Moving on Over

I’ve recently moved jobs within IBM from WebSphere MQ for z/OS development across to the CICSPlex System Manager development team. That involves a physical move across what is probably the two furthest points away from each other on site. Today, I physically moved stuff from my old cubicle to my new office, which is much quieter, roomier, brighter, and with a better view.

The actual move itself resembled more of a smash and grab raid. I was bored of waiting for the on-site services people to get the paperwork in order. I already had my laptop connected, but I just wanted my stuff and someone was already trying to inhabit my old desk. I was walking the corridors, about to get a cup of tea, when I spotted a spare trolley.

Making sure no-one was around, I grabbed it, dashed to the lift round the corner and made my way to my old desk. It took a few minutes to load everything on – a PC unit, keyboard, mouse, CRT monitor, endless amounts of files and manuals, a couple of boxes of floppy disks (!!), a cake box of CD-R disks, various bits of stationery, my pen pot, and other nick-nacks accumulated over the course of the past six years at IBM.

Making my way slowly through the building back towards the lift was fun. The floors look very even when you’re walking on them, but take a trolley loaded up then every pea-sized lump suddenly decides to shift the trolley like you’d kicked it. I made it to the lift without anything major falling off (just one of the floppy-disk boxes), and then wheeled it easily into the generous-sized lift.

Working through the next building, things got worse. Some of the A4 files on top suddenly had lemming tendancies and followed each other onto the floor. Those pages are going to take some sorting though. That took a few minutes to pick up, all the time blocking the corridor with people trying to pass. I made it out of that block and onto the glass walkway which connects it with my destination building.

Unfortunately, there is a surprisingly-steep ramp as you enter the walkway. To make matters worse, you enter perpendicular to the direction of the slope, which means that the trolley was listing badly to one side. This was enough to cause almost all of the files from the top of the trolley to collapse into a pile on the floor. My problem, though, was that in trying to pick up the paper, I needed to leave go of the trolley, but it was still on a slope and tried to run away itself. Bugger. Thankfully, some passing people held onto it while I got everything packed and off I went again.

Now I’m in my destination building, all I need to do is up one floor in the lift and then along a straight, level corridor and we’re home. Easy!

Nope. I get into the lift, only to find it’s actually really small indeed (I never use the lifts at work, so I’m unfamiliar with them). In fact, it’s so small, the trolley only just clears the doors with about 2″ to spare at each side. Now the trolley itself is one of those with uncontrollably-pivoted wheels at one end and uselessly-locked wheels at the other. The sort of trolleys you get at your local B&Q store. The best way to drive these is by dragging them, so I dragged the trolley into the lift and then really discovered how small the lift was. There was only just enough room for me and the trolley inside.

I managed to reach over the monitor, PC and files to hit the “floor 2” button and off we went.

When we reached the second floor, the doors slid open and out we went. No. Hmmm. Shove harder. Still no. Shove harder. No. With the lift only being designed for a maximum of 8 people (about 600kg), by the time you add me, all the paper, the PC, monitor and trolley, we were probably about halfway there. What had happened was that the lift didn’t quite align with the floor of the building and I needed to get the trolley wheel up a step by pushing from the far end of the lift. My final shove did get the trolley out of the lift, but it also dislodged my pen-pot, which was also carrying about 30 drawing pins. That bounced on the floor, scattering them across a 6′ radius.

As if that wasn’t enough though, the pen-pot jumped underneath the trolley wheel, causing a further problem. As I tried to push even harder, the lift doors tried to close on me and were stopped by the half-in-half-out trolley. I shoved really hard and we all popped out into the open. There’s now files and paper everywhere, a surprisingly-undamaged pen-pot, the original contents of the pen-pot, which included loads of drawing pins, all littering the corridor (right at the top of a flight of stairs too). I dragged the trolley out of the way, picked up the paper, pen pot, pens and started to crawl around looking for drawing pins.

I think I’m lucky in that it’s not a busy section of corridor, because there’s very few things to bring on pity from your co-workers like scrabbling around on your hands and knees in an office workplace looking for small items of stationery. Especially when it’s blatantly your fault everything is there in the first place. I eventually picked everything up, loaded it onto the trolley and set off again.

In the 50 yards from there to my office (down a straight, level corridor don’t forget), I only had one “falling off” incident and no-one saw it anyway, so it doesn’t count. Unloading at the far end was painful too – by this point the sweat was dripping off me.

I’m not moving offices again in a hurry.