Making the office "look right"



  • Continuing the discussion from Ponderous at the Ponderosa:

    I had a CEO who was generally regarded as mostly harmless...but when we moved to a new office he proudly pointed out the new cubicles had lower walls to "facilitate conversation." Hmmm...I never heard any of the dev top complain about conversations needing facilitation. And the last thing developer's need are the rampant distractions afforded by being able to see and hear everything that goes on without being able to shut it out. Our previous cubicles were some of the best made, high walls, plenty of room for bookshelves...oops....the new ones had little room for more than a couple of titles, so the nice neat clean new office space quickly had stacks of books piling up outside the cubes. Besides facilitating communications the new layout facilitated a lot of tripping over books and the expected profanity.

    Right after the move I went on vacation and came back to find my extra-comfy chair missing and replaced with chairs billed as one of the more expensive models in the industry. Yes, and it hurt my back. I was told that my back-saving chair didn't look right with all of the others.


  • Discourse touched me in a no-no place

    @proxima said:

    I was told that my back-saving chair didn't look right with all of the others.

    "Ah, I see you guys are angling for a disability lawsuit". At my current job, all the chairs when I were hired were broken-down 20yo POSes, and I straight up said I needed a new one.



  • Never had a problem bringing in my chair for my back.

    If I ever do, I'll just show them the chiropractor bill, and if they think that's pseudo health (ignoring the fact that I have xrays showing increased height of the disk after a year of therapy), I'll bring in the back surgery bill, for shaving off the part of my spinal disk that's pushing on my nerve.



  • @proxima said:

    "facilitate conversation."

    Another CEO that bought into TEAMWORKTM



  • The problem is mostly just that this isn't one-size-fits-all. I know for a fact that I work better when pair programming or when there's someone to talk to, and I know that getting into the zone is a problem for me, like Robert Martin says. For some people, this isn't true at all. But I know that my focus steadily narrows until it becomes useless, but that my perspective is usually not the same as those of the people around me. It's an interesting problem.



  • Well, I believe, that part of the problem is how instantaneous communication has become.

    If, say, you could communicate, but with no guarantee as to when they will look at it.

    Say, skype without the notification that you received a message.

    You'd get the benefit of both.

    You naturally go in and out of focus throughout the day. People need to learn to communicate and wait for communication when people hit their focus downtime.



  • I agree that there are many people who would benefit from that. That's probably why TFS's web interface has Team Rooms, which are basically persistent chat rooms that don't have automatic notifications. But I know that I work best when I work directly with one other person.



  • @Magus said:

    I work best when I work directly with one other person.

    That's easy.... you just put a mirror in your office.

    Hey.... why are you looking at me like that....

    Comere.... I got some.... code to show you... :loop:y



  • @proxima said:

    And the last thing developer's need are the rampant distractions afforded by being able to see and hear and smell everything that goes on without being able to shut it out.

    Ah. One of my favourite subjects. I'll just drop this here. Again.

    https://what.thedailywtf.com/t/front-page-comments-idea/620/163?u=pjh

    People who've read that previously may want to re-visit it; I've added more pet annoyances today.



  • At least you have the damn cubicles. Here the only privacy you can hope for is on a damn shitter.

    This, and daily 11AM scrums I couldn't care less about because they concern some Java project.

    They don't have those where I'm currently contracting, but instead they replaced a closed dining room with an open one, with a single chair, and a single bar stool. And it's pretty much open plan too, so you either get into the line for the stool, or eat at your PC like a subhuman.

    Jesus Christ. We've spent years and years ridiculing cubicle farms only to realize they were, in fact, the best solution ever.



  • @PJH said:

    and smell

    That happened just now in the 8-people-packed-together-in-a-conference-room environment that I work in.

    Someone ripped a nasty one.



  • @Maciejasjmj said:

    Jesus Christ. We've spent years and years ridiculing cubicle farms only to realize they were, in fact, the best solution ever.

    I preferred the place where we all have individual offices. It's like a ceiling-height cube with a door that closes.

    But cubes aren't too bad until they start trying to find ways to cram you all in tighter and tighter and then they take away half your cube and you sit there with your shoulders rubbing against both sides the floor shakes when people walk by and the lighting is terrible and you can't even put up an umbrella to diffuse the harsh, bare fluorescent light because it's a "falling object hazard" or some shit and you end up spending half the day imagining the pure ecstasy that would be mutilating everyone one around you with your bare hands terring the flesh from their bones and building yurself a decent sixed cubr oit of their bonea anf slinholy shti why must like be this way what is happending to be why tdo i go aon livigin i can't take it anymore fuck fuckf ufkfuc fukcuf fuck!!!!



  • At least they didn't take your stapler, did they?


  • Discourse touched me in a no-no place

    @Maciejasjmj said:

    At least they didn't take your stapler, did they?

    But perhaps moving his office to the basement would be prudent.



