Tuesday, February 14, 2012

The favoritest season of all: Construction

One of the nice things about winter is that construction projects (sometimes) halt for a few months. Workers will literally stop everything mid-project when the snows come, and don't usually bother to put machinery away or move those annoying orange cones.

Did I say that was one of the nice things about winter? Hmmm.

Only, this "winter," certain people didn't abandon their projects; the work must go on, despite the weather. People need buildings to live in and buildings to work in, gosh dang it.

After spending almost two weeks in the construction zone that was my parents' house, I returned to work after New Years only to be tossed back into the construction zone that is my office building.

But, adapting to an environment, no matter how uncomfortable or inconvenient it is, is part of the human code, so we adjusted.
  • We continued to use the conference room / break room / storage area for meetings and soon ignored the people that would walk in to squeeze something into the fridge, make copies, or fill the room with smells of coffee.
  • In what was supposed to be a short arrangement (a couple of days) but that has stretched on for months so far, others were forced to take on an office roommate and just deal with the extra conversationalist in the background when trying to demo a product or close a sale.
  • Some were forced to wait 20 extra minutes for lunch because that was less scary than interrupting an important meeting taking place behind closed doors where the fridge was located.
  • Every week someone says, "Where did the microwave go?!" 
  • No one even reacts when the power goes out.
  • Half the building is in darkness, so the support guys have to huddle in their little cubicles and do all of their work by lamplight.
  • One of the elevators is accessible only to the construction guys, which means the rest of us have to either take the stairs (gasp!) or wait an eternity (about 45 seconds) for the other elevator to make the trip back to the 2nd floor.
  • There is only one way in and out of the office. No more shortcuts.
  • And, of course, the sounds of demolition and rebuilding are just charming. And I've heard the men's bathroom is even more charming, especially in the afternoons.
That was all before, when the construction was mostly taking place in areas we didn't need to be in.

Now, the construction has moved on to the center of our office, the hallway that divides the support/tech people from the sales/marketing/finance people, the hallway that leads to our only exit.

So now, in addition to all of the above,
  • we must enter the unsteady, one-way tunnel of Sheetrock and plastic tarp whenever we want a drink or need to use the bathroom,
  • the pounding just got ten times louder,
  • the fire alarm goes off all the time,
  • even more people have been displaced from their offices,
  • and it's a lot colder in here all of the sudden.
But alas, it's hard to phase us humans, and despite the extra grumbling, the work does go on. Unfortunately.

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