Monday, May 10, 2010

Hammer and Tongs

Last Friday I didn’t really have time to blog from work because of two completely unrelated factors:

The Hammer: After enough-weeks-to-lose-track, the hammer finally fell and I was informed right around mid-morning that I needed to clear out of my cubicle. A new hire was starting work in the government office on Monday (today) and was going to be assigned the workspace where I had been squatting. I assume I’ve mentioned this situation and this possible resolution thereof enough times that everyone reading this will realize it was not a big deal in the grand scheme of things. It did not fill me with exquisite fear about the future of my position and/or paycheck, as I’ve always known that I’m an integral part of the contract who simply has the misfortune of being listed as an off-site team member but who finds his job much easier to accomplish on-site and has just been kind of winging it.

Interestingly enough, my contractor-manager did not so much as breathe a word this time around about relocating me off-site to a corporate HQ desk/cube/office/crawlspace/whathaveyou. He just showed up in my govt. cubicle and asked me to follow him down the hall to a separate room where up to three people can work at once at temporary workstations, and asked me if I would mind working there as of Monday until we figure something else out. Considering that there are technically only about four and a half months left on the current contract, I no longer consider it outside the realm of possibility that they might simply re-write the next contract for FY11 in order to convert my role from off-site to on-site, rather than actually figure out a permanent off-site home for me, because that apparently is a task of mythological-labor levels of difficulty.

Apparently in this analogy Hercules is me, and the Lion is A Consistent Place To Work And Maybe Leave A Coffe Mug At If That's Not Too Much To Ask.  I guess?
But as always, I am a team player and not a complainer so I assured my manager I was fine with relocating. Still, it cut into my valuable slacking-off-at-work time, since I had to clear all my files off the cubicle computer (deleting some and copying others to the office network so I could access them elsewhere), and gather up all my paper files and such (though thankfully I hadn’t accumulated much along those lines), and set up the temp workstation computer and put in a Help Desk request for the one piece of software I use semi-regularly which needs to be custom installed wherever I go. But in the end, I daresay it was worth it, because even though I am now (this is NOT a joke) sitting a small windowless room which is also being used for storage and therefore contains a small flock of broken chairs as well as many boxes of random computer components, it is an out-of-the-way small windowless storage room and I feel a little less like people are constantly passing behind me and looking over my shoulder and judging me. So that’s decidedly more pleasant, and well worth sacrificing my view of the monuments across the river. Also I think the computer here at my new digs is actually newer and faster than in the old cubicle, although I'm trying to play that relatively cool so that I.T. doesn't come and re-appropriate it.

The Tongs: The other impingement on my time on Friday was the fact that my government supervisor decided to re-institute an old departmental tradition, namely Random Wine and Cheese Fridays. The technical term for my response parameters in those types of situations is HELL YEAH. So after shuttling stuff physically from one office desk to another and electronically from one drive to another I was more than ready for some crackers and Jarlsberg and cheap merlot. The spread of both foodstuffs and wines was actually impressively generous, well worth the hat-passing for 3 bucks a person that (partially) underwrote it. I stayed for about an hour and got my fill, and since by then it was close enough to quitting time and I had long since finished my workweek quota, I slipped out before the event officially ended. But I assume, having returned to a still-standing office today, that no fistfights broke out over the crudités (the tongs-necessitating munchies, in case you were wondering about my ever-tenuous connection making) so I also assume that our supervisor will be bringing Wine and Cheese Fridays back semi-regularly, and I for one have no problem allowing my morale to be manipulated and pandered to in such fashion.

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