Thursday, February 22, 2007

Where I work



On into another foyer (the old driveway, where stuff is stored higgeldy-piggeldy) and into another section, with a meeting room on the left, and open-plan offices on the right. (We’re now in the newer single-storey section). The people in this section seem somewhat exposed, after all the glassed-in parts. And finally to a tea-room down the end. There’s another on the first floor of our offices: when they play table tennis up there in the lunch hour there’s a lot of noise comes through the ceiling. If we go in the opposite direction from our offices we have the overall manager, and then another foyer and then a hole cut in the wall leading into another section where there are some new offices created out of who knows what – and another lot of men’s toilets. Which I only discovered the other day. These are new, and only half-completed. This whole section is under construction, but work seems to have ceased on it before Christmas, and never got going again. This is just one section of the company. The rest is along to the corner and down the road in a much bigger building with offices and workshops galore, all mingling into each other. The IT and accounting people are upstairs, and the workshops, with ceilings higher than cathedrals’, are obviously downstairs, along with more offices. It all has an air of being cobbled together as best as could be managed in a hurry. The IT and accounting people are all in workstations, but rather like a child would put together a series of blocks. Nothing seems to have much order up there. Between the two buildings is a stainless steel company, and the workers there seem to consist of a few old grizzled men (stained from the steel, I suspect) and a bunch of youths, gangly and skinny and full of wide smiles and noisy jokes and Coca Cola and huge sandwiches being stuffed into their mouths as they sit out on the pavement at lunchtime. There’s no nightlife in this part of town. 4.30 is going home time for more than half the workers, and the place is shut up by six, I’d think. It’s a great area to teach the kids to drive, especially on the weekends – as we did with ours. The streets are very wide, and there’s little likelihood of hitting anything. Then there’s the smell. A bit of wind from the harbour (which is only a couple of blocks away from where I work) and the fishy smell enlivens the area thoroughly. Add to that the paint smells, and the manufacturing welding type smells and old car smells (there’s a big broken-apart car yard just along the road) and the general air of things just being dumped and left in yards all over, and it’s an interesting part of town…
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