Monday, 28 November 2011


A bit like Seren on WW Foodie was a week or so ago, I too am feeling grumpy this week (I just deleted the words "low level" - it's not low-level - it's full-on grumpy!). However for me, the cause is not November, or even Christmas being on its way. It's due to a combination of 2 things neither of which I seem to have much control over:

Firstly I'm STILL SICK!! This is really getting me down now. The horrible sore throat and cough which I developed on our return from holiday briefly cleared up before I started with a racking, violent cough which persisted for well over a fortnight. This improved but did not go away and has now morphed into a sneezy, runny head cold now with another cough thrown in for good measure. 3 separate illnesses with hardly any time off in between for good behaviour over the last 9 weeks. Grrrrr

I'm persisting with gentle exercise and trying to eat sensibly and healthily (lots of vitamin c) and not to drink too much but nothing seems to improve the situation. I'm tired of feeling poorly and not sleeping well. Boooo, whinge, groan, moan, grumble, carp, whine......I'm boring myself now.

The second factor is our new offices. We've moved from a frankly hideous 1970's monstrosity with a giant square open plan floor plan, murky olive carpets, mismatched furniture, opaque (and very few) windows and horrid strip lighting. It used to be a Grattan Fashion warehouse. Yes, it was terrible and needed changing but what we've moved to, while it's gleaming and shiny, makes life and work much much harder and is worse in so many ways.

We've moved to a brand new building in which the whole of the Council can be accommodated in one office (three 5 storey high "fingers") which should be better than being spread around town in a series of grim 1960's and 1970's concrete gulags. I suppose it may be one day. The offices are bright, clean, flooded with natural light and reasonably central to town. So, what are you whinging about woman??!

Well, in order to fit us all in, the decision was taken to drastically reduce the amount of space per person in the office to less than is actually required. In fact each team has been allocated 58% of the desk space it technically requires. So we have had to move towards "agile working". Ie. we do not have our own desk but share a number of "hot desks". We each have a locker and have to clear our desk each evening and find another one the next day. This involves unplugging everything, putting all pens, papers, mugs etc etc away which takes a surprising amount of time and culling all team facilities - pens, paper, staplers, hole-punches - all the usual officey things. Obviously holidays and meetings will only take us so far so we also have to work from home for a certain number of days each week or there would simply not be enough space for us all.

As you can see from the pic, the desks themselves are arranged in cramped pods with low level dividers and stretch across the open floorplan unhindered by walls or dividers. It is a call centre in other words, just one without the telephones and headsets. And few indian, geordie or glaswegian accents.

Our filing space is drastically reduced as well which doesn't affect most of my colleagues but is a pain for me being a solicitor who is required to keep adequate files. And don't get me started on deeds storage or IT storage allocations!!

The IT necessary to make up for the deficiencies of this new environment has NOT followed (presumably due to cost-cutting measures) and the overall effect is one of extra effort each day for less return in terms of work output. This adds stress and irritation.

The new office doesn't have any car parking so we all have to walk much further and also, because we're working from home much more, have to lug laptops and files home with us. I have already spoken about the extra effort involved in getting to the gym.

It's rubbish I tells ya!! Rubbish. No pictures on the walls, no plants, no team atmosphere, no character.

The one good thing is that now I care a whole lot less about my work and can work from home 2 days per week thus saving me petrol and dog walking fees and giving me extra time at home with Richard and the dogs.

Thanks for listening while I moan. I'm trying to stay positive at work so this has been invaluable. I just look across this soulless barn and want to scream.

I'm sure I'll get used to it one day and maybe, if I don't, I'll find something else to do when times pick up but, in the meantime, I'm stuck here, and will start to make the best of it once I start to feel better. Until then.....groan, moan, grumble, mumble, whinge, whine.......

Normal Pollyanna service will be resumed in due course.


Claire said...

My boss is obsessed with introducing hot desking so I may be joining you soon. None of his minions wants it. We shall see what occurs but in the meantime you have my sympathy.

Seren said...

Oh poor thing. Have you tried echinacea? Boots do an effervescent formula which I used to swear by to get me through the winter bugs.

In any case, it sounds like you have good cause for a case of the grumps so be very kind to yourself and sending virtual tea and sympathy from York.


Peridot said...

Poor old you. It's rotten to be pulled down by one bug after another.

And your office - that would drive me bananas! We have had our desks reduced in size but I wouldn't even fit my tea collection in a locker - much less anything else!