Two weeks ago, I mentioned that I’d been doing a lot of manual labor at work and that I’d explain later. Here’s the story…
During his campaign last year, our new Governor’s favorite sound bite was that my agency was a “job killer.” He was referring to the role that the planning division had in reviewing comprehensive plan amendments for developments for consistency with the local government’s own comprehensive plan. Although most amendments were eventually determined to be consistent, the label stuck.
After the election, there was an inconvenient truth: the planners were the agency’s tip of the iceberg. Even the new Secretary was surprised to learn that most of the agency’s budget, and impact, is attributable to my division, particularly my unit. There’s $300 million in hurricane recovery funds, another $100 million for a housing stabilization program, and $25 million for infrastructure and economic development in rural areas. (Your federal tax dollars at work!)
But the Governor had pretty much promised to kill off the job killers, so the agency was abolished. Most of it was just sent to other departments. But technically, the agency is gone.
While the planners were sliced and diced in the new budget, my division of “job creators” didn’t lose a single position and was transferred intact to a new agency responsible for economic development. But that new agency will be housed two blocks from the Governor instead of the office park in the suburbs I’ve enjoyed for the last 15 years.
So week before last I was packing for the move, which happened last week. I ended up with 12 boxes, after I decided that there were many documents (some going back to 1983 and which I inherited when I arrived in 1993) that I really didn’t need anymore.
This is my second move with the agency. The first one was 15 years ago when we moved into the building we just vacated. It was brand new at the time. That move went very smoothly. Much of it happened over a weekend, so there was minimal work disruption.
Not this time. We were told to be packed by Wednesday of week before last. But we didn’t begin moving until last Tuesday. So for about a week, I had almost nothing to do – all my files were in boxes and I had no computer.
The movers used Tuesday to move our desks and work tables. Wednesday, they moved the boxes but file cabinets, bookcases and chairs stayed. I went to the new office on Thursday afternoon and arranged my desk and work table. I had nothing to sit on and no computer. Friday, I had a “temporary” computer and my visitor chairs but no book case. At least I was able to put my project files into the filing cabinet.
I heard that my bookcase and office chair will arrive Tuesday. Not sure what the movers are doing Monday.
I’m going to miss my old office in the “suburbs.” I’ll especially miss my lunchtime walks around our peaceful office park with lots of trees. The thought of walking along the downtown sidewalks is unappealing and so a daily exercise routine during the week is now dead.
Nor do I look forward to navigating the horrendous downtown traffic, even though I’m taking steps to minimize the hassle by leaving at 4:45. While I’ve found a good way home using a one way street, I’ve not settled on a route to work. I’m checking out two different routes which involve one way streets for most of the trip. Friday, I left early (7:15) and made the trip in 15 minutes because the traffic hadn’t built up yet. But usually, I leave at 7:30, very prime time.
The move has some silver linings. I’m closer to work – about five miles now compared to ten miles before. I park in a garage, so my car will not be 100+ degrees in summer and my paint job should last longer. I can use that parking space for a guaranteed spot two blocks from downtown when there are special events, such as the upcoming Asian festival. No more looking for a space in the suburbs and hiking in.
Also, my office is larger than my previous one and has a window. On the other hand, the window limited my office design options and I had to give up the filing cabinet with those 1983 documents. Since the window faces west, I expect it’ll warm up the office in summer and I’ll have to get a fan. I can hear street noise and a train from the window.
But I only have to suffer for two years and then…adios, amigos!