The office. No, not the terribly overrated NBC version of the BBC TV show. The actual walled cube where many of us spend 1,700 hours a year. Designed to give you privacy and quiet as you do your job, the office is also the ultimate work status symbol.
I’ve talked before about how offices are harder to come by than ever before. Years ago, the prospect of a young professional earning a larger workspace was an incentive to put his/her nose to the grindstone. Work hard. Get promoted. Get an office. But somewhere along the way, this carrot was replaced with a big corporate stick.
All companies operate differently, but as the workforce has grown, and employers continue to cut corners, offices have become a premium. Has sheer supply and demand raised the esteem of having an office in society? Perhaps. The nicer the office, the greater the symbolism. Many Jobacle readers and Working Podcast listeners have often told us that they don’t work in offices. Even the upper managers these days seem to be working from cubicles.
That’s why I’d like to tell you about one of the most offensive acts we’ve heard about in quite some time: The Man With Two Offices.
Just like your office, this story takes place in a building where space is a premium. As departments have expanded, extra desks and chairs were wedged in wherever they would fit. But there’s one man, who for years has held on to two offices, and refuses to let one go.
Personally, I don’t see the need for anyone to have two full-time offices. However, I can site several (weak) exceptions: you work in two offices at different ends of the globe, you work in two offices at opposite ends of town, you work with two departments on different floors of a hi-rise building. But in this case, the two offices are on the SAME floor. In fact, they are a 10-second walk apart – 75 feet, MAX!
There are several people at this office who have received promotions. Yet they have been unable to graduate from cubicles to offices because of this man’s refusal to give up his one of his two offices.
You’re probably thinking why on earth the powers that be allow Mr. Two Office to retain them both. Good question! We asked the same thing. Apparently, some internal politics are keeping the issue from being resolved.
Mr. Two Office might enjoy the convenience of not having to waste several minutes a day walking the hallways, but what he doesn’t realize is that the entire company is aware of his selfishness; from top to bottom.
I guess it could be worse. They could be confiscating office chairs.
What are your thoughts on Mr. Two Office? Feel free to cite examples of management greed and selfishness in the comments section below.