Annexed Revisited

Ah the good old days of breathing in mold and running away from crazy men on Scooters.

Today I returned to Southroads for an afternoon career fair our company was holding. I’m not gonna lie – I was really excited to go back. As dumpy and creepy as that mall can be, it will always hold a special place in my heart.


Beautiful isn’t it? Don’t you wish this was your home away from home?

Yeah I didn’t think so.

Nothing has changed there. Walking in the doors was like entering a time warp.


Albeit a blurry time warp (I took this pic kinda fast because there were people watching me and I felt silly).

I headed down the hallway, my mind set on where my first stop would be. On the way I noticed one new addition –


Apparently the Greater Omaha Bowling Association has added this museum. However it doesn’t appear to be open for business yet.

I continued on my way down the hall and the escalators that don’t work to my main destination – John’s Grecian Delight


John was there frantically serving up gyros and burgers (it was actually pretty busy). The food was just as good as I remembered it – greasy and full of love!


I took it upstairs with me to eat in the “Food Court”. I had been in there no less than 5 minutes when who do I see but Scooter!! He was zipping through the room headed out the back to the creepy bathrooms. I tried to get a pic but wasn’t fast enough. I figured he’d be back through shortly so I kept eating my lunch. 10 minutes went by, then 15. Finally it got to be time for me to leave and Scooter hadn’t returned. He was either having a major bathroom moment or had escaped by way of the elevator. I decided to investigate.

I headed back there with the rouse that I was using the restrooms too, as if anyone was paying attention to me. I turned the corner and nearly walked right in to him. He was sitting on his scooter in the middle of the hallway. I said “hi” and then ducked in to the loo. I waited the appropriate amount of time and then came back out.

He was gone.


I reversed my footsteps and went back through the cafeteria and out in to the mall. I saw him zooming away. I tried to get a decent pic but I was too far away. This was the best I could do.


He’s the green blob just behind the short brown wall. See the orange flag attached to the back of the scooter? Also, notice that he is looking right at me? Yeah, he turned around just as I was snapping this pic.

Or is that the Loch Ness monster?

From there it was time to head in to the office and get to work. But just in case you were wondering…


The t-shirt store is having an inventory reduction sale! Hurry before everything is gone!

Nothing too exciting today. No ceiling drips or fainting. Just another day at the Annex!

Annexed: The Night Out

Welcome to this special edition of Annexed!!

The Annexed crew has been talking for a while about unleashing ourselves on the general public to see what this town is made of. Well, Saturday was the night. Barry and Bubbles stayed in town (instead of flying home to Texas) and the rest of us went about securing baby-sitters (except for the Brit who doesn’t have kids. But what she does have is a snotty stuffed up nose so she went about securing drugs and a purse full of Kleenex).

The plan was to meet at the 360 Steakhouse, at Harrah’s casino in Council Bluffs, at 5:30 p.m. We’d have some drinks and then head down to the buffet for dinner.

CJ and I were running a bit late as we had to introduce Isabella to a new sitter. But we got there at the same time as The Brit and her hubby and we all walked in together. Barry and Bubbles were already there and on to their 2nd round of drinks (Cosmo for Barry, Sprite for Bubbles – look out!). I ordered a White Russian. I seriously haven’t had one of those in 2 years and it tasted so.good. Went down very smooth too.

The 360 is on the 12th floor of the casino so it had a great view of downtown Omaha and the river. Unfortunately it was a cloudy overcast day so while I took some pics, they don’t really showcase the beauty and splendor of our fair city.

Wow, I actually typed that whole sentence with a straight face.

Seriously though, Omaha is growing really fast and becoming a pretty cool city. Take a look!

annex city

annex downtown

Bob and his wife arrived and we all had a great time chatting. At one point we noticed a bottle of booze on display at the bar that looked  A LOT like shampoo. Seriously, don’t you think this looks like something you’d put on your hair?


Turns out it’s sparkling vodka. Huh. We were all curious but you had to buy it by the bottle and none of us was willing to make the investment.

