Tuesday 4 September 2018

Office Space

Over the Summer, The Institute has been dolling up the central block where everyone hangs out to eat, drink and role-play. It smells of 'new' but looks like a 1960s architect's vision of the rec-room in a space station. In the process my office, which look out over the atrium / concourse, has acquired new windows which, according to a colleague are the same size as those on the gorilla enclosure in Dublin Zoo. Ripping out the old windows was a month+ of dust and disruption but it's over now: the old privacy blinds are gone which lets in more light, but the lower half of the windows have been frosted so we can't see out at all at all. I am confident that we'll still know it is Friday when the smell of fish comes roiling in from the canteen outside the windows.

But the biggest change is that the HoD has announced that we have to make room for a new colleague who has secured a one-day-a-week maternity cover contract. I don't mind much, unless he's going to whistle Campdown Races through his teeth when stressed. We were given the chance [paper-dumpster provided] to de-clutter before the summer break rather than pack stuff in boxes 'for storage' which we are really never going to use again. We've also been advised, because of GDPR [prev],  not to store out-dated personal-sensitive information, like marks, unless there is a compelling reason to do so.  That clear-out meant that Bob-of-the-generous-hand could offer the newbie two drawers from "my" filing cabinet.

For the last several years, I've been posing a real-math question in my remedial math classes: If my office measures 7.3m x 2.2m [which it does] andif I share it with two others, andif the EU requires each workstation to have 4 sq.m. of space, are we EU-overcrowded? I think one of The Institute's suits must have made the same calculation because 7.3 x 2.2 is 16.06 sq.m. therefore there is room for 4 salarymen, two of which are s-women. We're so close to the limit, that I'm going to bet we are now the crowdedest drones in Europe. I went to the office next door where K and D hang out between lectures and it looked like they had a lot more room. K defended his territory robustly saying it wasn't his fault if we held on to piles of ould shite which filled all available corners in our offiice. And the tape-measure, which I brought into work, agreed. The office next door is only 5.4m long and 2.2m wide: that's 11.9 sq.m. so the lads there cannot take in another body and still be EU-compliant. Dang!

This is the sort of problem that electoral boundary commissioners have to contend with. How do you allocate a finite number of representatives fairly across the country without gerrymandering. With the extra body office allocation problem fairly dealt with, our neighbours finish up with 50% [11.9 / 2 = 6 sq.m.] more stretch space than us; which I think is the most extreme discrepancy possible.

Actually, I don't know where I got that 4 sq.m. rule from. I can't easily track it down today but I did find a relevant paragraph from the Irish HSA Health and Safety Authority. p24 says " In offices, 4.65 square metres should be the minimum amount of floor space allowed for every person employed in any room, including the area occupied by the office desk and chair but excluding filing cabinets and other office furniture." Next week I'll bring in my shop-steward and my personal trainer to restore the status quo ante.

Office Space clips - a typical day with The Bobs - Whaaat's happenin' - End of copier

1 comment:

  1. Nancy Hopkins of MIT got a whole new career, an invite to the White House and international fame by measuring offices....