The Office - Like No Other

I’ve survived my first week, one that didn’t feel as long as it actually was. It was Thursday before I realized we were half way home. The office here is like nowhere I’ve ever worked. The place is constructed of after-thought additions and yes you do need a map to find your way – there’s one in the drafting room, assuming you know how to get there. There’s lots of wood paneling, the front office is coated in it and sports auburn carpet from 1975. I’ve seen at least 3 carpet colors here, all are equally retro, worn, and desperately need multiple shampoos or to be replaced. The seams have separated as far as two inches and are badly frayed. A lot of the chairs are mismatched and held together with tape or commercial shrink wrap. I have the largest computer monitor I’ve seen since my dad got into pc’s when I was 10 – actually this one is bigger than those. Every drawer in the building squeaks and the kitchen closest to my department is battling an ant problem. Oh yeah, and the nice restroom by the front office has a metal box on the floor called a Victor Tin Cat.

My department consists of 4 other drafters and the boss. “Rob Dog” programs the CNC machine and is the oldest, Heidi is the only other girl (I loaned her my Fit for Life book the first day), Randall is the broodingly quiet resident genius – I got his old computer with all the toys, and Brandon is the newbie from California who started a week before me. Nat, the boss, listens to various Zen-like music from a site called Pandora on the web and has his office plastered with drawings and pictures of his two daughters. It’s also the quietest office I’ve ever been in. Nobody really talks. At all. There’s little to no audible music, just clicking (computer) mice and keys. Not everyone gets up during break, they just switch to the internet – they trust us with internet here. I generally eat alone in the break room right outside our office (one room, Nat’s office, the printer room, and a scanner room – the fluorescent light of which can be seem from my cube through my steel-mesh, safety glass window).

Sounds kinda scary, doesn’t it? To me, it came across as well-used shabbiness and no time or need to update for appearances. Pretentiousness couldn’t get a foot in the door here on a good day. I’m wearing jeans and a white T-shirt under my hoodie with hiking boots - completely acceptable dress here. Due to my laundry situation and only having two small suitcases of clothes at present, I had to wear the shirt that reads “genius by birth, slacker by choice” to the office yesterday and nobody said a word. The only way to get more relaxed around here would be to wear pajamas. There’s a rumor that some guy used to work with no shirt on – hence we got the attempt at a dress code that we have now. In the first week, different people have brought in banana bread, two pies from a local restaurant, and a box of donuts to share with co-workers. Several people outside my little department know my name already and greet me on sight. I’ve even run into the company foreman from the Encore job site.

All in all, I think it’s going to work out just fine. They pay me for overtime, there’s actually room in the frig for my salad, no pit vipers in the kitchen judging my clothes, shoes, or the size of my rock, and no first-day haters… it’s all good. Everyone keeps saying I brought the sunshine with me and seem happy about it. It’s rained twice since we landed, both times during the night.

1 comment:

Deadly Knitshade said...

I feel rather like I've been in to work with you for the day after reading that. You have fabulous writing powers. Use them wisely, young Jedi.