Tuesday, August 01, 2017

Keep Moving

     You know what's sadder than going back to a place where you once spent all your working day, five days a week?  Going back and discovering your coworkers have been treating the place like their own private junkyard!

     I had occasion to work at the no-longer-staffed North Campus yesterday.  The place was in the middle of a mouse and ant invasion, ruining the toaster, French-press coffeemaker and paper/plasticware in the kitchenette (and so on), in part because staff making use of the site are throwing away food waste in the building instead of in the dumpster outside; a cold-water valve had managed to fail open at the janitor's closet slop sink and was merrily fountaining away; someone had left a storage battery charging on a wooden workbench in the huge, hot garage and dilute battery acid was spattered on the benchtop.  The place was a mess.  I'm going back to doing weekly walk-throughs and if the boss complains, I'll start doing them on my own time: when neglect-induced major failure hits, I'll be the one who has to clean it up, so I'm ahead if I can forestall it.



Zendo Deb said...

You disdain for the way the employer is currently handling things has been coming more into focus in the past few months. Might mean a change is in order, or at least some contingency planning.

Chickens eventually come home to roost, and ignoring maintenance in an entire building is a classic way to create a very large failure. (Mice and rats love to chew on electrical installation for reasons that were never clear to me. Between that and the battery left to charge forever, well a fire would not surprise me.

When something bad does happen, the executives will look for someone to blame - usually an innocent bystander, though sometimes the one person who has been telling them that their focus needs to shit a bit.

Anyway, I hope things work out. For you and them - even if they don't seem like they deserve it sometimes.

Zendo Deb said...

Shift a bit. Sorry 'bout that.

Roberta X said...

Their focus has been going to shit for awhile.

Interestingly, my immediate boss's reaction was, "Yes, do that; we need to get together with the building maintenance guy (also under my boss) and go through the place, ASAP." This boss is relatively new, *not* the guy who has been in favor of ignoring the site. So that may be a good sign.

I have worked at not doing the Cassandra thing too much and to leave a "paper trail" for any vital issue, attempting to weave a course between too-frequent reminders and ignoring the problem.

Alien said...

Dear Boss:

Those bubbly lines in the water you were admiring so much from the promenade deck the other day?

Turns out it wasn't dolphins.


An employee

I think Z-Deb (above) may be onto something. If, not a rezoom shopped around quietly but instead a few very casual and informal conversations, just to get a feel for the water temp and ph level, without attracting any attention (which, admittedly is rather difficult in small tech communities) the information gained might be enlightening, and, perhaps, useful.

Over the years I've found it beneficial to periodically allocate time when I get my head out of the job for a while and look around to see what scenery has changed and what new landscapers have taken up residence. Sometimes one discovers that learning to plant maples and spruces offers advantage over maintaining excellence with daisies, roses and geraniums.

Zendo Deb said...


For years one of my job responsibilities was Disaster Recover Planning. What to do in the event of a fire, earthquake, toxic spill, whatever. At SEVERAL employers the standing joke was that STEP 1 was to keep an updated copy of your resume on your PC at home. You never know when the ax will fall. (I was "downsized" twice, outsourced once and laid off once.) Was never out of work for more than a couple of months - until I had decided I'd had it with Corporate America.

Looking around. Going on an interview (usually it would include a nice lunch somewhere) was just something you worked into the schedule. Even when you were happy, because of downsizing.

Though that gets exponentially harder after 45.

Alien said...

Deb, in biz there are two rules: #2 is "Your first day on the job, begin training your replacement because if you cannot be easily replaced with someone competent you cannot leave," and #1 is: "Your first day on the job, start looking for your next job." (#2 assumes movement within the company, not exiting it).

I kept a freshly printed crisp and current copy of my rezoom, on expensive paper, in an inside coat pocket every single day, and practiced my 25-Second Elevator Speech frequently. One never knows when one may encounter an opportunity, and the person you bump into Tuesday may know someone valuable to you with whom they talk on Wednesday.

And, there was always a "cash stash" in my wallet for lunches, taxis and tips.