It was finally time to go down to the buffet for din-din. Fortunately, Barry is the Slot Machine King and he had enough comp points to buy dinner for ALL of us. Yes, ALL of us (for those of you not paying attention earlier, that’s 8 people)! They had pretty much everything you could think of on this buffet – Chinese, pasta, pizza, salad, all kinds of meat and cooked veggies. They even had a macaroni and cheese calzone! Cheesy noodles stuffed inside bread? Yes please! They also had a whole line of desserts from cookies to cheesecake to ice cream to apple crisp. The Brit and I particularly enjoyed a delectable chocolate mousse.

The best part of the buffet was our “waitress” Norma. She was this cute old lady who basically kept our drinks refilled and dirty plates picked up. She was so sweet. I just wanted to tuck her in to my pocket and take her home so that my drinks would always be full and my dirty dishes always whisked away.

Bob and his lovely wife had to leave right after dinner but before they departed, we took a group photo (notice the “Responsible Gaming” ad on the TV behind us. We stood there hoping to get a cool photo of the casino or 360 lounge or something but instead we got that. Figures)!


(CJ, me, Brit’s hubby, The Brit, Bubbles, Barry, Bob’s wife, and Bob)

Then, it was time to head over to the Horseshoe Casino and see Barry’s second home.

Before we could get in, we had to wait in line to be carded. The guard told the Brit that anyone who looks younger than 35 has to get in line. Barry and Bubbles walked right in (probably because they’re there so often that everyone knows them). The rest of us got in line. Then the security guard actually came over to tell CJ he could get out of line and go right in because he looks older than 35. Ceige said he was both happy and sad about that. Although he is older than 35, he’s always been told how young he looks. So being told that he looked older was a bit of a blow to the ego. But on the other hand, he didn’t have to wait in line anymore so that was a win!

When I got up there, I couldn’t get my driver’s license out of the little slot in my wallet. I told the guard that and he just stared at me and said to keep trying. Finally I got it out and he looked at it, then looked at me, then looked at it, then scanned it through a machine, then looked at me again. Finally he shook my hand and said “Good luck Sarah.” Gees!

We went straight to the General Manager’s Lounge, which apparently only the high rollers get in to. Because Barry is the Slot Machine King, he could get in and bring the rest of us with him. I won’t tell you how much money you have to bet out on the floor over the course of a year to get access to the GM lounge, but it’s a lot. A LOT. Once in there we got unlimited drinks and desserts. One of us, I won’t name names, took advantage of the free desserts (hmm, who could it be…?).

annex dessert

(This was some raspberry cheesecake cup and a cookies and cream cheesecake bite.)

We sat by the fire and had a really nice time. 

annex GM

Then Barry took us out on the floor to show us the good slots. OMG they are so much more advanced and high tech than I ever realized! There are Wizard of Oz , Sex and the City and Star Wars ones! It was fun to watch them being played. CJ and I had to take off and get back home to Munchkin. I would have liked to stay and play some slots but there just wasn’t time. I’m sure Barry stayed and played enough for all of us though!

It was great to get out with the gang, have fun, and include our spouses. Everyone really got along well and it brought back the “glory days” of working together at the Annex. Hopefully we can do it again soon!

Consider yourself Annexed!!



If you liked this, you might also like:

Annexed: The Finale

Annexed: What a Drip

Annexed: The Premiere

Annexed: The Finale

aka A Day in the Life of Team Trader Mom

Last week I read on Simply Rebekah the idea of taking a picture once an hour to chronicle your “typical day”. I committed then to doing this experiment and randomly picked Wednesday, January 12th as “the day”. Well, turns out 1/12/11 was to be my last day working from the Annex so it was kind of fitting to document that day, as the end of an era, so to speak.

This will also be the last Annexed post, as least for a while. There may be more if I have to go back there for some meetings, but most likely I’ll try to find another series to fill this one’s place.

So, without further adieu, here is “A Day in the Life of TTM”, from Wednesday 1/12/11.

[Note – in some cases I shot 2 pics for the same hour because there were a couple things going on that needed to be documented. Hey, sometimes you have to break the rules!]

5:00 a.m. – Time to get up!

Yes, I get up at 5 am on a typical day. Why? It’s a form of self-mutilation. Some people cut themselves. Others get piercings. I prefer to violently jar myself out of a restful sleep so that I can get a workout in. Time to rise and shine!

