New office

One of the great things about my work used to be the location – we were at South Brisbane, just opposite the Cultural Centre. This was great for a number of reasons:

  • Access to transport was fantastic. It was literally just across the road from both a major bus hub, as well as a train station. Best of all, the train line was one that went to our local station (Mitchelton) with no transfers!
  • Since I boarded my homeward train before going through Central, I always got a seat. Actually, I often had the whole carriage to myself for the first two stops!
  • There were quite a few places to eat within about 10 minutes walk, and a supermarket only a few minutes down the road.
  • Two Trees was less than five minutes walk from work, and their friendly staff (Jordan, Stu and Mim) made delicious coffee!
  • There were quite a number of car parks, which meant the occasional drive to work was possible – not to mention free parking on the weekends if we ever needed to go to South Bank (which, as it turns out, we didn’t).
  • The office was on a fibre link, which meant we had fairly reliable internet, and decent enough speeds for most things (30Mbps up and down).
  • Access to The Museum was amazing – I must have visited countless times on my lunch break! (By “countless” of course I mean “a zero count”.)

What’s more, I was even allocated a desk with a window!

Old desk

My old office desk, looking out towards a rail bridge and carpark

Although the view was – shall we say, “less than inspirational”, it still meant I had natural light coming in.

For all the pluses though, I have to admit there were a few minuses as well:

  • The dank. I don’t think anyone was surprised when they told us the building was going to be demolished, as it felt like it hadn’t been given a good clean since the war years.
  • It was noisy. That big concrete block you can see out the window was actually a train bridge, and trains were quite regular. To be honest, I didn’t mind the noise, and its amazing how much you filter it out when you’re concentrating. But when you’re not concentrating, and a train came past – boy was it loud!
  • The shower was only a marginal upgrade from the days at Dingu Blue when we had to “shower in the sink”. If scientists ever took a sample from the tiles in the shower recess, I’m sure they’d find a whole host of new bacteria that they could have named along a “Pacificus Environmentus” theme.
  • On a similar vein, the toilets – or lack there of – were only cleaned a few times each week, and boy did they show it. Ugh…

On the whole, it was a nice enough office to work in, but for reasons still unclear to me, we were forced to move. The original reason I heard for our forced departure was that the building was marked for demolition, and was going to be replaced with a block of residential apartments. However, over the last few weeks of our tenancy I saw a number of people walking through the office with a look on their face that could only be described as, “I know exactly which desk I’m going to put smelly Norm in.”. So either the building is no longer getting demolished, or the new tenants are in for a nasty surprise!

Anyway – even if the building is staying put, it seemed as though our course was set in stone: we were moving out. The powers that be (read: “people other than me”) searched for a number of months for a new location, until finally settling on 240 Queen Street (a.k.a. The old Commonwealth Bank building). The technology team was first to move, and we had our first day in the new office on Wednesday this week.

All I can say is: What an upgrade!

New office desk

My new desk, looking down Edward Street towards the river

Better yet, somehow I managed to snag a very nice desk, with a very nice view to match! Its early days still, but so far as I’ve seen so far, the new building is far better in almost all regards:

  • Did you see that view?
  • The train journey – though only two stops less – is 10 minutes faster.
  • Access to everything that the city has to offer: the Queen Street mall starts on the other side of Edward Street, Woolworths is literally across the road, there’s a Guzman on our block, and there must be about five coffee vendors between the train station and the office.
  • It’s so quiet. Almost disturbingly so – though to be fair, only our department has moved across so far, and I dare say it’ll be quite a bit noisier once the rest of the office moves in next week.
  • Clean toilets! And more than one! Did I mention that they’re clean? In fact, they’re cleaned twice a day!
  • Clean showers! Three of them! Admittedly, they’re shared between all the tenants of the 25 story building – but they’re clean! So clean!
  • Ridiculously fast internet – 200Mbps up and down!

There’s probably only a few downsides compared to our old quarters. First, since I’m now getting on the train at Central with all the other city workers, I’ve lost my early boarding advantage, and nabbing a seat is now much more of a battle. Secondly, there’s no parking here, so driving in to work is pretty much out of the question (not that I’d really want to anyway, but occasionally it was handy). Also, cycling within the CBD is not the most enjoyable thing to do, given all the pedestrians and buses. Thankfully, that only affects very final leg of my journey (well under 1 KM), but I’m yet to find a way of getting from Roma Street Parklands to Edward Street that doesn’t involve alighting from the bike, and is relatively safe from traffic.

All in all, I think it’s a major upgrade. Yes, its still early days, but for the most part, I think I’m going to thoroughly enjoy this office!

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