Taken for granted

When you work in a well established organization, there are certain things you come to expect from your employer. A room with a table, a chair, a computer with online access, a phone. You expect that not only for you, but also for your reports. You consider this the absolute minimum the company should provide for you without even having to ask.

Turns out that things are more complicated where I spend my days (and sometimes nights). My office resides in a one story building (more of a caravan actually, but we’ll skip that). During the past three years, there has been an ongoing construction of a monumental (in local terms) 20 story office building that should house a whole lot of organizations like the one I’m at. It was planned and signed upon that my software development team is going to get serveral spacious rooms to accomodate our every need. Like in many other cases in large bureaucratic organizations a political battle between high ranking officials concluded in our prompt removal from the plans for the new building. But that’s alright. We don’t need no glass doors, shiny elevators and a view of the sea. We just want to get some work done.
So we wiped the metaphoric urine from our faces and coded on.

Last Monday a representative of the building contractor appeared in our office and declared that our office is going to be demolished the next morning, and we had better take ourselves and our equipment somewhere else, else we get “demolished” with the office. A phone call to my B (boss) followed by one to my BB (bosses boss) and another to my BBB (you get the picture) brought me to the inevitable conclusion that although each of them up the chain thinks that this is terrible and something must be done to rectify the situation, noone is going to do much about it (aside talking that is).

Left alone to fight the tractors, I called every B, BB, and BBB I know and a temporary solution emerged. The team is now divided into two subteams, each residing in another building. A permamanent solution has yet to be found and it seems that unless I learn some political strategy quickly we might find ourselves in the same scenario serveral months from now.

So what have we learned:

1. Never take anything for granted. You might be forced to do some serious fighting to get the things you think are basic. That seems to be true in a wider context than the one I described.

2. Some B’s sting. Some just talk.

2 Comments on “Taken for granted”

By Anonymous. December 20th, 2004 at 13:40

Gee, I wonder what kind of an organization it is… probably state-owned.

By Gooli. December 20th, 2004 at 21:00

It is actually. But I’ve heard enough talk about similar situations in large private companies. I think it’s the size that matters and not the ownership. In a large bureaucratic systems people are promoted to the point of incompetence.