This blog post isn’t about the movie Office Space. Sorry to disappoint you.
I’m not even sure if I’ve seen Office Space in its entirety, and if I did, I don’t remember enough about it to write it in a post, so sorry to disappoint you twice.
But something did happen in the offices of the Langson Library at the University of California, Irvine a couple of weeks ago.
We upgraded. We upgraded from the second floor, right on up to the fifth floor.
We upgraded right on up to a room in the corner where we have to put a post it note on the door that says “do not lock”, because the room is usually always locked.
Our space on the second floor was big. and our space on the second floor allowed the two sections of interlibrary loans to be separated. Our new space on the fifth floor prefers that we are all uncomfortably squished together, one, big, co-existing book lending family. Approximately 14 students in and out of the room throughout the day who have to share 2 computers, and 6 permanent staff who are permanently there all day. We should be making our trek back down to the second floor shortly, like in a couple of days shortly, but maneuvering around book carts and people and living out of boxes is not the most efficient way to run a library. I’ve been okay though… I’ve been taking the early shifts so there are fewer obstacles in the form of people to negotiate desk space with.
But this is the first time our two departments have been together, working in the same area. The staggered schedules are supposed to help with that, but from what I hear, it only results in increased foot traffic during the afternoon hours. The students have to find bizarre ways of double teaming on tasks because there is no space for each person to be doing something different. The boxes remained unpacked because everyone knows that the arrangement is temporary. We couldn’t bring everything up, however, so whenever we need something from the circulation desk, we have to use the elevator to go down down down to the second floor and then use it again to come back up up up to finish the task at hand. It’s not so bad though, it’s like we are getting paid to ride the elevator up and down. I think most people would say that I should take advantage of the situation and take the stairs up and down to get some exercise. My counter argument to that is that the stairs, for some reason, don’t go all the way up to the fifth floor. The stairs can take you as far as the fourth floor at which point I would have to cross to the other side of the building and ride up to the fifth floor. So for the purposes of time efficiency and consistency, I take the elevator. I did get to sneak a peek at the new downstairs layout on one of my many trips downstairs. the color scheme is kind of bland, kind of boring.. but it does look very neat and very organized. the furniture is all new so the tables are a smooth, pretty brown color and the cubicle walls are a frosted gray, almost transparent color to help brighten up the area. The two departments will still be together but the table lengths are almost twice the length as the longest table in the fifth floor. The carpet is new and all clean, but it still smells like fumes down there, probably from the glue used to stick on the brand new carpet. So I think it will be nice to move back down to the normal working area.
But like I said, the nice thing about the morning is the lack of having to fight for table space and the shorter wait time for the elevator because there just aren’t as many people going up and down at 8 in the morning. Oh, and sometimes I’ll get free food when the permanent staff bring breakfast.