6:00 a.m. – Pilates

This is the view of the TV as I’m laying on the ground working my inner thighs. As a freeze frame, it looks kind of weird and a little sexual. Believe me, there was nothing sexy about it. I purposely workout in the dark because it’s less painful, especially when I’m doing stuff on the floor that requires me to look up. Who wants to stare in to the lights while being tortured conditioned at 6am?

7:00 a.m. – Getting ready for work

First of all, I hope you appreciate the fact that I am posting a pic of myself without having done anything to my hair and or with a stitch of make-up on. I sacrifice because I love you. Anywho, I am getting ready for work and at this point have blow-dried my hair and am about to get dressed and paint my face. I also shot a pic of Samson. No, that’s not poop in front of him, it’s a treat that had been sitting there for 10 minutes and he wouldn’t even touch it (maybe because it looks like poop?). See, as part of our routine, I give Samson a milk bone before I jump in to the shower. This morning I thought I’d mix it up and give him a treat from Three Dog Bakery, cuz I’m fancy like that. I figured he’d jump for joy! But instead he snubbed it. Notice how he’s looking away as if to say, “Pashaw…is this what you have to offer me today? Really? Come on lady, you can do better than that.”

8:00 a.m. – Arriving at work

It’s a lovely building isn’t it? Very inspiring to walk in to every day. Also note that it was FREEZING cold that day so it was a big sacrifice to roll my window down for the 10 seconds that it took me to take this pic. Nothin’ but love for ya.

9:00 a.m. – Dialing in to a conference call

The first of many meetings. Notice that I have 2 phones on my desk. An old crappy one (that I’m dialing) and a new IP phone. Those have both been sitting there since I started and I’ve had to use the old one because no one knows how to set up the new one. Brilliant! But the IP phone does make for a good paperweight.

10:00 a.m. – Checking the drips

It was at this point in the day that Bubbles and I decided to check on the leaks still coming from the ceiling. They were supposed to have been fixed last Friday morning but that never happened. I’m guessing Facilities thought that the cold temps would freeze the ice back up and stop the leaks. They thought wrong. So….this one has been dripping down in to The Brit’s cube for 5 days now and has left a nice stain on the wall. Stay classy Annex!

11:00 a.m. – Another conference call

Time for another meeting. My work day is really exciting isn’t it? Don’t you wish you had my work life? Well, some of you do and I’m sure many of you can relate to days filled with meetings and documents and more meetings to talk about those documents. But, it pays the bills so I shan’t complain…too much.

12:00 p.m. – Lunch!!

The gang decided to go out for lunch because it was the birthday of one of the Indians. The original plan was to go to a local BBQ joint but when we pulled in to the parking lot, we found that it was shut down. So, our second choice was Mexican (it was yummy too. I have 2 words for you – white cheddar cheese sauce. ‘Nuf said.).

The funny part of the story though has to do with the journey there and back. See, Bubbles offered to drive us in the rental car, which was a Chevy Cruze, because it had a remote start and heated seats. It’s a nice little car, with the operative word being “little”. Bob is not a small man. I had called shotgun, so Bob and the Indian climbed in the back. Well, the Indian climbed in. Bob had to use some of his Marine training combined with a few yoga moves and a little bit of butter to squeeze his way in back there. As he put it, he looked like Grape Ape.  On the ride home, I graciously offered him shotgun. He proceeded to put the front seat all the way back which meant I was conjuring up my own yoga poses and ended up sitting  with my knees up under my chin. Even with as much leg room as he now had, he had to squeeze in and was sitting with his head cocked to the side because it was butted up against the ceiling. We almost had to call in the Jaws of Life to get him out of there when we got back to the mall.

1:00 p.m. – Guess what – another meeting!

Stop the excitement already!!

This meeting was an elicitation session so we were all in the conference room with our laptops. See that yellow mess of cables? Yeah, that’s where the fun really comes in. Some of them are “live” and some are not. The goal is to find one that’s working so you can have internet access. Wireless? That’s like so next Century. We’ll have robots here first! Scooter will be president before the Annex has wireless!

