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Old 12-18-2017, 08:41 AM   #21
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Congrats!! Totally understand the missing cubicle. They moved everyone in our office to the short wall, table open floor plan style, it was so loud I couldn't think any longer. I lost my white board and couldn't think as an engineer I drew out all my ideas, well that was gone. I don't need to hear my neighbor go on about their kids/wife/divorce/side business/etc. It was WAY less productive and I left within 3 months.

To add to it, some genious decided everyone has laptops so monitors were "redundant", so they took away everyone's monitors as the desks were so small, the monitors took up 1/2 the work space. Of course management couldn't figure out why all the engineers freaked out trying to work on their dinky 13 inch laptop screen vs. the huge multiple screens one is used to when debugging code.
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Old 12-18-2017, 08:47 AM   #22
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I've been so long removed from those days that it's had to imagine working in that environment. My last day of work was 5-1-1988. By that time I had my own "private office", about 10'x10' with solid walls and door for privacy. This was a necessity for me as Senior Project Manager. Had 23 engineers under me. It was especially helpful when someone had to be interviewed, during annual performance reviews and other matters that needed total privacy. I remember the "older" days in the 70's at another plant where my office was about 12'x12' totally enclosed but with glass walls and a glass door. Thinking back I remember how uncomfortable my engineers were during annual performance reviews, etc. All the other engineers were out in the design area where they could see what was taking place. They couldn't hear, but being seen had to uncomfortable for them. I was so used to it that it didn't bother me.

Reading the other posts made me think how much I would hate the cubicle concept. Can't believe what goes on now.
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Old 12-18-2017, 09:09 AM   #23
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A funny (sort of) anecdote from the Open Office days: this was early 1980s, a building in which only the President and the guy who ran the mailroom had private offices. I had a large desk with my back to a window. I attained credentials as an actuary after 8 years of toil (10 exams with pass ratios of 30-40%) and proudly had the certificate admitting me as a Fellow of the Society professionally framed. There were vertical metal beams diving the windows behind me so I rigged up a C-clamp on one (padded so it wouldn't mar the metal) and hung the certificate from the clamp. Every once in awhile a minion delivering the mail would walk over and curiously examine the certificate. I finally got a call from the mailroom- I had to take it down. They'd just made up a rule that you couldn't hang pictures/certificates at the windows.

My next job was the one with the real office so I could finally display it.
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Old 12-18-2017, 09:42 AM   #24
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Now we all sit in 7 x 7 foot stalls, with low partitions, ending any semblance of privacy.
Creates a "prairie dogging" environment.
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Old 12-18-2017, 09:51 AM   #25
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Anyone else do after-hours remodeling of their cubes?

We always knew where the spare cube parts were. I ended up with a wider front wall overlooking a walkway and window, which allowed me to put the desk on that wall. It made the doorway pretty tight. I told people it was my motivation not to gain any more weight.

The real reason was I didn't have to sit with my back, and monitor, facing the doorway.

I suspect the whole open concept is just a misguided effort to look like a silicon valley "collaborative" workplace, even though it's really nothing like that. Glad I got out before that fad reached us!
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Old 12-18-2017, 09:55 AM   #26
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To add to it, some genious decided everyone has laptops so monitors were "redundant", so they took away everyone's monitors as the desks were so small, the monitors took up 1/2 the work space. Of course management couldn't figure out why all the engineers freaked out trying to work on their dinky 13 inch laptop screen vs. the huge multiple screens one is used to when debugging code.
Oh you made me laugh.

Back in the late 80s Megacorp build a nice new building, visable from the HR building. I was supporting all of our clients CICS systems and when they crashed it was a very big deal! They paid millions annually for those to be available.

This day several had crashed including our largest clients. The blinds in the new building could not be completely closed for aesthetic reasons. However the sun beat in the window and I couldn't see my green screen to read the 10,000 page dump.

I put newspapers up to block the sun, shortly after, someone from HR called and demanded that I remove the papers. OK, sure but I can't see to do my job. After a while I get bugged for a status by a client facing person.

I explained I couldn't solve their problems until after dark, so maybe tomorrow I might know what's going on. OMG, the CIO was at my desk 10 minutes later. I smiled and asked him to stand behind me and block the sun for a while!

