One Step Beyond Square: Cubicle

April 7, 2006 at 1:56 PM | Posted in The Corporate World | 3 Comments
Okay, well, that was the funniest thing that has happened to me today. Not laugh-out-loud funny, but inner-chuckling-with-ironic-detachment funny.  Here where I work, we have an IT department.  While I am seeking an IT degree, I was never sure I wanted to be in the IT department.  Now I see how they are. ..  
And I’m sure I don’t want to.
I had a few–not run-ins, that sounds so combative.  I had a few interactions with them, most were good, but they gave me a feel for it.  Last week, my boss invited me to a meeting with IT and a software vendor, for a new version rollout.  Not really a big deal, but it was to me.  I felt important, just being at the meeting. Plus, I was able to translate something the tech people were saying to my boss and a few others, whose eyes had begun to glaze over from the tech-speak while IT just nodded in understanding.  My input mattered.  I was special.
Then, a few days ago, I talked to the main guy who deals with that software in our company, Ceasar.  I gained a much greater understanding of this problem that we are dealing with, and he appreciated my knowledge, and the fact that he had someone to explain it to, and complain to about the vendor.
Then I talked to my boss, who said Ceasar is being overzealous and jealously guarded over the invasion to *his* system that the upgrade will bring.  Gaining her perspective, I was thusly armed with both sides.  My initial reaction, once I digested all of this information was, what the hell is the problem?  Give the vendor the data they need, they will give us the upgrade we need, then we will roll out the new system.
Well, the problem is our IT people, devastingly sensitive over any invasion of their computer system.  He is treating it like his daughter, going to a gang bang after the prom. 
So, I am in charge of all of our large peripherals in our department.  Scanners, Copiers, printers, faxes.  We have an unused scanner.  A scanner that we use went down.  I wanted to switch them out so the service people could take the broken one.  Well, I made the mistake of calling IT to ask them a question about it.
There response, hedged, was, well, you can’t move it yourself, IT has to move it.  No, we can’t move it now, you have to get a work order.  No, you can’t fill out a work order yourself, you need to have your manager do it.  No, we can’t do it now, but we can get to it early next week.
Well, I’m going to have the broken one back by then, and I won’t need it done.
Oh.  Well, did you want to cancel the work order then?
That’s not even the funny part.  I had to track down a roller kit.  I found out that I don’t order that; IT orders it for me, and they have a couple handy.  Great.  I’ll be right down to get it.
So I go down to the Lower Lever, where I imagined the IT department was.  I had never been there, but I had seen IT people scurry around the corner and disappear, like roaches under the refrigerator.  I go down there, and there is a door, and it is closed, and unmarked.  I try it, it’s locked.  I told them I would be right down.  Everywhere else in the bank is open.  This is strange.
I head back upstairs.  My manager is in.  She relates to me that the procedure is, you do have to knock on the door.  They are in there, and they keep it locked.  It’s also in the basement corner, so there are no windows in there, either.  They have a cave, essentially.
So I go back down.  I knock, wait, knock again.  I look around.  I notice, above the door, a camera.
Pointed at another door, almost hidden around the corner.
This door has a keycard entry, a button combination lock, a people, and quite possibly a deadbolt on the other side.  I looked around for the moat.  Seeing none, I approched cautiously, quite possibly tripping an invisible laser alarm.  I knocked.
An unusually hot chick opened the door.  Unusual because most of the people in IT are nerdy, dumpy guys.  She is probably the queen here.  Queen of the stuttering, sweaty, nervous clowns.
Right inside the cave, I looked around.  Cubicals, of course. But also boxes, crates, racks, spare computer parts, et cetera.  Didnt go far enough in to see the servers or routers or whatnot.  It’s just as well; chances are they were guarded by bears.  Bears with glasses and pocket protectors.
A box was on a rolling cart, yellow sticky with my name.  Must be mine.  I say thanks, and go to leave.  the girl said, "can you sign in and out on the sheet there?"
I just stopped in, for 12 seconds, to grab a box and go.  Now I had to sign in and out.  Date, name, Company.  Purpose.  Time in, time out.  I looked around for a clock, and I felt the sensation of being watched.  A pair of sweaty, darting eyes was peering above a cube wall.  "10:37."  The eyes disappeared.
"Thanks."  So, time in, I wrote "10:37."  Time out, " I wrote "10:37.5"
I called out, to no one, because I could see no one, "Hey, uh, thanks for the roller kit!  I guess.. . uh, I guess I’m leaving now.. . Bye."  And I came back out into the daylight.  Back to civilization.  Back to. . . my own cube.


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    This made me laugh — mainly because I laugh at IT people worldwide. It absolutely doesn\’t matter what business it is: those IT people are interchangeable.
    This is like…"Dilbert," brought to life.
    Thanks for the chuckle.

  2. I hate basements. In business buildings. Read too much Koontz and King. Not to mention I can scare the shit out of myself just using my own imagination.
    Are you sure those are real people in the cellar? They could have been alien life forms meant to look like humans! They\’ll take your soul if you let them!! Don\’t go in the basement!!!! Run!!!!

  3. Now, as much as I loved your story, and would generally agree with your description of It people, I have to defind my hubby!  He is the IT manager for an oil & gas company.  He is the most non-stereotypical ITguy you\’ll ever meet. 
    He\’s 6\’2\’\’, slim, toned from bike riding, played guitar in a rock band as a kid during the 80\’s,  works almost obsessively on his \’65 Chevy Nova 2, has helped several family members build their homes, is great at fixing almost anything you hand him, is a great cook, and can even sew! 
    The techs that work under him?   They\’re not as talented as he is, but they\’re a fun group of guys, and love to have a good time.  All together, they\’re a great team, and keep that oil & gas company running smoothly.
    So there!  😉

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