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Life & Events > If You've Ever Worked in an Office Setting

If You've Ever Worked in an Office Setting

The things that happen at workplaces are fun to watch, especially as a non-employee. Our watershed coalition was allowed to have a cubicle in the city public works building, and I have spent a lot of time there helping with paperwork.

There was a woman whom I thought was a consultant. I'd see her come down the hall once in awhile, all dressed up, and meet with people in the conference room near us. Then, one of the upper men moved his office down to our end of the building, and it looked to me like she got to use the office he vacated. Turned out, she is the head of the whole public works. I'm so glad I didn't say something to her like 'I see you found a place to sit while you're here.'

I really appreciate being able to work in that office because it is a place to spend time while I wait for the road closure to open in the afternoon so I can get back home. To thank them, I emptied the dishwasher and kept their lunch room tidied up. The front desk women gave me a nice thank you card: 'your efforts have not gone unnoticed.'

She was relatively new to the job, so over time certain things have evolved - the employees have to check in and out on a white board up by the front desk. Before that, they tended to take two or three long lunches a week, waltzing out the front door in groups. After the check-in procedure started, they get around it by putting on safety vests to look like they are going to a job site, and leaving out the back door in groups.

Next came a rule that our group could no longer reserve an upstairs conference room. And there are rules about how many guest cars can be in the parking lot, and no meetings for outsiders Monday through Thursday, even by the employees who work there. This is because the parking lot is too small for the building capacity: poor design because it is a brand new building. We know which event triggered this, and it was a city employee who set it up, not us. She thought it'd be great to have a regional training session there - 50 outsiders all day. The bad thing for my group was they decided we are outsiders even though we have our office in the building, so we had to find other places to have meetings.

I was unable to get a key card to let myself in, so the receptionists would buzz me in, along with any employees who were slow to pull their cards out of their wallets/purses. Last week a new policy was instituted where they can't buzz anybody in, so I'm supposed to stop at the front desk and have them summon the watershed people to escort me. We don't know if the reason for that is to be able to track the employees via when they scan their key cards to get in - that'd solve the problem of them sneaking out the back door.

Today was the first day I've gone there since we found out this latest policy. I went to the front desk and told Diana 'I'm here to see the watershed coalition people.' She winked at me, rolled her eyes, and came around and opened the locked door, rolled her eyes again, and said 'Come on in.' Went back to her desk. I really appreciated the eye rolling to let me know that they think it's a dumb policy.

Fortunately, our time in that building is short, and the time of the road closure is short, but it's been entertaining to watch all the goings on.

posted on May 11, 2017 7:16 PM ()


It was rare that I over-stayed my lunch hour only because I had things that needed to be done by the end of the day. Fortunately for my previous employers, I am no longer that OCD so things would be different now.
comment by jjoohhnn on May 12, 2017 5:30 AM ()
I loved long lunches. When I worked out of the court house, we took ours
in a bar in the tunnel under Oklahoma City. Fun times!
comment by elderjane on May 12, 2017 4:31 AM ()
Even when I worked in an office I made my own hours--no mornings!!
comment by greatmartin on May 11, 2017 7:43 PM ()
When people want to have long lunches, they'll find a way. It does sound as if the work ethic is somewhat lax there.
comment by tealstar on May 11, 2017 7:33 PM ()

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