Today, the girls and I moved our offices from the 14th to the 10th floor. The move was done within 2 hours. I liked to think we were quite efficient because we had cleverly moved our stuff to the new premises bit by bit over the last few days. However, the truth was that half my team were in the company for less than 2 years. SK for example, joined us only about a month ago, so all she did was to saunter down to the new office with her laptop, pencil and a rubber.
Being in the company for barely 2 years, I am not sentimental about leaving our old premises on the 14th floor. However, what I would miss will be our crazy lunchtime bantering at our little pantry, sharing a good laugh, exchanging gossips and occasionally venting a morning's worth of stress and frustrations over a packed lunch.
The old office on the 14th floor was, well....old. I remembered when I started work with the company on my first day, just barely 2 years ago, I was confronted with a huge red banner with a motivational quote printed on it just by the front door. I can't remember what the quote said now, so it must have been quite forgettable even then and throughout the 2 years.
I was also taken aback by the high partitions separating each workspace. I thought then that it was quite parochial, and set out to remove the high partitions. I told the girls that I did it so that I could see their beautiful faces, but later, they caught on to the fact that I felt so lonely behind the high partitions and needed to have people to talk to. Being confined to an office in solitude and near deathly silence for a few months almost drove me to find a way to unlock my window so that I could jump out for fresh air. It came in handy too, that with the partitions removed, I could see when the girls brought goodies like chocolates from home, so that I could accidentally hijack them.
Our new offices on the 10th floor was spanking new. It came with all new furniture, new phones that looked like the control and command deck of the Star Trek Enterprise, new pantry furnishing including an espresso-maker and pretty ergonomic chairs. It was a nice and refreshingly opened office. The only catch was that they had squeezed 6 departments into that floor space. Joy. We have to learn to live like a family under one roof. While I had to get use to getting spooned at the little pantry while making a cup of tea, the folks there had to get use to my rather loud disposition.
That explained why I had odd stares today by folks from the other departments around the corner when I was laughing so loudly with the girls during our usual bantering sessions. I was also met with stares of sheer fright when I hollered at Joel over the phone. I tried to look for the ladies room but barged into the gents' instead by mistake, only to be met with a shell-shocked bloke at the urinal who had probably wet his pants when he saw me. The pantry was also quite a distance away and I had probably trained for a marathon from that walk from my desk to the pantry only to find that there weren't any paper cups anywhere near the coffee machine. So I had to train for next year's marathon by walking back.
The relocation was a good thing and in many ways, it signaled a fresh start. I have decided that I wouldn't be less loud and brazen in the new office environment. In fact, it's a good opportunity to influence the rest to get louder and more brazen.