Corporate Musical Chairs

Last week, Carlos told me a story that was potentially blog-worthy. I didn’t blog about it because I felt that it needed to have personal frustration associated with it, rather than just his. What he didn’t tell me was that I would undergo the same treatment a few days later.

Today, I got my first designated space at CheckFree. I’ve been there a little over a year and I’ve moved now more times than I can recall. Let me see…tomorrow marks my sixth move. I moved myself all but one of those times and that one came with its own penalty – I wasn’t informed about the move until I returned from vacation to see that my shared office space had been demolished, literally. All of my previous spots were temporary and, as such, shared with my fellow group members. Now that I’m under new management and within a new group, I finally got the opportunity to have a few cubic feet to call my own. To begin with, Carlos and I had planned for several weeks that I would come over to his building and take his spot when he moved out into an office being made available for him. He’s my manager, so this seemed like a faultless plan. When the move orders finally came out, they were in discrepancy with our plans. I would be moved to the opposite end of the building in another’s spot – also a window seat. It was a really good window seat because it actually touched the window and was dark. Carlos’ spot was sort of a window seat, though the window was obstructed by a large pilon at the entrance of the cube. So I took the new orders in stride and appreciated the upgrade. On move day (today), there was a minor scuffle for the good window seat and my move orders were changed to put me in Carlos’ old spot instead. No problem – that’s what I wanted anyway. So now I’m moved in and nicely situated. I even hung up a .NET poster and some *finished* documentation. You know, all those nice cube-finishing touches. After I leave for the day, I get a voicemail message from the office space manager apologizing for the confusion. She let me know that my seat was for more senior people and that she went ahead and had my phone moved back to my temporary spot – now apparently a permanent position. This is the same lady that put me in Carlos’ spot before! Asinine. It’s also a ridiculous notion that any kind of favor was granted when they moved my phone back for me. Hell, I unpacked my plastic crate for the first time in several moves for this. The least they could have done was move my 21″ monitor and computer back for me. But no. I’ll be spending tomorrow morning moving back, dejected, into my previous spot. Maybe there will be an office moving Olympics in the Winter that I can try out for. I think I’d kill any of the competition. Literally, probably. Maybe cube rights are a petty thing to get peeved over – it does feel a little remote as I write this from my home, which I own. But it still hits impacts my morale. Why does their mistake have to be my problem?!?

So this related to Carlos’ experience last week too. Since he became a manager, he was given access to an office. Some amount of time transpired and an office was found for him to move into. Again, the office manager gave him the requisite move order. No sooner had Carlos become acquainted with his new digs did someone have a problem with it. Turns out that his office has a window. As such, they’re designated for more senior management staff than himself. Carlos eventually won his battle because there just weren’t any other offices in that building for him to move into. Why must we be taunted with glamorous quarters only to be demeaned later when attempting to actually use them. I’ll have to remember to avert my eyes when approaching anyone near a window. Their greatness vastly out-shines mere mortals.


  1. The problem is that there’s an actual HR policy regarding cubicle assignment at CheckFree. It is sometimes ignored, but if someone complains then it has to be followed. I heard someone did, thus the problem.

    But as an FYI, I was told by Tim that I would be getting his cube, which is why I was surprised when you were about to move in behind me. I was confused, but figured you knew more about it than I did (so long as you don’t whistle kids songs all day long, we’re cool) I come back from my meeting and I heard you’d been moved.

    Just so you know, though, I didn’t raise a ruckus. I’d heard that I would be getting a neighbor from another floor and that was really my impetus for wanting Tim’s cube. As I tend to shun daylight, the window thing isn’t a big deal to me. I don’t know who’s getting what cube at this point.

    Good luck, nomad!

  2. Yeah – Tim’s cube was totally never an issue anyway. That *was* actually a mistake. It was Carlos’ cube that I was officially moved into, and out of.

  3. I could have fought this and probably won this, but I could not get past the fact that you would have those people (which you would work with) eternally pissed off at you. Just so you know people are now fighting over these spots, we decided to put them on hold for a while until they lose that cube fever.

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