Friday, 25 October 2013

Hot Desking - The results

So this week we moved offices and it was time to enter into hot desk hell.
Luckily for me my arthritis proved useful for once as it meant I have been allocated a permanent desk while the rest of the team have to play musical chairs.

The moving of desks isn't all that bad the team have assured me.  The hot desks that can be booked are at the other side of our large office in a nice quiet area.  When it is their turn to hot desk they happily go over there and relax and get a lot of work done without other staff interrupting or our 1970's manager asking them to do a million and one tasks which he is perfectly capable of doing himself.

The new area however is a different story.  First it is extremely noisy.  We have packed the same number of staff into a much smaller area and the noise is mad.  Its going to take a fair bit of getting used to.

Second we are right next to the tea point and photocopiers which add to the noise but also have the side effect of people walking behind our desks and back to get tea and coffee and to use the machines.  In the past week I have had people walk into my desk, nearly spill drinks on me, and I have slammed my chair accidently :) into a number of people who have just got a little too close.  There are set walk ways but as with everything a lot of people just think the rules don't apply to them.  An email has gone round asking people to use the walkways but there are a few who persist.

One guy has continued to persist in walking behind my desk.  When I challenged him this morning he said it was ok because he wasn't carrying a hot drink.  I mentioned that I had nearly hit him with my chair and asked he not do it again.  This worked for all of 5 minutes and then he was back.  I have taken to saying don't walk behind my chair in a loud voice when ever someone does it but for this guy I am thinking of deliberatly aiming my chair at him every time he goes past (or I could just get my line manager to speak to his)

Well its only been a week and I suppose I shall get used to it but its going to be fun while I do.

Monday, 7 October 2013

Hot Desking - or my idea of hell

I work for local government and this post (rant) is about one of the lovely policies we are now dealing with
We will shortly be moving floors at work.  One of the buildings the council owns is closing and they are moving a lot of the staff here.  Those of us already here are being moved to a different floor to let the new staff move into the lovely basement where we currently reside.  We are glad we are moving away from the cold damp basement but their is a problem.  We are moving to an area smaller than were we are and there will not be enough desks to go round which means one thing - Hot Desking

The whole section ( and we are a large section) is getting 15% less desks.  Our small team which currently has 7 people (we should have 9 but thats a different story) is getting 5 desks.   We are now having to work out how to allocate the desks. Three people have hard drives that can’t be moved around. Four have lap tops which would make it easier for them to hot desk, however one of these has a health condition that means he has a raised desk and special equipment.  In my plan the people with lap tops would be the ones to do most of the hot desking but apparantly this isn't fair and we all need to take turns.  
What is particulary annoying is that we have just gone through an IT refresh and this was the opportunity to give more people lap tops to make this easier - but the powers that be decided not to.
As  we get closer and closer to the move deadline and are given very little information about how this will be managed I am getting increasingly worried.
First I do not know if I am getting my own cabinet or if I will be allocated a locker.  The lockers are smaller and it would mean me moving my equipment daily.  As I have arthritis in both knees there are days that this will prove very difficult for me but I am expected to put up with this.
Second we don’t know if the touchdown desks will have hard drives or not so if I am down to hot desk on a day I will need to find a lap top and then carry it to hot desk with my other equipment somewhere in the building not necessarily near my team. 
Third you can only book touchdown desks 24 hours in advance so if you are on leave or sick you may come back to no desk at all.
Fourth we may be able to work from home some of the days but we currently don't have the equipment to do this plus there is an additional cost which we have to cover ourselves (light, heat etc.
Fifth they have offered us compressed hours but the idea of 9 hour days fills me with dread, especially as I have an hours travel both ways.
Sixth and the final (and minor problem) - some people in the team and section are complete pigs and the thought of having to share with them and clean the desk and keyboard and mouse everyday is just gross.
I was originally willing to put up with this as we weren't moving till December and would have had lots of time to plan out the details but the move has been changed to just two weeks away and now we are panicking.  I also didn't want to place the burden of hot desking on the other members of the team because I felt this would be selfish, however as we get closer I have decided  to be selfish. 
I have requested a health assessment based on my arthritis to see whether is would be feasible for me to hot desk.  I am hoping it means that I will get my own permanent desk but because the timescale is so tight it will probably not be done before I move which means I am screwed. 

