Tuesday, May 6, 2008

The Desk Strike

It was moving day in the office and I was transferring rooms to another side of the building. This new office is larger and shared with 4 other people. Walking into the office, I noticed that the desk was not where I wanted it to be. Immediately I walk over to my desk and turn it (90 degrees) the direction I wanted it to be. It really was missing the feng shui feel that the previous position was missing. Later that afternoon, an office architect (French guy) walks into the office and see's my doing. He pulls out a clipboard and proceeded to show me the layout of the desks. They created this diagram weeks before and previously decided where my desk was going to be. I suggested he take a pen and draw my desk in the new position, easy. All this talk about the desk made us hungry, so we decided to take a lunch break.

The next day, we received an email from the desk architect stating that they are postponing the installation of our phones in our office. Yes, because I moved my desk to my liking, they are on strike. Now, not only do I not have a phone, but my 3 colleagues don't either. The office move was at a stand still. Since I didn't have a phone, I couldn't do work. That means...time for a coffee break. Surprisingly, the movers were having a coffee too. I'm starting to like the way this works. Well eventually I got my phone, it only involved a bunch of emails, coffee breaks, and convincing them to get everything back in order. My desk is exactly where I want it too. I don't think this would have happened in the states.

Yes, the French love their labor disputes and when they put their mind to it, they can Strike like nobody’s business. But what I really love about a good French strike is that sometimes other unions go on strike just to show support for the unions that are going on strike. You don't even have to be on strike to go to a stike. How sweet is that? French news on TV commonly has updates on the latest strike of the week. Last month, even illegal immigrants went on strike in Paris. Illegal Immigrant Strike in Paris

I got my poster and markers in my back pocket. Wanna join?