The mythical perfect stack

Pringles.
Image by TheDeliciousLife via Flickr

Please, not another dreaded “restack” of cubicle space. I understand that space = money, but we already feel like Pringles in a can.

It doesn’t matter if the number of coworkers is growing or depleting, the restack remains all too popular. In the case of growth, we must stack tighter! In the case of depletion, we must consolidate space … and stack tighter!

There is a myth out there that the Perfect Stack can be achieved; a cubicle layout that provides the highest ratio of cost savings per unit of “packed person productivity.”

The quest for this perfect stack knows no limits of decency. I once saw a coworker promised a promotion, which allowed him a larger cubicle in the next restack. Construction on said larger cubicle was almost complete, when said promotion was put on hold.

Would you believe the coworker observed the restack construction guys DEconstructing the larger cubicle even before he found out his promotion got nixed?

I wonder how they factor coworker grumpiness into the productivity side of the Perfect Stack equation…

Who here likes department-wide meetings?

I know you’re out there.

There are far too many companies who have them for there not to be millions of fans of them.

Just admit it. The first step to being cured is admitting that you have a problem. It’s okay. We understand.

Actually, we don’t understand, but we’d at least like to know that there is *someone* out there that is actually interested in these things.

My name is as my business card or LinkedIn profile states.

Those who have worked with me, went to school with me, or are friends or family have leeway in how they address me.  They’ve earned it by going through things with me or just by putting up with me.

If you are a vendor making a cold or warm contact via e-mail, you can either use a formal address using my last name, or you may be bold and use my first name as on my business card, LinkedIn profile, or as spelled out in my e-mail address.  Note that a difference between the two may indicate specific preferences about how I prefer to be addressed.

If you use a nickname that is never used in any of my contact information, you’re making some big assumptions about the familiarity of our relationship.  They’re also called “incorrect assumptions”.

The overhead speaker / paging system

In an office environment where everyone has cubes with their own phones, cell phones, and laptops, how often is there a reason for someone to be paged?  I’d imagine in the case of life or death, or birth, use of the paging system is valid.  For all other purposes, if it’s going to be moderately important that you be reached in a timely manner when away from your desk, the person likely to need to reach you should have your cell phone on you.

More annoying still is the use of the paging system to make announcements constantly. I may not be at the XYZ event because I don’t care about it.  Just a thought.  I really don’t want to have an announcement made unless you would feel comfortable dialing 911 in response to whatever you’re making an announcement about.

Would you use the fire alarm if there were doughnuts in the break room?  Okay, maybe I’ll make an exception for doughnuts.

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Oh the noise… Cell phone ringers

Ah, I remember when a digital beep pattern was the norm for the cell phone. Then, cell phones started coming with preprogrammed “tunes”, that were just a variation on that beep pattern.

At various points in time, using a voice recording, midi, or music file for a phone ringer were all novel. Occasionally, some fun or catchy sound or song comes along, and we are tempted to use it as our full time ringer. Unfortunately, the company is not paying you to amuse or entertain us, the coworkers. Maybe if you’re a comedian, clown, musician, you entertain patrons or clients–but I doubt those people resort to ringtones.

Besides, “Gold Digger” and “I Kissed a Girl” ringtones make things awkward. Use a plain ringer and turn it down or put it on vibrate. Otherwise, I’m going to have to go Office Space on your phone.