Monday, February 27, 2012

Construction Zone

The big excitement around the office as of some time last week is an ongoing construction project taking place on our floor. The end goal of this build-out is to reconfigure the entrances to our suite. At the moment there are certain physical security precautions in place between where the elevators let people off on our floor and where the actual work gets done, but insufficient security precautions for doing Secret-level classified work. (I will spare the details of what differentiates the two levels of precaution in the interest of national security.) Since many people in this office need to do classified-type work, the workaround since we all moved to this building last year has been to go to a different floor of the building (which does have the proper physical safeguards) whenever we need to get some secret work done. This is clearly less than ideal, hence the construction to address the root issue. When the work is completed, the classified equipment on the other floor can be relocated to within our suite, and everyone will be able to do all their work in one place (in theory).

Odds we all get locked in due to a citywide power outage someday?  50-50.
So there’s a zone of the office consisting largely of unfinished drywall and exposed joists and fluttering curtains of heavy plastic dropcloths and so on. Which would be unusual enough in and of itself, but as mentioned this zone happens to encompass the entrance to the suite, so any comings and goings by necessity have to pass through it. There are actually multiple doorways leading from the elevators to the suite, but they’ve been roped off with yellow and black Do Not Enter tape in turns over the past week or so, causing detours the long way around the suite. It’s odd and a little bit annoying, but again, usually things are so quiet and boring around here that at least it’s newsworthy.

Honestly, I will miss the split setup a bit. The secure area on the other floor is a windowless room with bare walls and cubicles, since no one works there even close to fulltime and thus no one customizes their work area. (Technically none of the work areas belong to anyone specific, and are available to anyone who needs them at any time, but of course we all tend to sit in the same places every time we end up there.) But it’s blessedly quiet, and sometimes I’ve taken advantage of an incredibly flimsy work-related pretext to head down there and just muck around with some busywork in order to get away from the rest of the office. Sad to think that could ever amount to something like a perk, but sadder still to think of that going away.

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