Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Forget the Zip Code. What's Your Cube Code?

This all started quite innocently. We were notified a few days ago that an office move was imminent; actually, we'd been expecting it for some time. Moves are not all bad, because they often give you a chance to experience your company from a slightly different perspective while (hopefully) allowing you to maintain your workflow and overall stream of consciousness without too much disruption. But this move would be different.

Our business unit is very creative. Perhaps that is an understatement. So, when we were presented with the move details and a map of the new building, we immediately began accounting for everyone's new location. (You always want to know where your peeps are.) Soon, it became apparent that a designation like 3701-D was just not sufficient to fully describe one's cube. A more descriptive system was needed.

Almost without thinking, the nomenclature evolved -- a basic cube would be a "3C", whereas a slightly smaller cube would be a "2C". (The actual theory behind the "3C" and "2C" logic is confidential company information which I am not permitted to disclose at this time, but suffice to say that it is hilarious.) It was duly noted that no cube, however small, could be designated less than a "2C".

From there it took off like a model rocket in a open field. A standard cube in the middle of an aisle became known as a "3CMA", for standard-sized cube, middle of aisle. An end cube that was slightly smaller was designated a "2CEA", indicating that it sat at the end of an aisle, etc. By the time the naming standards were fully developed (two days in this case), codes such as the following had been devised and agreed upon:
  • 3CMA - Standard cube, middle of aisle
  • 3CPMA - Standard cube with pillar outside, middle of aisle
  • 4CTVEA - Large cube with view of testing room, end of aisle
  • 2CLBVEA - Small cube with limited bathroom view, end of aisle
  • 3CLBVAG - Standard cube with limited bathroom view, adjacent to Gonzalo (our resident Colombian godfather)
By the end of the first week of this madness, people at all levels were literally lined up to receive their cube codes. Indeed, the flexible nomenclature has been so well-received by staff members that a proposal has been made to base office property values on the cube designation, in much the same way that municipalities assess property taxes based on location and millage rate.
So far, the system is working well. I'm sure that there will be some bugs to iron out, but hey, that's what we do for a living, and we are darned good at it. As for me, next Monday morning, I'll be in a nice, tastefully decorated 3CPMA, complete with a sconce uplight on the outside pillar. I'm ready.