Not everything about working for Microsoft UK is perfect. I’ve mentioned some of the daft e-mails we get (The ones which use great streams of long words to convey nothing. The “I’m pleased to announce improvements to X” kind, which list 10 things which are now worse about X. Or the ones which are sent with all the accuracy of an unattended fire-hose.) I’ve mentioned what I call the hindrance desk. And the thing that I loathe above all is hot-desking. The worst thing about hot desking is it makes sense. It reduces the office space we need, which saves money, reduces pollution … yada yada yada. It also is a great way of making people feel they don’t belong in the office. And it means that things like Hi-liter pens, post it notes and other stationary that you want aren’t at the desk you sit down at. So every time you want, say, a pencil you go to the stationary cupboard and get one. You might shove it in your bag at the end of the day, but the chances are it will migrate home and stay there. I once rounded up 30 mechanical pencils at home and brought them back to work – it’s useful to have a couple but that many was getting silly.
And, almost no desk has a stapler. This means that those people who have a desk will hide their stapler because if it will quickly stray if left out in the daylight. And anyone trying to attach receipts to an expense claim has embark on an epic quest that would make a self-respecting Hobbit flinch. Back in my days in the
dark lands of Mordor Microsoft services, one of my colleagues announced he was a mission to see a stapler on every desk. That was sufficiently close to the original company mission that it was soon parodied as “A stapler on every desk, and in every home: and that stapler using Microsoft Staples” .
To anyone transferring to the UK from the US ,as Viral has done recently to join our team, the idea of not having a desk to call your own must seem pretty alien. And judging from the title of his blog, so does the idea of not being able to find a stapler. Of course those of us who have remarked on his sartorial elegance think it should be called “DUDE, where’s my stapler”