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Thursday, June 6, 2013

Oddities in building 48

There was a building which used to belong to a pharmaceutical company called Alza. They moved out, and Google bought it and dubbed it "building 48". My group moved there in the spring of 2011 -- right before I left. Things weren't exactly ready for us.

For one, the doors didn't always work properly. Then, one day, I spotted this on my way into the building:

If you cannot open this door, you have probably been fired.

Part of me thought "ooh, this is it - they're finally canning people", but then reason won out and I realized it was just the lock being stupid. There was a tiny little window of time in which you had to grab the door and pull, and if you missed it, it would just make a loud *bang* and nothing useful would happen.

Of course, for the people sitting right there, they probably got tired of it, and the dense people who kept swiping their cards and kept pulling on the door to no avail. They could have walked around to another door... but didn't. The snarky response was to put up a sign, and they did both that sign and a series of others while the door was screwed up.

Elsewhere in the building, something curious happened. Every conference room and other non-office space had a sign identifying it. Someone must have taken the blueprints literally, because this showed up:

Future Inverter

The actual explanation is mundane: when solar panels go on the roof, the inverter has to go somewhere. I imagine it will go in that room.

Finally, something rather strange and obnoxious appeared in the bathrooms. All of the bathroom stalls have clear plastic document holders for things like "Testing on the Toilet" and the banal "Learning on the Loo". This is a standard fixture in all of the company's bathrooms, and building 48 was no exception.

In those early days, nobody was posting TOTT or LOTL yet, and then someone decided to put something in there. You might recognize this from my first book, but it's sufficiently broken to warrant inclusion here. Welcome to kindergarten.

Bathroom etiquette 101

Yes, they put up signs telling us how to use the bathroom properly. I asked with some of the guys in my area and they said no such thing had appeared in their bathrooms. It seems this was localized to the womens' bathrooms only.

I think there were two other people on the 2nd floor of building 48 besides myself who used that bathroom at the time -- remember, the ratio is completely insane there. I certainly didn't put it there and I don't think the other two women did either, so... where did it come from?

We may never know.