So in two weeks we move and I will enter the hell of hot desking.  I will be monitoring progress and let you know how it goes

More mother related drama

I realise that I never updated after our dinner with Nanny and Uncle. Twin arranged through FB to meet them for lunch at a nice little place near us. Nanny and Uncle turn up (without Mum - thank god), we have a nice meal and everything is going well. We barely mention mum but have a really nice time.
Anyway after the meal Uncle suggests we go outside for pictures. At this point Nanny grabs me and asks me why I am being so mean to my mother. I try to explain explains that it is not that simple and that Mum has a lot to answer for, but of course mother has poisoned Nanny's mind I explains that she said and did some very hurtful things and Nanny says "She doesn't know what she did wrong" and "but she has apologised". The thing is that she hasn't though. Nanny then tells us we are killing our mother and asks if we will be happy when she is dead.
I can't take anymore and walk away. Which leaves Twin trying to explain to our 88 year old grandmother what mum did and why we had to make this choice. She won't listen though and we can’t make her but Twin stresses that mum was very hurtful and she made Twin very ill and that is why we have made this choice. Nanny ends up in tears we are both in shock.  I do get out of the car and say good bye but it is clear to me that Nanny will not believe us. Since then things have been quiet, however some things have happened that have made us worry again.

The first week I was back at work after the holiday I saw Mum out and about in Town.  I had left work for the day and was heading home when I look across the road and saw what looked like Mum heading down other side of the road.  I don’t think she saw me but I am 99% sure it was her.  She was practically running down the road but it was the same clothes, bag and haircut.  She went into a building and I went on my way. Completely freaked me out and I had to call Twin to let her know what had happened.  When we got home we checked Mum’s facebook (she has never changed the password) and saw that she had been in contact with lots of people, including Dad’s family telling them that she was ill and might have MS and that she may move up to where Big Sis lives.  Ok I don’t believe about the MS (but I was wrong the last time she said she was ill) but the fact she is contacting Dad’s family freaks me out.  She even spins out the old story about how Granda  (Dad’s father) loved her more than anyone else and said she would always be part of the family.   Now I was there when he was supposed to have said this and I know he didn’t.  Mum made it up and was completely manic at the time.

Secondly we are going to a family wedding (dad’s family) in two weeks.  On Friday night Aunt  (the mother of the bride) phones Twin.  She wants Mum’s phone number.  Twin gives it to her but the question remains why she wants it.  I hope to god she is not coming to the wedding because it would be awful.  We are both freaked out by this so the next day decide to check her facebook again.  She has posted a status that she does have MS and has moved up near Big Sis. We check the web but her flat here is not for sale as far as we can see. We also drive round there to take a look – no for sale sign and her car is still there.  Uncle also posts a picture of her near a holiday home in the same place Big Sis goes as well.  This makes me think she is up for a holiday but not to stay.  The weird thing is that Big Sis has not mentioned any of this (the moving or the MS).  She wouldn’t talk to me but I would have thought she would have said something to Twin.  However she also hasn’t mentioned that the parcel we sent littlest Niece has arrived nor acknowledged the birthday card Twin sent to her partner.

This sends Twin into guilt trip and depression.  She is sad because she misses the mum she used to have when we were little who she thinks did love us, rather than the mum we have now who only wants attention and slaves instead of Daughters. I am freaked out because now I will have to deal with whatever happens next and explain to Dad’s family what she was like and why we stopped talking to her.  Also if she comes to the wedding it will be very difficult indeed.  We are both agreed that even if she does have MS it doesn’t excuse her behaviour.  If she does move to near Big Sis, it won’t take Big Sis long to realise what mum is really like.  She always excused Mum's behaviour because as she lived away she didn't get the full brunt of it.

Twin spent most of Sunday night feeling miserable.  She didn’t sleep well and ended up going to work on very little sleep, feeling awful.  I have been having nightmares and I am jumpy and paranoid.  I am just waiting for the next thing to go wrong. Which given what is happening in work might be very soon but that is another post.