July 14, 2003
Hammersmith Terminal 3

Rather lovingly - this is the nickname I give to the 3rd floor of the office block that I work in. Why? Because there are five floors in total - but the 3rd floor is where all the action is.

Let me take you on a tour …

We’ll start with the 1st floor. The 1st floor is not a floor inhabited by office workers. It’s a mysterious floor really - because the lift cannot go there unless you have a special key that magically gets the lift to stop there. It’s a “service-only” floor - kind of like a loading bay for incoming and outgoing goods. Whatever: I call it the “club level”; you need to be endowed with a certain privilege to get to the 1st floor.

The 2nd floor is where the dry, seriously techno-geeks work. It’s also where HR have their little corner. That probably explains why it’s a really quiet floor. It’s so hushed whenever I go there. Strangely discreet and silent. I always feel like I’m on some sort of clandestine mission whenever I alight on the 2nd floor.

And so to the 4th floor. This is the domain of the finance and legal guys. They occupy over half of the whole floor. The rest is a strange mixture of marketing types and trendies. But an “accountant” sort of trendy. I’d say it’s a “menacing” sort of floor. You’ve got to watch your back on this floor.

And then up to the 5th floor. Now we are getting seriously trendy. This is where the Apple-Mac-loving “luvvies” hang out: yep a mixture of brand evangelists and web designers who will readily proclaim “I’m not technical” at the drop of a hat. Youngsters sporting apparel emblazoned with “Atari” and “Lonsdale” icons - all of them probably not old enough to have lived through the eras within which these icons reigned supreme.

And finally: saving the best until last, is the 3rd floor. Yep - this is my home. This is where the really interesting people hang out. It’s a really “happening” floor so to say. It’s a melting pot of Operations folks, techies, commercial types, external subcontractors and hot-deskers. It’s a hotbed of cultural diversity (you name it - we have it on the 3rd floor) - a buzzing microcosm of intellectual high-ground infused with bohemian beatnik-ism. I love the 3rd floor. It’s where I spend most of my waking life. It must be the most popular floor by far. And I know so for a fact. I have proof. Below is picture of the button-panel in our lift. The most pressed button is the 3rd floor button. In fact - it’s such a desirable floor to go to - the button has had much more wear and tear than any other. So much so that it must have fallen out recently - because I noticed that it had been put back on the wrong way around. But that doesn’t matter to me. No - in fact it’s a perfect symbol of how “happening” a place the 3rd floor is.

The 3rd floor - the coolest floor to be based on

Hey life, look at me
I can see the reality
‘Cause when you shook me, took me, outta my world
I woke up
Suddenly I just woke up to the happening

By Diana Ross & The Supremes

Posted by jag at July 14, 2003 11:21 PM

Sounds like you’re on the best floor Jag - in between 2 and 4.

Posted by: Stu on July 14, 2003 11:30 PM

That “I’m not technical” thing is very useful. I’ve used it as a get-out clause on a number of occasions myself.

Posted by: Lisa on July 15, 2003 08:38 AM

One of the big downsides of being a developer/programmer is that people assume you can fix anything. A potential upside is that you can get away with making things look butt ugly by using the excuse “i’m not a designer”.

Posted by: Stu on July 15, 2003 12:39 PM

Lisa, Stu: you cannot absolve yourselves of your responsibilities like that! :-) As Pirsig alluded to in Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance: the reason why we have dysfunctional society is because of this highly poliarised divide between the “romantic” and the “classical” ways of thinking (aestehtic vs. functional) - whereas a higher state of harmony can be acheived by a blending of the two ways. Like yin and yang. In practise this means being able to step beyond comfort zones into “adjacent” spaces … yada yada yada

But I accept that it’s often useful to use such excuses to get out of doing something difficult ;-)

Posted by: Jag on July 15, 2003 05:16 PM

As someone who sits on the second floor, I would like to say the following; true, there are some dry, serious and downright strange people on our floor…but we also have our share of “fun” people, amongst whom I count myself. So I challenge you to come down to the second floor and spend a day here getting to know us properly!

Posted by: Dhama on July 17, 2003 11:18 AM

Oops … now what do I do?

Posted by: Jag on July 17, 2003 12:47 PM
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