Yeah Jessica, what’s up?
You just sent another update to the move map. I think this was the third one.
Actually, it’s the fourth. They’ve changed our location at the new building, so we have to reassign offices again.
Stop sending them to me. I don’t want to get another move map until it’s finalized and I know where I’m going to be sitting.
Oh. . .okay.
Jessica was new to our training team. And she was new to Microsoft. The one perk of seniority at Microsoft was choosing office locations. Typically when a team moved into a new building, they were assigned a group of offices. Within the team, the person with the most seniority at Microsoft got to pick first. The person with the next most picked from what was left and so on. As the newest member of the team, Jessica pretty much got whatever was left.
We were writing training courses for Microsoft Exchange and we were assigned offices in the Exchange development building, Building 43.
Microsoft Building 43: Photo Credit NorthWest Lady Bug
This was extremely rare. Most of the training group was in cramped cubicles in an old building on the other side of town. The fact that we ended up in the development building in actual offices was a little bit of luck and a lot of “be nice to the admins. . .they run the world!” Grace was the Exchange admin and we had become pretty good friends. Grace also was the person who owned the master seating plan for all 800 people in the Exchange development buildings.
Grace, is there any chance you would have some spare offices that we could use?
Where do you sit now?
Well, we’re in the building across town, which means if we want to meet with testers or developers, we have to catch a shuttle. We can double up in an office if that would help.
Well, Gary’s team has a some offices that he’s holding for a couple new hires that got snarled in immigration. I can let you have those temporarily. As soon as his new hires get their visas you would have to move.
That’s no problem. It’s great in fact, thanks very much.
When we move to the new building I can get some offices assigned to you. How many do you need?
I’ve got you down for it.
And just like that the Exchange Training team got to move. Of course, it wasn’t quite done. I still had to tell my manager that we were moving to campus.
Bryce, I want to move Jessica, Jacob, Tandy and me to offices on campus.
Yeah. That would be sweet. LOL No way. We don’t have any offices on campus.
Oh sorry, I should have mentioned that I already have offices lined up with the Exchange team. I just need you to approve it. That will free up some cubicles here.
How did you manage that?
No idea. They just told me that we could have them. So. . .can you approve it?
It wasn’t that I had done anything wrong. But, if he had the impression that the decision was made by some vague “they,” I figured it would go better. As I mentioned in the post about Ship It Awards (They Switched to a Cash Prize and Totally Blew It) I had no formal authority. I wasn’t even a lead. I was just a course developer who really wanted to help my team succeed. Several months later as we were planning the move to the new Exchange building, Grace looked to me to tell her where “my” people were going to sit.
Fortune favors the Bold.
We went through three or four more iterations until the seating was finalized. I didn’t send any of them to Jessica. . .or Bryce.
Rodney M Bliss is an author, columnist and IT Consultant. He lives in Pleasant Grove, UT with his lovely wife and thirteen children. . .Most of whom have their own rooms.