2:00 p.m. – Birthday Cake!

We wanted to show the Indian a proper American birthday celebration so Bubbles brought in a cake for him. It was yummy. We didn’t sing though because, well, that would have been traumatizing for everyone involved. No candles because it’s a fire hazard (course, we would have had plenty of water to douse it with given the 3 trashcans nearly full of leaky ceiling water)! So it wasn’t a full and complete American birthday celebration but he got the idea. My piece of cake was gone exactly 2.5 minutes after this picture was taken. Take no prisoners!

3:00 p.m. – Excel Hell

(notice the meeting invite on my screen is a reminder to take a photo for that hour.)

NoteI’ve been workin’ on some spreadsheets…all the live long day! I’ve been workin’ on some spreadsheets just to pass the time away!Note Ok, I can’t really complain because Barry has taken on the bulk of the load when it comes to managing spreadsheets for this project. The one I’m working on here is tiny compared to his monster – 400+ rows, 50 + columns and 7 tabs. It’s massive.

Speaking of Barry, Bob noticed that he was wearing multiple shirts. He was going to ask him about it at lunch but Barry was unable to join us. So Bubbles and I asked him about it later. Here’s how it shook out:

  • Bubbles: Hey Bob wants to know why you’re wearing 4 shirts today.
  • Barry [with a southern accent and oozing charm]: I’m not wearing 4 shirts.
  • Me: Um, yes you are.
  • Barry: No, I’m not, it’s only 3. See, a t-shirt, a polo shirt, a button up shirt and a sweater. Oh crap, it is 4!
  • Bubbles: Told ya.
  • Barry: Well I was cold this morning so I kept putting on more layers!
  • Me: Maybe tomorrow you should shoot for 5 layers. Throw a sweater vest over that and you’ll be set!
  • Bubbles: Also, why do you wear 2 scarves?
  • Barry: I do? Well, I don’t know, I just do!

4:00 p.m. – Excel Hell, continued

By now I have transitioned into working on the “massive monster mother of all spreadsheets” spreadsheet. But at least it has pretty colors. I am frantically trying to finish up my work because I still needed to pack up my desk and try and get outta there by 5.

Once I had everything packed up, and loaded in  my car it was time to say goodbye. I had Bubbles take this extra picture of me at my desk, as sort of a final way to remember my life in the Annex.

5:00 p.m. – So long suckers!

And then I was out the door!  These are the doors to my freedom the outside. Notice that pretty blue haze of the outside world that is in stark contrast to the dreariness of the mall? Yeah. That about sums it up.

6:00 p.m. – Making dinner

This is a chicken and broccoli braid from one of my Pampered Chef books. It turned out de-lish. This pic was taken prior to cooking so looks a bit weird (and a little bit like the spine of some huge animal) but trust me, it turned out good.

7:00 p.m. – Eating with Munchkin

This is the face I get to see every night when I eat dinner. Doesn’t get much better than that. Notice too that her tray is licked clean which just goes to show how good my dinner was!

8:00 p.m. – TTM Updates

After dinner, I had fun playing with Munchkin and then it was time for her to go to bed. By 8:00 I was at my desk writing up a TTM post for the day before letting myself chill and veg. That’s day’s post was on some of the updates I’ve made to the house but WordPress was giving me issues so it took longer than I anticipated. CJ was itching to get on the computer but he patiently waited and watched “Celebrity Rehab” while I worked.

9:00 p.m. – Chillin’

Finally getting some time to sit and relax. I was starting to feel a sinus infection coming on (it’s here full force now) so I just wanted to snuggle under my Steelers blanket and let my mind go numb in front of the tube. Which is exactly what I did. I was watching “The Cape” that I had DVRed Sunday night. I didn’t really like it and probably won’t watch again.

10:00 p.m. – Nightie night!

By 10:00 I was asleep so I cheated and snapped this right as I laid down and turned the lights off. I was down for the count!

So there you have it – a snapshot of my life and a typical day at work. I really, really tried to find Scooter so I could take a picture of or with him but alas, he was no where to be found. Go figure that when I actually want to see him, he’s gone.

