We had a catered lunch at the office yesterday, with food provided courtesy of the firm that does our printing. The food was from a local barbeque restaurant named for a prehistoric creature, a universal favorite, guaranteed to please. A general office meeting was held at the same time. Meetings are a bit of a mixed bag for new employees like myself. They are a source of information, but not all of it makes sense yet.
There were two topics of particular interest to me: direct deposit, and the office move. We are getting direct deposit sometime in the next month. I am super excited about this, because my bank charges a service fee for checking accounts without direct deposit. I never did anything to resolve the situation while I was unemployed, assuming I would soon land a job, resume earning an income, and no longer be affected by the fees. It never occurred to me that my new place of employment wouldn't offer direct deposit. What century is this? Plus, the only paycheck I’ve thus far received sat in my purse for eight days before I could make it to the bank. So a big cheer for convenience!
Onto the move… next month our local branch will be moving downtown to a new office space. The current building is architecturally interesting, but much too small. It is an old building, originally used for a very different purpose. Conversion to an office was inefficient, and there is a lot of wasted space. There are two floors, with high ceilings and big windows. The receptionist (who shares my real world first name) sits by the main door, answering the phones and greeting visitors. On both levels, a large open room with cubicles occupies most of the space, and smaller offices with doors line the far wall.
The stairs are numerous, because of the high ceilings, two whole flights between floors. You go up the first flight to a small landing. There is a closet on the landing with a water cooler and it's refill bottles. It dispenses both cold and hot water. I immediately became fond of the water cooler, not for the mythological office gossip, but for the ease in making hot tea. I have brought two kinds of tea to work so far, morning breakfast and millennial mint. From the landing, stairs split off in two directions.
The right-hand set leads to a conference room, for meetings and interviews and such. To the left, the stairs lead up to my little room and the rest of the second floor. There is an administrative assistant who sits at the end of the corridor through cube-land, right in front of the private offices for important people.
I share a tiny little room with two other people, right at the top of the staircase. There is a huge window in my room, set high on the wall. The bottom sill is shoulder height, and it rises many, many feet above. The window faces south, so there is a lot of light, so much we have to lower the blinds in the afternoon. My desk faces north, away from the window and into blank wall. The desk has no drawers, just a desk lamp and the computer peripherals, a very nice flat screen monitor and a keyboard with an odd layout. I still need to personalize my immediate space.
As interesting as this building is, a few more modern amenities could be hoped for. Water leaks in from the ceiling in my little office, dripping down the wall. There are only two one-seater bathrooms. One is upstairs off the main room, just a few feet from someone's desk, with servers in the closet. When the servers need work, we're down to the one lone toilet, which unfortunately is downstairs, right off the kitchen. Lovely. The kitchen is microscopic, essentially just a hall equipped with a fridge, coffee pot, sink, and microwave. It is uncomfortably crowded with any more than two people, and that’s assuming the refrigerator door is closed. There is no lunch room or space to eat, and no vending machines.
I do not like the current bathroom situation, with its forced intimacy. I have already been warned to avoid the bathroom after certain people use it, and am mortified to think that private emissions are being tracked and discussed. The new office is rumored to have separate men’s and women’s bathrooms, located far away from the kitchen. Everyone is very excited about the impending move, and I was eager to hear more about it.
Best of all, the new building has gargoyles on it. How cool is that?