Clarification on my concerns with gratuitous moves....

by Michael S. Kaplan, published on 2007/10/08 03:01 -04:00, original URI:

The reaction to my post last week entitled In my opinion, the only thing worse than an office move is a largely gratuitous one was interesting.

The number of people who denied that we were moving was essentially matched by the number of people who confirmed that we were (and both groups specifically wanted to not be quoted, internally or externally.

The limitions of influentials, or more likely just a limitation on my ability to pick influentials properly. :-)

Let's leave that whole issue aside, as it is not the reason behind this post, a post that is specifically timed for the witching hour, to span the time between my work posts and my life posts....

The reason is the reaction of two different friends of mine, both of whom have seen that the moves are hard on me and have offered to help, on several occasions.

(One of them even commented!)

Both of them specifically felt insulted by the way I characterized the issue, specifically ignoring that the pain it caused me was much more by my own choice than I suggested in the post (since I wasn't accepting help).

Allow me to correct that impression -- I have had many people offer to help. Not just those two friends, either. A few admins, a manager, and even other colleagues and friends from within the building.

Those people will always have my gratitude, and my thanks. It means a lot to me.

But it is not their job to take up the slack here.

If the move is happening (and I have to assume that it was suggested at higher levels given the moves that have already happened, and the claims of several people whose opinions I trust), then it seems (from my lowly stoop) like the motives are no more impressive than the ones that regular reader John Cowan suggested:

It seems to me that the reason to move people is the desire of management to have all their direct reports where they can watch them at all times.  As the T.O. is shuffled, the employees have to be moved about as well.

I am not specifically making the claim that this is the case, but no one has provided a more convincing reason, and there has been some major T.O. shuffling since Vista shipped.

Whether it is true or not, the simple fact is that I am stubborn.

You see, being knocked out of the running for 1-3 days after the move does not affect the course of my disease, at all. So once I recovered, I am fully recovered. Which means that the cost to me is a direct cost of the move that can be literally quantified and categorized in a specific number of days pf bedrest. And the people responsible should pay the price, not my friends, who I might need later and would like to hold off trying to be a burden to as long as I can manage.

I like having friends who are willing to make sacrifices for me, I really do.

But none of them make nearly as much money as the people in the position to "play monopoly with real buildings" on the Microsoft Redmond campus who plan such moves....

If those movers and shakers want these gratuitous moves to happen, this should be factored into the cost of the move happening, whether there are sound business reasons or whether it is as some claim all ego, or really anything in between.

They should reimburse for the cost to the people to whom moving is more than just a pain-in-the-ass; the ones to whom it is a genuine burden with quantifiable physical (medical) consequences.

Charged to the right cost center and everything (hooray for accountability in general and differentiated responsibility in particular!).

And most importantly, my friends and colleagues should not by trying to be helpful toward me become unintentional enablers of the people who make such decisions.

Overly idealistic? Well, maybe. But I've got to me -- not perfect, but perfecting.

That list of alternatives in that first post is not at all far from the top of my mind....


This post brought to you by ف  and  ڢ  (U+0641 and U+06a2, a.k.a. ARABIC LETTER FEH  and ARABIC LETTER FEH WITH DOT MOVED BELOW)

John Cowan on 8 Oct 2007 11:16 AM:

I forget who it was that said that long-distance moves (to other cities) were deliberately done in the old days to get rid of employees who wouldn't or couldn't leave their support networks behind, meaning that they had something in their lives more important than their jobs.  He was speaking in reference to moving some major Bell Labs efforts from New Jersey to Illinois.

Nowadays, of course, we don't do that: we just outsource the jobs themselves, leaving the former employees twisting in the wind.

Mihai on 8 Oct 2007 12:47 PM:

<<the simple fact is that I am stubborn>>

Now, this is news :-D

really? on 8 Oct 2007 3:29 PM:

Why isn't it your admin's job to help make sure the move goes smoothly? Why isn't it your manager's job to help make sure you are working productively? Why isn't it your colleague's job to make sure that the team functions well? I think you're actually taking a pretty narrow view of "job" here.

Michael S. Kaplan on 8 Oct 2007 3:41 PM:

Why aren't the people causing the pain feeling it, in a way to help them make their decisions based on these factors? How else to encourage more responsible decision making in the first place?

Or maybe the goal is for everyone to cover and support them whether they make good decisions or not. The kind of logic that led to the Longhorn reset, if memory serves. :-(

Narrow view? Yes, that is one way to put it. I prefer to call it a focused view, myself....

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referenced by

2008/12/12 From I SCOOT to IBOT, #9 of ??: You're not stoned if you see me in Seattle at a 50 degree or a 130 degree angle

2008/02/15 Moving is a huge horking pain, even to a window office

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