Tuesday, March 10, 2009

I know that I've bitched about the urine/food on the bathroom floor at work before, and now my boss, Liz, reports a similar issue in her bathroom except it's not a peanut. I won't say exactly what it is that she's talking about for fear of grossing you all out, so let it suffice to say that she found A BLOODY GODDAMN TAMPON ON THE FLOOR. Anyway, that's not the point here. My point is that I'd like to go on record as saying that in general, the workplace environment in my office is really very pleasant.

In fact, today I invited my parents to come on in from the 'burbs and meet me for lunch in the big city. I thought maybe they'd like to see my office and see that their baby son has a Big Boy Job now. Both my parents are retired, but my mom did secretarial work in a New York office once upon a time, and my dad was an engineer for a Big Oil company for something like 40 years. They worked in hierarchical environments where people wore ties and had offices with doors.

So today I got to see my office from their perspective.

One of the first things they saw when they arrived was me meeting with Larry in our cafe area, while Larry carried his 2 month-old baby in a sling. My parents cooed over the baby and marveled at the fact that there was an infant allowed in the work place. After that, I took them on a quick tour, showing them some of the great art that is generously scattered through the building, when my mom noticed some toys on the ground. She asked if those were toys for the baby. I explained that those were dog toys for the several people who bring their dogs to work with them.

I introduced my prents to my ironic-tshirt-wearing co-workers and gave them a quick peek at the rooftop garden. I showed them the open work environment and the tasty free snacks in the kitchen. I pointed out the non-profits and foundations who share the space with us, and my parents probably noticed the diverse work force (not so much in my group, which is almost entirely composed of 40 year-old white males, but still).

In the end, it was a good reminder of what a fun and unique work environment I'm in. I realize that workplaces are generally much less uniform than they were during my parents careers, but I'm pretty sure my company is pushing the envelope a bit even in these modern times.

Now all we have to do is make some money, or at least convince more investors to give us more funding. My fingers are crossed. Toes too.


Sue said...

Do you ever have a hard time focusing? Or do you just put on the headphones and code?

Mike said...

I generally do pretty well in a noisy environment, and do you know what I credit for that ability? I credit our high school where many of the classrooms did not have real walls or even full-height walls. You remember those heavy-duty curtains they'd used to divide class "rooms"? How about the fact that many (most?) classrooms didn't have doors they could close? Often we'd be taking a test in one room while a movie played loudly in the room next door. I think that's where I learned to block out background noise.

Prosy said...

I don't know...all that other stuff sounds cool but I can't get over the, well the you-know-what used, on the floor. Do ya'll not have your own bathrooms and maybe you have to go next door to the homeless shelter?

Mike said...

That's pretty nasty, eh? Not as nasty as what one of my buddies told me about his office bathroom though. Apparently there's some woman at his workplace who has repeatedly taken a dump ON THE FLOOR.

I've generally assumed it was the men who were pigs in the bathroom, but these anecdotes are making me rethink that assumption.

carey said...

Humans are pigs! We have lots of different bathrooms in our company (about 250 people or so)and some are even coed. But we don't tend to have peanuts and candy and tampons and used condoms littering the floor. Maybe it's an East Cost thing.

However, we DO have quite a number of folks who think nothing of hacking and snorting and choking up hairballs...so much so, that one of them had to excuse himself from his cubbie because he apparently had coughed up all sorts of phlegm and pus and blood or something on his shirt sleeve. Yum!

Mike said...

Carey, an East Coast thing? So, the West Coasters are pigs but the East Coasters are tidy little peeps, except for the occasional hairball? Nice. That's so Coastist.