There was a building engineer sent over to make the blinds close completely a little later.
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Old 12-18-2017, 10:23 AM   #27
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Now we all sit in 7 x 7 foot stalls, with low partitions, ending any semblance of privacy. The place looks like an Ikea showroom. And the distractions of overheard conversations, people walking by, and the sense that the guy behind you is looking at your monitor, is the pits. Not enough room for my gear, so we use a communal lab area, much less convenient. I'm the most senior engineer in the company but my work space is now the same as a call center employee's.

THE GOOD NEWS: Next week is my last. At age 61 I'm out of there as of January 2. Given the above, it's just in time! Adios!!
Congrats on the retirement! And I hear ya on the cube situation. Had an office with a door in our old building. Then we moved to a new facility and the brain trust here at w*rk came up with the "Right to Light" explanation. The few offices (for very senior managers) are on the interior of the building, so all of the cubicle farm can see windows and have access to natural light. I'm in one of the "deluxe" cubes (all of 6'x8'), but most are standardized at 6'x6'. And I hear that the newest renovation going on in another facility has them doing away with cubicles and assigned seating altogether. Every spot at a table will be first come, first served every day. At least I finally negotiated to w*rk from home two days a week!
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Old 12-18-2017, 10:27 AM   #28
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Until recently my workplace at a large company was a sea of cubicles. But they were pretty nice; 10 x 10 feet with privacy (tall walls) and autonomy; I filled mine with my photos (big hobby). And the overall layout was good in terms of team collaboration ... but we all had our own sacred domains. I'm an electronics hardware engineer, so my cube was also my lab, with microscope, soldering station, network analyzer, oscilloscopes, power supplies, components, wires ... which equals "home" for me...
I now have a bedroom upstairs for my electronics hobby. I brought up an industrial-quality electronic bench, and still have the 2nd one in the garage. Would be nice to bring it up too, but the BR is not large enough. I have a lot of stuff from the failed business that I co-owned.

There are 5 rooms upstairs that are not occupied since we became empty nesters. I don't see turning them all into a lab though.
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Old 12-18-2017, 10:33 AM   #29
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... Of course management couldn't figure out why all the engineers freaked out trying to work on their dinky 13 inch laptop screen vs. the huge multiple screens one is used to when debugging code.
In another thread, I talked about having idiots for upper management at megacorp who had never done anything in their life. They simply do not know how people write code and build stuff.

My son-in-law worked at home on firmware for a megacorp. He has 4 large 22" monitors mounted on the wall. It is possible to do that in a cubicle, although I have not seen it. Usually, a 2-monitor setup is a max they give a worker, even though monitors are cheap now.
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Old 12-18-2017, 10:38 AM   #30
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I have done contract work at a kilocorp. All engineers, even new hires, have rooms with hardwalls. It was the common etiquette to leave the door open so people walking by know you were not dozing off at your desk. Productivity was higher than at megacorps with just cubicles as I was not distracted by noises. There was also less talk around the cooler. That company got it right.
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Old 12-18-2017, 11:04 AM   #31
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Hey Jeff, congrats on the retirement!

Reading all of the above makes me feel left out of the experiences as I never had to office in an open "cube" environment. Some of these stories make it sound like punishment on a mass scale!

I always had a small office or a field office to work out of. In my management days, I had a private office. When I ran my own company, I had whatever I wanted, which was usually a private office. At times, I did work out of my truck, but that's field work.
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Old 12-18-2017, 11:11 AM   #32
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Back in the late 80s Megacorp build a nice new building, visable from the HR building. I was supporting all of our clients CICS systems and when they crashed it was a very big deal! They paid millions annually for those to be available.

This day several had crashed including our largest clients. The blinds in the new building could not be completely closed for aesthetic reasons. However the sun beat in the window and I couldn't see my green screen to read the 10,000 page dump.
CICS and reading dumps....ahhhhh, that brings back memories! I recall at one employer we actually had to read dumps using a micro fiche reader.
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Old 12-18-2017, 11:19 AM   #33
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I was an engineering contractor at a very well known firm in the food processing engineering market. Or they were. While I was there, they got a boy wonder president of the division who, in order to save money, moved the offices down the street. The engineering design area was dramatically smaller, everyone had to significantly reduce their storage. So all the design engineering history of 40 years of plant design hit the dumpsters. They saved a boat load of money on space and proceeded to start losing bids as they were re-creating the wheel every single time instead of pulling out and marking up an existing design. Firm is out of business.
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Old 12-18-2017, 12:18 PM   #34
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poorcarver,
I work in an engineering dept. at a midcorp company. They moved us to a nice new remodeled building, with lots of windows and new furniture. It is very nice.


