tour" to see where the big guys live. First up was a senior vice president Tim F., who is a giddy five levels above me in rank and three floors above me geographically. I was surprised to find a large section of the floor sectioned off with glazed opaque windows and special card key entry. But I eventually came to Tim's rather pedestrian office. Not too much bigger or better furnished than the big cheese's on my floor. Of course I couldn't penetrate the office since it doglegs to the left and thus achieves perfect secrecy. It even features a secretary guarding the entrance to this "bat cave".

Next up was Tim's boss, one Mark T, who lives on the 37th floor, some 24 floors above Tim. Quite a lot of distance between boss and report, ha. I self-consciously headed for that odd bank of elevators on the other side, the ones labeled Floors 20-38. I entered with a well-dressed man and pushed the 37th floor but to no avail: it wouldn't light. So I pushed 36, hoping to walk a flight. The 36th floor had folks like one Terri Hill, the president of something. This indeed was rarefied air, with plush home-like surroundings full of comfortable furniture, artwork, wood paneling and wood filing cabinets instead of plain walls, whiteboards and grey metal. The rooms (aka offices) reminded me of the congressional offices in D.C.

Then to the 37th floor! I hiked up and locked down. I tried my keycard to no avail, our leaders inaccessible as US presidents, their workplace as locked down as the White House.

Power to the people! Let's storm that Bastille!


Had 9am meeting, meetings being not my favorite way to start, end, or middle a day. Craig and the big guns sitting around a conference table talking about the potential of a "universal datasource". (Only twelve years too late, in my opinion.) The upshot is there is little potential for it happening. "It can be done," sayeth Dan, "but not without a lot of work." Thus we see nature at work: boss asking worker to take on a great amount of additional work, worker pushing back saying, "tell me you mean it by clearing my other work." In other words, boss asking, "can I get free stuff?" and employee says, "no, you have to pay for it." Of course the adversarial relationship is necessary. Bosses have to push against employee complacency and employees have to push back when too much is asked. A see-saw where balance is sought.

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