It is almost couple of years ago when I walked into First Floor to join Engineering Department and saw a setting of cubicles where bunch of nerds sat on their desks with their eyes glued to their laptop screens. I got a good feeling about it as that seemed to be a typical engineering environment where these guys were busy doing some high tech stuff and I was going to be a part of it. It took me a few months to get to familiarize myself with my new colleagues and the First Floor.
What have we got here?
We have got in the middle, around ten rows of cubicles, each one of them is accommodating at least two people. I always wonder how cool it would be to knock all the cubicles down and put student desks with broad arm where everybody can put their laptop and nag about the teacher who never shows up. At the right most corner there is a big room which has been labeled conference room, which almost never is vacant and God knows what goes on in there. Someone pastes a weekly schedule for this room on the glass door and then there is scribbling on it which makes it hard to understand what is happening there. I have a bright idea to turn that room into entertainment center so that people who really want to change from bitching mode to don’t care mode can go and forget about the rest of the world. Fortunately, we have turned an executive office to a second conference room without much regard to pigeon holes we have got on the rest of the floor. This room however can be found vacant if IT department is not holding lengthy week long socializing cum training sessions.
We have couple of executive offices where we have confined some division heads just so that they can shield themselves from the rest of the populace. More than often you can find the doors to these offices closed which makes other people wonder may be their job is not so important. Well these are big guys anyways, the hardship is always for poor guys, meager engineers who really have to show their strong emotions before somebody notices them,
err huh, who are you?
Oh an engineer, sorry mate we don’t care much about the engineers here.
We have got on this floor really good engineers and mid level managers, whose tolerance level has skyrocketed just because our HR doesn’t give a damn about our workplace. These guys keep themselves calm always thinking about positive things that can happen in the future; and the future might be few light years away. They have developed an impeccable level of tolerance and live in their cozy surroundings without ever thinking about it. Every now and then somebody will resign and leave and they will only know when there is a goodbye email arriving in their inbox. They’ll think hard to figure out who the guy is, but cannot recall seeing him on this floor. His goodbye email would be very emotional but heck; he’s leaving and it is supposed to be like that, and the life goes on.
We quite often see new people coming and camping on this floor, but almost never we like to welcome them; not just because we hate to see new engineers but because these people sometimes leave before we have a proper introduction. And exactly why do these people leave? We have no idea about that, but it may have something to do with the situation of the toilets. Management was very generous to allocate two toilets for around, I don’t know how many people? May be hundreds; and keeping in mind this ratio you might be able to see some people walking around with their pants wet, which may or may not be disgusting to others. Yet we are so considerate that we squeeze in a few internees too. Well I am not offended by the presence of internees, but rather the idea of these internees spending their summer in nice and cool environment which can become humid just because of our generous toilet situation.
Beside engineers and managers we have a tea room, few tea boys, an air-conditioning unit, few security guards, pool car drivers, few coordinators, a photocopy machine and photocopy operator, water cooler, printers, chairs, telephone sets; analog and IP ones, a secretive RF Planning room, fans hanging from the pillars, a map titled Roaming Launched, few of our female colleagues, some plants, trophies and shields. What we don’t have is an intelligent compass which can point to a direction where we all should be heading.