Sunday, March 29, 2009

Stairways, Basketball and Cigarettes

The last time I changed jobs about a year ago, my new company took five weeks to get me set up with a computer and the necessary software and user accounts I would need to do my job. This new company had everything waiting for me on the first day.

I’ll be working with an implementation team to get a software product ready for a custom installation in Maryland. It’s a big contract, worth millions of dollars. I don’t want to name my new company, but I will tell you that our software product has something to do with real estate. My starting role will be to work on a customized training program that has a contracted delivery date that is coming up pretty fast. After that, I’ll be adapting product documentation to make it accurate for the customized version of the Maryland product.

The first order of business is to learn the product and the industry, and there’s just no way that I’m going to become competent in the short time frame available. So I’ve been testing my co-workers to see who is the most cooperative and knowledgeable, so that I can fire off questions and get meaningful answers. At my previous job, nobody was cooperative, and the most knowledgeable people were far too busy or important to bother with peons like me. So far, everyone has been really helpful at the new job.

The company was previously owned by the company president, who also owns the building in which we work. He sold the business to a company in Michigan, who now pays him a salary for his services, as well as a fat monthly rent check. It’s a funky older building, consisting of three floors. The ground floor is entered through one door, but the second and third floors can only be accessed through a different door.

The upstairs doorway opens into a very narrow staircase that can only accommodate one person at a time. If you hear someone coming down, you have to wait for them before you can go up.

off_stairs


Once on the second floor, the only way to the third floor is via this spiral staircase:

off_spiral


My desk is at the bottom of the staircase. When women use the spiral staircase, they have to clutch their skirts to their legs to prevent the pervert new guy from looking up to see their panties.

There’s a door near my desk that opens up to an outside second-floor patio equipped with a basketball hoop and netting to keep the ball inside the patio area. So far, I haven’t heard anyone playing, but a nearby door bears the telltale marks of past half-court games:

off_bball


off_doors


Mostly, people use it to smoke.

off_butts


2 comments:

burton said...

Wait 'til you find the ladder to get to floor 4. Then you need to practice your rope-climbing skills to get to floor 5. Only the best get to floor 6 - as your only hope is to jump up there.

Anonymous said...

Better learn parkour.