We also got a nice new lab area to work in.


This is what happened:
The head of engineering wanted to use the building to impress customers. He would lead many show and tell visits through the building. He didn't like the look of a usable lab, and demanded that we purge everything we had on the storage shelves, so it looked nice. Our manager is a "yes man", and just ordered us to throw it all out. They purged all of our legacy stuff, and we have no lab storage. It is a similar disaster to what you experienced. We are missing everything, we have to buy everything new to get something done, and we just can't help people with anything associated with our legacy designs.


They also have big tables in the office area that were designs for quiet private meetings, specifically for meeting with visiting sales people. They started moving the project meetings out to these tables, so they were more visible, and it looked like we were a hip and cool company. The meetings keep growing in size. They are silly and worthless, basically just a show, and these meeting disrupt everyone else trying to work in that area.


Just a bunch of silly corporate BS. My BS bucket is filled up if you can't tell.


Take care,


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Old 12-18-2017, 12:37 PM   #35
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Anyone else do after-hours remodeling of their cubes?
You mean something like this?

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Old 12-18-2017, 02:14 PM   #36
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THE GOOD NEWS: Next week is my last. At age 61 I'm out of there as of January 2. Given the above, it's just in time! Adios!!
Congratulations! And thanks for reminding me of one of the reasons for my ER.

I came across some interesting corporate metrics at one point, which measured revenue $ per square foot. This was applied at an employee level. Shortly after that, they began downsizing, which included people and buildings. Also factored in were the types of buildings. A warehouse is cheaper than an executive building with windows.

Soon, Engineering, which used to have our own building with deep thinkers and spacious labs, was now cube to cube with administrators and technicians. It was difficult to concentrate and my productivity and quality dropped. At 7:45 every morning, the woman across the divider would spend several minutes lecturing her 3 boys, and preparing them to go off to school. And her voice was rather loud and ear-piercing. Yes, I knew all their names, ages, and other details.
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Old 12-18-2017, 02:26 PM   #37
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Congratulations to the OP on the timing of their retirement!

I had a walled office for a few years but most of my career was in an 8x8 cubicle with high partitions. The last few years a new building was being planned with smaller cubicles and low partitions - but lots of walled conference rooms. Management kept trying to sell this as being an improvement. Luckily there were many delays due to lack of funds so when I recently retired the building was still in the final design stage. Most of my co-workers are in their 50's and several plan to retire immediately before they have to move to the new building.
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Old 12-18-2017, 02:29 PM   #38
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Anyone else do after-hours remodeling of their cubes?

We always knew where the spare cube parts were. I ended up with a wider front wall overlooking a walkway and window, which allowed me to put the desk on that wall. It made the doorway pretty tight. I told people it was my motivation not to gain any more weight.

The real reason was I didn't have to sit with my back, and monitor, facing the doorway.

I suspect the whole open concept is just a misguided effort to look like a silicon valley "collaborative" workplace, even though it's really nothing like that. Glad I got out before that fad reached us!

Around late 1970's we moved to a new office, and my after hours assignment was to build cubicle walls out of pegboard and 2x4's. After a few nights, I got a visit from the carpenter's union boss telling me to cease doing carpentry work. I told my boss, and kept the doors locked for the few nights that I had left building the cubes.
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Old 12-18-2017, 04:12 PM   #39
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I forgot about the "Charrette Areas" that were added to my last office. We had absolutely no partitions anywhere in the room, but the genius boss decided we still needed areas to collaborate. So there was a conference table with 60" flat screen monitor all of 5 feet behind my chair. The one or two times I complained to the participants that they were being so loud I couldn't hear the client on the phone, I was told in no uncertain terms they had reserved that area for their meeting and I could basically go **** myself.
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Old 12-18-2017, 04:21 PM   #40
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First position I had didn't have cubicles. Felt a bit like a typing pool. Cubicles at least offered some privacy and absorbed some of the random conversation.
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