14 September 2012

Moved into new office

On Monday morning I tried to settle into my new, empty office. I had brought the laptop I had borrowed from university for the Kiel conference. So in a forgotten corner I improvised away, hoping my computer would be brought soon.

Late in the morning it arrived. Only the basics! I have a plethora of bells and whistles attached to my computer. Partly to make working life more comfortable: I have speakers and a digital pen. Partly to make working life less environmentally unfriendly, and to put my office to social use as well: I have a webcam and a headset. And partially to make it less accident-prone: I have three external hard-drives, as this university scandalously does not have a central backing up protocol. (Comment from one of the PU IT chaps: "that would be way too much data to store!" Help me.) And all these thing together also create the need for two USB hubs, so everything fits in. And then I also need and extension lead with 4 sockets; the hub, one of the external hard-drives, and the speakers need external power. But none of that had been brought.

The Portland Square building (where my office now is) in the evening sun

It's not as if anyone tells you such things, but the movers were not allowed to bring anything other than the stuff owned by the university. Their insurance won't cover the rest. So I had to go back to my old office and pick all that stuff up. Even the mouse mat! That's not a standard PU mat so the movers can't touch it. Sigh.

So then I had to plug everything in. Easier said than done! My desk is placed in the corner, with a hole for cables in the furthest corner. Quite some of my cables had plugs that wouldn't fit trough, so the cables had to be inserted from below. That would evidently be some crouching under the desk.

This is the kind of view the luckier people have

It was worse! The desk has vertical panes at the edges, and the hole for the cables was placed on the other side of the pane... who came up with that? So I had to lay down underneath my desk, flat on my back, squeeze my head underneath the vertical panes, and then fumble the cables through. Hardly dignified! But at least I got it done. And work could start. Not entirely; I wasn't connected to a printer yet. I still am not. But that's not so bad as long as it doesn't last too long.

The next day my stuff came, and the stuff of one of my office mates. I don't have much, so I was unpacked in no time. And I took the opportunity to improve my archiving; all my folders are now properly labelled, and folders that had too much stuff in them have had their contents distributed over two. I'm quite proud of that! Except that I had to take my shoes off and prance around on flip-flops in order to be comfortable (this building is infamous for its lack of circulation, and even on a cool September day it gets unpleasantly hot) I was settling in rather well. At least I now was situated in a lively corridor with nice people! Quite unlike the social desert I was in in the old building. The best company I had there was provided by a lady who first was on maternity leave, and only came back part-time.

My desk, and my stuff! That laptop won't stay; that was mainly borrowed for IGCP588. But it came in handy when my desktop hadn't arrived in the new building yet. 

How organised is that? 

My next move was getting my hands on some book stands, as all my books were lying down. I went to the responsible lady and she handed me some. About five minutes after I had put them to use, one of her colleagues came storming in, claiming these stands were meant for somebody else and if I would hand them back. Sigh.

One thing that I like about the new building is the bicycle parking. Or rather, that of the neighbouring building.  This being a UK university, it thinks having some "staples" around campus will do. And it does! Nobody bikes here. So "my" new building has a few staples on its southern end, and that's it. But the neighbouring building, probably because it has sporting facilities in, actually has bicycle parking space under a roof! And term hasn't started yet; so far there has been plenty of space, but we'll see what happens when the students come back. And it only has space for a handful of bikes, but as long as I can park my bike away from the elements I am quite happy. And this place is also less hidden away than the one at Kirkby Place; less peace and quiet for bicycle thieves.

My bike (foreground) comfortably dangling from the wall

Another good thing is that I used to be at the ground floor; now I'm on the 5th, so I get some exercise on the stairs. Unfortunately, the move also means a loss of that: our lunch runs have gone out of the window. This building does not seem to have showers, and we'll loose our keys to the other one. And if you share an office you can hardly hang out your smelly running kit... I might have to start running in the morning, even though the morning is far from my favourite running time.

These glossy stairs don't go all the way down. The ones I use for getting to the 5th floor are much less showy. 

So altogether I will just have to make do with what I'm given. Tomorrow my office mate moves in. And an application process for a new RA is ongoing; that may become my next office mate. We'll see how it goes!


marnix said...

Oh my, gotta love those flip-flops ;-)

Margot said...

For my girly side.