Les Petits Contes

About life's little observations, which matter. About hilarious situations, which illuminate. About stories which offer immense possibilities, open endings, different interpretations and perspectives.

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Location: Singapore

A nature lover; sun-worshipper, manic book-collector, dessert-devourer and a magnet for hazards

Thursday, March 30, 2006

Nice Girls Don't Get Office with Windows?

As they say, all good things must come to an end.

Come next week, I will have to give up my prime location in the office to move to a dark, obscure corner. OK, I exaggerate, but it still is a miserable place, compared to the vista I have now.

In the whole 20, 000 sqm building of Gemplus, I am the only one sitting at this place – facing the whole panorama of windows. And I am not even the CEO, ha ha. How I had waxed lyrical over this ‘’best seat in the house’’ when I first moved here in August 2001.

So for more than four and half years I have been facing this whole stretch of windows on Level 2. Sometimes looking out to see how heavy the rain is, sometimes just staring at the bright clear sky hoping to find the right word for my writing, sometimes bursting into a smile when I catch a yellow bird fly across the branches.

Whenever I am down, all I have to do is to look up, and see the leaves flickering in the breeze or gleaming like gold foil in the sun. Sometimes they would sway and dance if the breeze was stronger. They look so ‘’carefree’’ and happy.

Yes, just outside the window, I have more than five huge and old rain trees to keep me company. They have been with me through the most stressful and painful times at work.

Of course, this office location is not all perfect. Behind the trees are ugly flatted factories. But I choose to focus on the trees. And because I had traded the view for convenience, my cubicle has to be tilted at such an angle that the walkway is pretty narrow, and fat(ter) people can actually bump into my desk when they walk past my work station. (That was the best the contractor could do, when I ‘’conspired with them’’ over this office orientation during the office renovation in 2001)

Plus, there is less privacy, as the orientation does not allow for the high partitions that senior managers ‘’are entitled’’ to. And it’s pretty near the main door, so I get asked all sorts of questions like, ‘’where is Mr Chou?’’, or, ‘’may I have a mint as I just ate garlic for lunch?’’ And also because it is near the window facing the main road, colleagues also tend to go there for ‘’inspiration’’ when they make mobile calls, perching on the window ledge and looking out to yell into their mobiles. So I do get a fair share of confidential contract details or marital woes, on days I could not concentrate on my own work.

When we were first told of next week’s massive office re-shuffle (almost everyone is impacted by this re-shuffling of office space), my heart sank. They did some reshuffling last year and I was spared the move. The particular department who moved next to me was so considerate – they let me stay within their ‘’block’’ of staff. The result was great – I got to work with them a lot more closely and this in turn yielded great media coverage for their projects region-wide.

This year, I won’t be second time lucky. The department moving next to my current place is not as magnanimous (being bean-counters – what do you expect?!) and was adamant in kicking me out.

Oh well, I shall miss jumping out of my seat to look out to see if my laundry man, guests and visitors have arrived. I shall miss the warmth of the sunshine beaming through the windows, protecting me from the harsh air-con in the office. I shall miss drawing the blinds at 4 pm when the sun gets too strong and renders my laptop screen un-readable. I shall miss the sense of ‘’eerie’’, dark, dense foliage when I look out during my late nights in the office. I shall miss the view and of course, shouting across the partitions to my colleagues to discuss our press releases and projects.

But I have had more than four good years of good view and inspiration. I should learn to be more magnanimous, and let the bean counters enjoy the view instead. After all, all good things must come to an end, even for them, some day.


Blogger LIFE OF TAN2 FAMILY said...

Well starting to read your blog... not bad ya... hee hee... miss my old spot as well...

Sunday, July 16, 2006 10:38:00 AM  

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