Thursday, April 06, 2006

The power of environment

I work in a three story building that seems to be shaped like a W. We are called Wiley so I thought the shape of the building was intentional but I guess it was already here and we just leased it. How fortuitous! The three story building is split up into a number of large rooms off long hallways through the center of the building. All of the room have an electronic lock that opens with a little grey piece of plastic that we carry. In order for me to get to the lunch room I need to go through r doors with the electronic locks past many other doors with their own locks. It is all kind of depressing.

The way the building is laid out hinders any kind of feeling of working together. I have a friend of mine that works on the third floor in a different department but I don’t have any idea where or how to get there. Some times I see her in the lunch room and think what is J* doing here? Oh yeah, that’s right she works for this company too. I wonder if this is the intention of the company or just a bi-product of the corporate model. I wonder if they know that the whole arrangement fosters fear and ambivalence. I wonder.

I’m not sure how I would do it if it were all up to me but I think I would try to make the building much more open. The many locked rooms with plain hallways have too much of a negative effect on me. I feel trapped and isolated. I ignore people in the hallways for reasons I can’t even begin to access. When you couple the nature of a Customer phone support job with this environment it is no wonder why it is so hard to motivate workers. Their environment is depressing, they hear people’s complaints all day and then we are supposed to give them all this negative feed back to motivate them to do better. Why would they? There has to be something better then this.


jamie said...

You'll be thankful for those locked doors when someone finally blows a gasket and goes on a shooting rampage. Hopefully the alarm will sound and those locks will come in pretty handy.

Hopefully that is not the reason for the locks though because that would make it all the more depressing!