  • @FrostCat said:

    But perhaps moving his office to the basement would be prudent.

    Probably far more conducive to productivity than working in this environment...



  • @Maciejasjmj said:

    At least they didn't take your stapler, did they?

    That would be the LAST STRAW.



  • I (after hours) violated I am not sure how many office safety codes climbing on my desk to unhook the florescent lights above my desk.Best decision I have made.
    Took almost 6 months before anyone noticed and the maintenance staff asked if I wanted them "fixed", I politely declined and they have been off since. Haven't had them now for 3 years.


  • mod

    @Bort said:

    @Maciejasjmj said:
    At least they didn't take your stapler, did they?

    That would be the LAST STRAW.

    Your stapler's a straw?



  • @FrostCat said:

    But perhaps moving his office to the basementanother country would be prudent.

    I hear, um, Mongolia is nice this time of year.


  • Discourse touched me in a no-no place

    @HardwareGeek said:

    I hear, um, Mongolia is nice this time of year.

    This, ah, seems kinda whooshy.



  • @Dragoon said:

    I (after hours) violated I am not sure how many office safety codes climbing on my desk to unhook the florescent lights above my desk.Best decision I have made.Took almost 6 months before anyone noticed and the maintenance staff asked if I wanted them "fixed", I politely declined and they have been off since. Haven't had them now for 3 years.

    What, your building architects haven't heard of uplighting? Best lighting trick on the planet -- we have it in our building, and the effect is brilliant ;)



  • @Dragoon said:

    I (after hours) violated I am not sure how many office safety codes climbing on my desk to unhook the florescent lights above my desk.

    Over here we can request the lights deactivated. The chap in the opposite corner of my pen had the one over his desk turned off, even though his desk is in the corner between a real wall and a head-high dividing wall, with a pillar at his back. Two others of the four lights directly over our cage are off, and I'm not sure if they're deactivated or broken, and four of the six lights over the one next door. The sections opposite us just never have their lights on at all.



  • Thrilling!

    I am on the edge of my seat! Tell me about the lights in the next row! I'll simply die if I don't find out!



  • @tarunik said:

    What, your building architects haven't heard of uplighting? Best lighting trick on the planet -- we have it in our building, and the effect is brilliant

    That would be too pleasant. Which would defeat the purpose of the office's design.



  • @blakeyrat said:

    Tell me

    Not the same office, but I work out of my house. Mostly I have the lights off and the blinds on the windows open!



  • We're still slaved to the light switch in the next room over. Luckily we don't get into fights over it.



  • @proxima said:

    when we moved to a new office he proudly pointed out the new cubicles had lower walls to "facilitate conversation."

    I worked in an office like that for a while. It was weird watching all the floating heads drift by.



  • @Bort said:

    cubes aren't too bad until they start trying to find ways to cram you all in tighter and tighter and then they take away half your cube

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XmSBtDLgBSQ&t=1h2m33s





  • @flabdablet said:

    It was weird watching all the floating heads drift by.

    I enjoyed watching the "prairie dog" effect.



  • All this talk about working without lights validates the following observations about Devs and IT generally:

    1. They are troll like and prefer working in Stygian environments.
    2. Dev environments are comparable with mushroom farms
    3. It's no wonder that some Devs can't or won't see the light.


  • Here's my take, although it has been a long while since I have heard it, and then it was as "Outer Mongolia". I have always understood it to mean "as far away as you can get". It also had a subtle connotation that made it "worse" than Timbuktu.

    Anyway, got curious. Actually went to Urban Dictionary as my resource. Actually learnt something.

    Oh, Yeah. My understanding was right (ish) about the far away thing, Outer Mongolia

    As a kid / young adult we did not have the internet or even dictionaries with swearwords in them



  • @loose said:

    As a kid / young adult we did not have the internet or even dictionaries with swearwords in them

    I find it hard to believe that you are over 285 years old:

    Nathan Bailey’s _Dictionarium Britannicum_ (1730) features both _fuck_ and _cunt_ and gives no negative commentary on the words.

    Edit - PJH: dickweedish pedantry detected.



  • +1 pedants :)



  • If only I could nail that elusive +1 dickweeds as well...



  • @tar said:

    If only I could nail that elusive +1 dickweeds as well...

    I thought "I find it hard to believe that you are over 285 years old" added just the right touch. Flagged.



  • @loose said:

    Here's my take, although it has been a long while since I have heard it, and then it was as "Outer Mongolia". I have always understood it to mean "as far away as you can get". It also had a subtle connotation that made it "worse" than Timbuktu.

    But is it worse than Bum Fuck Egypt?



  • @HardwareGeek said:

    I thought "I find it hard to believe that you are over 285 years old" added just the right touch.

    Ahh, thank you. I was going to ask but contextual definition will work just fine. :)



  • I would say that it is on a par.

    Unless you happen to be in Egypt, Illinois then it is definitely worse.



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