Friday, August 16, 2013

Redshirts

The staple pit moved twice during my tenure. The first time it was just from one crappy, abandoned area to another slightly-crappier abandoned area. More traumatic was when it was moved to a completely different floor. 

Many of the staple people were really agitated at the prospect of going to the new floor. Those who had actually been to this foreign place spoke of a quiet, library-like atmosphere. “Nobody talks,” one lady said with concern, “they’re going to expect us to be really quiet all the time.” “I went up there once and only saw one person, it’s like a ghost town!” another chimed in.

It was decided that this new floor must be a horrible place. Morale plummeted. In response to more than a few requests that we be allowed to stay (which would have meant daily trips to the dreaded new floor to carry boxes of files back to our workstations), management decided to send just a few of us at a time to begin working on the new floor. I guess if the first group died from the excessive quiet, the remaining staple people could quit their jobs and live to pull out staples somewhere else. 

I didn’t have any great affection for the floor where we currently resided and once I’d established we weren’t being moved to the basement, I was fine with the move. As for the new floor being too quiet, for me there is no such thing. I like quiet. Any kind of chaos or unpredictable noise usually makes me want to climb up on a tall piece of furniture and hug myself until it goes away.

A couple of other people and I were selected to go set up our stations on the new floor first. The other staple people said goodbye to us as though we were a landing party being sent to check out a new planet shortly after being issued red shirts

The new floor was very different. First of all, we were in a conference room as opposed to just wedged in somewhere on the main floor where space could be found. It was almost dignified. The room had windows, and we hadn’t had a chance to wreck the carpets yet. Even the tables that had been set up were nicer than we were used to. It was quiet. The other redshirts and I ventured out into the main floor to find coffee and were amazed to discover that the coffee was much-less bad than the stuff we’d had on the old floor. The coffee cups were even bigger on the new floor. 

We slowly began to allow ourselves to be cautiously optimistic about our new circumstances. We knew it could all go horribly wrong in some as-yet undetermined way, but it was hard not to feel a bit hopeful while enjoying a larger-than-expected cup of less-bad coffee.