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Thread: Stepford office

  1. #1
    Senior Member Tradd's Avatar
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    Stepford office

    I am at my wits end. My job has always been stressful, but the bs we're now having to deal with is over the top. It's Stepford office stuff.

    The head boss for our office resigned maybe a month ago. A VP is covering for now. She is a real corporate type. It's been mandated we have to set up our desks exactly the same way, phone in the exact same place, for example. That is beyond stupid. I'm right handed. If I had to move my phone to the left side, it would be a mess.

    Now we are also told that there cannot be any files on our desks except the specific one we're working on at any given time. We have a cart for files in progress. We have one small file drawer at each cube with wide shelves built under the desktop on one side. One very small, shallow drawer for supplies. We've been told we have to have NOTHING on these shelves. Nothing. We are cursed with this very inefficient workspace due to a previous executive who designed our current space 4 years ago.

    Even the box of tea I kept on the open shelf in my cube has to go!

    Because of my customs compliance position, I have a ton of reference materials I need to have handy. No one has been able to tell me what I'm supposed to do with everything and has gotten hostile when I ask. It is stupid beyond belief.

  2. #2
    Senior Member herbgeek's Avatar
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    Yikes. That is stupid. Where exactly are you supposed to put things like a purse?

  3. #3
    Senior Member KayLR's Avatar
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    would they fire you if you had your reference materials at hand? I mean, what are they threatening you with if you don't comply? this seems ridiculous!

    I have to say, though, I'm right-handed and I like my phone on the left so I can hold the phone in the left and write with the right as I'm talking.
    My therapist told me the way to achieve true inner peace is to finish what I start. So far today, I have finished two bags of M&Ms and a chocolate cake. I feel better already!

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    Ask them do they want work to get done or to pay you to put your manuals away and back out all day long? This has got to be one of the stupidest things I have heard in a while.

  5. #5
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    I would find a sweater with enormous pockets and put my box of tea and maybe other things in that.

    I have heard of a clear workspace when you leave at the end of the day, especially if you are desk sharing with another shift, but this is another thing altogether. Sleeping with the Enemy came to mind, where the Julia Roberts character knows her creepy ex broke in to her apartment because all the cans in the cupboard are perfectly aligned. Total control freakishness. Do you know if they have any candidates in mind so the VP can go back to her own job?

  6. #6
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    I feel for you, Tradd. I retired this year, but the MegaCorp. I worked for fell in love with the minimalist look, too, although it was only in certain work areas. Much historical archival material was tossed because "no one is interested" in the company's history (which actually had a lot of great and innovative things to be proud of).

    On top of that they decided on the "no assigned cubicles" scheme for their HQ, and in select parts of the division I worked for in AZ. What a nightmare, I'm so glad I avoided that.
    It seems CEOs everywhere are entranced with the look of a Google workspace without thinking if that really applies in their own business.

  7. #7
    Senior Member Tradd's Avatar
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    I have my phone on my right since I dial with my right. I have a headset so I'm hands free for longer calls.

    Today was interesting...took everything off my cube low walls (including phone extension list). Put it in a file somewhere. Had some old files (from long departed customers) I no longer needed. I pitched and pitched. Coworkers came over to see what was going on because they kept hearing the thumps of stuff being tossed into the trash can. I asked my boss if I needed to take my framed brokers license home. She just stared at me.

    The VP wants bare, she's got it. I'm going to prove how unworkable it is. I even took down my one personal item - a funny greeting card with a diver and sharks, plus a small sign that says "Great Lakes: Unsalted and Shark Free." I dumped my pen holder into my small supplies drawer. Several coworkers asked me if I was planning on quitting.

    I spent several hours this afternoon trying to work the way we're supposed to now. It's so impractical it's ridiculous. I needed to have multiple files out as a customer had called asking about them and I was given the stink eye when VP walked by. I spent more time trying to keep stuff neat than actually working. Stuff went undone because of it.

  8. #8
    Senior Member rosarugosa's Avatar
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    My workplace went through something similar several years ago as part of the move to a "Lean" inspired corporate culture. My dept has two locations, and while we interpreted the guidelines pretty reasonably in Boston, apparently our alternate location was quite draconian, and one employee was reduced to tears when told she could hang up a picture of her family or an award certificate, but not both. I just don't know how anyone could have imagined this was a good idea. I have worked in HR for a long time now, and I've concluded that people come up with new stuff on a regular basis to justify their existence, and much of it is absurd.

  9. #9
    Senior Member Williamsmith's Avatar
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    Reminds me of Les Nessman on WKRP in Cincinnati and his “office” problem.

    https://youtu.be/SkP9DKnOgn0

  10. #10
    Senior Member iris lilies's Avatar
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    Well, I will confess to having had a few rules on cubicle crap in my days as a manager. I told employees they could have unlimited stuff hanging on their walls but personal objects on their work surface, nope. Like your cute little stuffed hippo? So take a photo of it and hang that on your wall. Get the glitter fairy shit off of your monitor, IT dept. is cranky about that.Maintenance Department couldnt work on the vents last week because you guys had plants all over the vents on the window sills. Christmas was 8 months ago, those pointsettias look like drek, get rid of them.

    Clutter creeps in, humans like clutter, it is constant work to keep the place clutter free.

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