Things I Did Not Need

Yesterday (as I write – meaning on Tuesday) I got part one of the virus vaccine. My primary (possibly only) motivation is that if I’m vaccinated, I won’t need to wear a mask when my employer starts requiring some in-office work (currently planned for September. We’ll see).

So far so good. The process of getting the shot was pretty straightforward, and the shot itself hasn’t caused anything beyond slight fuzzy-headedness over and above the usual allergy issues and a deep ache in my arm. Nothing I can’t live with.

I rather doubt that cleaning out the cube at work and bringing damn near everything home counts as “light activity”, though. I’m not even going into what I think of the whole deal of changing years of working at assigned cubes (with a whole lot of personalization) to hot-desking (or is it hot-cubing?). Or the very small conference room which now has a sign taped to the door saying it’s got a capacity of… wait for it… one. Why not just call the bloody thing a floating office and be done with it?

I now have a desk piled 2 feet high with all the crap I’ve accumulated over seven or so years work. And I do mean piled. How I managed to fit all of that into a 6 by 6 cube without overrunning my desk has me bewildered.

Honestly, I’d swear I managed to accidentally open a portal to a pocket dimension used only for storage because I really did not think I had that much stuff in that cube.

I did, though, and I’ll be sorting through it and figuring out what I need to keep, what I can trash, and where in heck to put it over the next few days – or weeks…

Add to that, my internet connection has been flaky at best (it’s off again as I type – I hope it stays on long enough for me to post this or I’ll be emailing someone to post it for me) and we just has a short but quite intense storm come through. And by intense I mean hail, flattened plants, and for a while there horizontal rain.

Which may be why the internet connection is up and down like a bloody yo-yo (not going to use the more colorful alternative. Not going to).

I think I can safely say that I didn’t need most of today, and I could do without the sorting job that’s staring at me from the other desk.

In the meantime, have the dark red iris from the garden (taken before the storm. The poor things look horribly bedraggled now).

33 comments

  1. roomate got a video tour of the new office space

    all the conference rooms have steps down into them

    he’s in a wheelchair

    what idiot architect did $fortune500company hire that doesn’t understand ADA compliance? apparently, not even one is accessible… *and the only reason he has been going to the office before covid was once a week for team meetings*

    1. Bloody hell. That’s phenomenally dumb… Even my lot who were not at the time fortune 500 (they got bought by one, I think) knew better than that. They deliberately made sure they were in an office with no steps. Anywhere.

      Mostly because it’s cheaper, since they don’t have to pay to make things ADA compliant and then maintain all the ADA compliant widgets and whatsits, but still.

      How to make the dude in a chair feel welcome. Not.

      1. And how to make sure you get at least one annual lawsuit from the guy who tripped coming out of the sunken room and cracked his noggin. Ain’t stupid just for ADA WTFery. And why don’t they just invest in some little ramps?

        1. This assumes the doors are wide enough for said wheelchair. And wieldy enough to be opened by the guy in the chair.

          I might not need one myself, but I do have a reasonable idea of what’s needed to make a place properly accessible.

      2. this is the same company whose old office whose fire escape route from his office not only included a stairwell, but a doorway with a 2 ft drop at the (door) exit from the building then a rough gravel path away (co hq is in the woods) (office is now occupied by internet sales staff)

    2. Amazing. That’s a major tripping hazard for anyone, permitting the unlucky tripper to instantly joined the ranks of the disabled.

    3. In Thailand, it seems that the bathrooms are always are a step or two lower (at least, I saw this pattern in two factories and several hotels, in two different cities).

    4. Pretty sure that’s 100% illegal in all states. It tales a special kind of stupid to ignore every building regulation there is like that. It doesn’t matter if they have anyone working there in a wheelchair or not, they still have to be compliant. The company will be installing ramps, you may be sure of that.

      Of course, the stupid flows both ways. In Canada I know of a case where the main fire hall in Hamilton was shut down for quite some time for renovations. One of the things being installed was a wheelchair compliant women’s bathroom. On the second floor. Of a fire hall. With no elevator.

      1. well, tbh they did purchase the building from someone else, but still, they need to have someone that thinks about ada compliance

        1. From my recollection of ADA regs, if they’re using the building for business offices nothing is grandfathered in. I’ve done a few assessments for patients, to make sure they could get in and out of whatever building or office they needed. Steps to the conference room is a big red flag.

          I could be wrong of course, physical therapist not lawyer. Maybe they got a special deal.

          1. i thought it was when a building is repurposed….but then i’ve seen lots of businesses that weren’t accessible. Usually places with a second story….

            1. The last time I looked at ADA regulations, it’s required to provide “reasonable accommodations” for disable staff and visitors.

