Wednesday, February 26, 2014

The Office

My Team

There is a woman who sits right outside of my office who has the need to verbalize everything that she does or thinks, either by words or by sound effects. When she is being very productive and her energy is high, she lists the names of the clients that she is working on, the minutes she is keeping track of and the order of the tasks she is working on (out loud). She has different sound effects that she makes for surprise, concerned, confused, etc. (out loud). Recently she has started vocalizing sentences; she recites her notes simultaneously as she types them. The audience is meant to be herself, however since she sits amongst others, does not have a door or an office, the audience end up being the staff sitting around her and I.

There is another woman who sits right outside of my office where her desk is adjacent to my front wall.  This allows her to just roll her chair back one steps and place herself in my doorway. She does not have to get up; just roll back one step and turn and become face to face with me. To her this is such a beautiful convenience where as soon as a hint of a question or a concern or even a wild wonder comes to her mind, she rolls back one step, turns and asks Shabnam. She seems to believe that my job is to sit in my office and wait for her to roll back a step and turn to answer all of her questions, concerns, wonders and sometimes even listen to the expression of her feelings.

There is a guy in my team who is not capable of ending his conversations. He stands in the doorway of my office and gives me information about a case which could have been communicated clearly in no more than three sentences. However, his version goes something like this: " So & so threw a desk in class and was suspended. so, yeah, he got suspended from school. Yeah, I just wanted to let you know that he was suspended. I thought you might want to know, so. So, yeah. Ok, then. Figured I tell you, so you'd know about the suspension". I find myself desperately searching for additional words that are similar and synonymous to "ok", "alright", "sounds good", "FINE!".

There is a man in my team who is a heavy smoker and there are obviously some problems with his mouth/teeth when he speaks. When he comes to supervision in my office, other than the smell of cigarette smoke, I notice that he does not swallow his saliva as regularly as needed when he talks. I find myself swallowing my own saliva twice as much as I need to. I dread any moment that he laughs because drops of the gathered saliva spits out from his mouth. I make sure to remove any food or drinks I may have on my desk away from the guest seats in my office and roll my chair back as far as possible.  At the end of those meetings I find my mouth extremely dry.

The Chart Room

There is a list of alphabets written on the drawers that hold the clients' alphabetically ordered charts, because one of the administrative assistants does not know her alphabets.

There is a girl in the office who checks her mailbox in the chart room and leaves everything that she does not need at that exact moment on the table in front of the boxes and leaves to never come back. We are left with mostly her papers, but sometimes we are left with her empty cup or her cell phone!

The Lunch Room

There is about 20 signs in the small office lunch room asking people to clean up after themselves. Yet, I still find myself having to wipe down the table and throw away used cups and forks before I sit to eat.

Our office has gone through 10-12 policies regarding cleaning the refrigerator. The current policy is that Fridays at 4:30, everything left in the fridge is tossed.

Cabinet doors are left open in the lunch room, half used hot cocoa bags are left on the counter, used sugar packets are on the floor, etc.

The Conference Room

It is hard to fit 35 staff into a conference room with tables in there, so the tables are removed during meetings and chairs are placed classroom style. People reserve their seats by placing a post it with their names on each chair. When they arrive at the meeting to sit, they do not remove the post it. When they leave the meeting, they do not remove the post it. Post its with people's names on them are always floating around on the conference room chairs, floor, tables, etc.

After staff or team meetings end and people leave the conference room, you can always find empty cups, water bottles, scrap papers and scrunched up tissue on the floor.