              What precisely constitutes “reasonable accommodations” is somewhat vague, but were along the lines of complete restructuring of a workplace to provide wheelchair access is not reasonable, but replacing two or three stairs with a ramp in a handful of locations is definitely reasonable.

              I believe the rationale is something on the line that requiring an employer to bankrupt themselves to accommodate a disabled employee is somewhat counterproductive

  2. Last March, I had to go through and remove everything from all hard surfaces in “my” classroom, for sterilizing and deep cleaning. There are four teachers worth of materials, not counting three generations of outdated textbooks and teaching materials to go with said textbooks. Plus my books and stuff, and “desk toys” and art. I managed to find places for all of it, but wow.

    1. Oh, yes. I know what a job it was going through and tossing 90+% of the teaching paraphernalia my mum collected over her career as a teacher.

      Besides, I’m sure paperwork breeds. You turn your head and there’s suddenly a whole lot more sheets of paper than there used to be.

      This is part of why I recycle the stuff. If it’s been printed on one side, the other side is my notepaper. Saves me lots of money, that does.

  3. Yeah, it’s going to be a big change. I’m lucky, in most of my work can actually be done from home, more easily than in the office. I can pretty much set up in my home computer nest, and be comfortable with a bigger monitor than they have at the office.

    And for what we do, hoteling desks could actually work better; we’re often moving from project to project, so a savvy program manager could get their core team hoteled next to the labs they’ve got reserved, and it would be very nice.

    But it also feels weird realizing that the way I’ve worked all my life is gone, and never coming back. Even if the new way may be better, I knew and understood the old way.

    Feels like the end of an era.

    1. My lot are still working out how to handle having people back in the office. I rather suspect that things will go… poorly… if they don’t keep teams together. The biggest advantage of being in-office is being able to wander over to someone and ask them if they can come and take a look at something you’re working on.

      Virtual meeting software, while helpful, still needs a certain amount of preplanning.

      And yes, it is the end of an era. 2 years ago my lot were _firmly_ convinced that bums on seats in offices was the only way to go. I think they were shocked by how easily the entire company transitioned to having everyone except those who _had_ to be physically present working from home. (Seriously. The transition took all of 2 weeks).

      Now they’re talking 2 days in office, three working from home.

  4. Yeah. Dan brought all his stuff home three months ago, when it became obvious his company was going to close offices and have them all work from home. (Honestly, the savings alone are worth it.)
    Mostly what we got out of it, besides HIS stuff is plants. They were dying, you see. So I brought them home in batch lots. Now the house looks like a greenhouse.
    Oh, well.

    1. Nothing wrong with a nice healthy… organism (Flashing back to absolutely the _best_ malapropism I ever heard)

  5. Both my sister and my best friend had to hot desk before all the shutdowns. At their respective mega-corporations, someone much higher up the food chain decided to be fashionable and trendy. They, however, did not have to hot desk.

    My sister and my friend, along with most of their coworkers, absolutely loathed hot desking.

    Just like everything else, business is fad-driven.

      1. Yes. Yes it does.

        I can imagine that causing some issues after a long enough time doing it.

    1. Well of course. Heaven forbid Management be inconvenienced by anything.

      And it’s the nature of people to claim space they’re using a lot as “theirs”. That’s why you get personal stuff at people’s desks.

      Not being able to do that is… difficult.

      What I’m going to miss – hell, I miss it as it is – is the multiple monitor setup I had on my desk. 2 nice big monitors plus laptop screen = rather nice 3 monitor configuration that let me do things like keep the reference open on one screen while working with something on a second one, and monitoring something else on screen 3. I just can’t do that at home (and I ain’t buying multiple monitors to be able to do it, either).

  6. I’ve never understood putting stuff in one’s cube – because it is not one’s cube; it is the company’s cube. I cleaned off my desk of ten years by carrying my coffee cup/press combo home.
    My home office is another story entirely. Yesterday, I cleaned out the filing cabinets – just carrying 20 years of Christmas cards from the cabinet to the garbage bag glitter-bombed the room.

    1. For me it starts with collecting reference material and a small selection of essentials (pencil for note taking, paper and clipboard for ditto, scissors, stapler, paper clips and the like). Then it grows.

      Ventilation is horrible, so in comes a small desk fan. Lighting ditto, so a desk lamp that I can load with sunlight-frequency bulbs joins the collection. Then there’s the noise, so I acquire noise cancelling headphones. And so it goes…

      I am – sadly – a pack rat. I collect stuff because it could be useful later.

  7. It has been my experience that iris flower stalks sometimes need support after wind. Or even just because.

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