And with that, The Annexed series draws to a close. I have received a lot of feedback on how much you all like this series so it makes me sad to end it. I will try really hard to find something to replace it with though. Perhaps I can find little gems from the West Office to write about. Who knows. In any event, thanks for following and I hope you continue to do so!

Consider yourself Annexed!!

If you liked this, you might also like:

Annexed: The Premiere

Annexed: The Haunted Theatre

Annexed: Land of the Lost

Annexed: What a Drip

Welcome to the next edition of Annexed!

This week – Explosions! Electrocutions! And a special appearance by Chewbacca!

So the week started off pretty quiet. Folks were coming back from their holiday breaks and getting caught up on emails. I thought, man if this is how the week is going to go, I’m gonna really have to pull something out of  my arse for Annexed.

But, the week did not disappoint.

Tuesday: The Brit returned. It was great to have her back and we celebrated by having lunch at John’s, where she told us all kinds of colorful stories. She was a bit stressed having to come back and find hundreds of emails waiting for her so throughout the day we heard various mumblings coming from her corner of the world. Most of them I am not able to repeat because this is a clean blog. Did you know that The Strangler knows cuss words in like 8 different languages including Turkish, Spanish and Hindi?

Wednesday. As part of my resolution to eat better and save some pennies, I brought my lunch. It was some pasta, corn and grapes. The pasta and corn were in a container together, which I threw in the microwave, set for 1 min. and pressed ‘Start’. I was chatting with Bubbles (the female Texan – Bob came up with that name, don’t ask) when all of a sudden we both heard a “BOOM!” and look over in time to see corn flying up in the air. I ran to the microwave and threw open the door. Yep, corn everywhere. Doh! I cleaned up the carnage and then checked the food. Everything was still cool so I had to put the cover on before I could continue heating. We could hear popping as it continued to cook but the lid kept everything in. I was afraid I’d open it up to find actual popcorn but thankfully everything was a-okay.  

Thursday: The day started like any other. Go to work, check email, chit-chat with the Texans, sterilize my desk, jack with stuff on Vicki’s desk, get a cup of tea, etc. I had a few meetings, ate lunch then went to another meeting. At one point I was chatting with Barry (the male Texan – again,  you can attribute this name to Bob) and I saw something fall from the ceiling and land somewhere behind him. I thought I was seeing things and shrugged it off. Until it happened a second time and then a third. I went over to investigate but didn’t see anything on the floor. Oh well, must be the drugs messing with me again…

Off I went to a marathon meeting. When I came back, Bubbles asked if I heard any dripping. As a matter of fact, I did. We looked up to discover that the stain on the ceiling which we thought had been there all along, was in fact a new, fresh one (when there are as many stains on the ceiling as there are in the Annex, you  become oblivious to them). The Brit had pointed it out on Tuesday and we told her she was crazy. Turns out, she is crazy, but not because of the stain.

Isn't it pretty?

Anywho, we walk closer and sure enough, we hear water dripping from the roof on to the back of the ceiling tile. It hadn’t broken through yet but we figure it’s only a matter of time and could be bad when it does, so we notify Facilities. As an added bonus, the leak is above and just to the front of The Brit’s cube so if it did burst open, The Strangler would really come out!

We go about our business when out of the corner of my eye, I see something fall from the ceiling again. I ask Bubbles if she sees it and she does! Ah ha! We go over to look and do not see anything. Then it drips again – turns out it’s water coming out of the light in the ceiling, which means there’s water running over electrical lines up there. NICE! We can see it come out but we don’t see it land anywhere. WTF!?  I finally stand right under the light and look up to see where it’s coming out of. I see the leak and point up to it right as another drip comes down, and hits me in the arm. I swear to you I would not have been surprised if my skin started burning off considering what kinds of nasties are probably lurking in the ceilings up there. We finally find the landing spot – the water is hitting an electrical outlet on the wall. Double nice! For fun I stuck my finger in it to make sure it was in fact wet. It was and I had really big hair the rest of the day…Bubbles and I put a waste basket there to catch the water and prevent any further electrocutions.

About an hour later, the Facilities guy comes over.  He climbs up on the ladder and starts poking around in the ceiling. I hear him say, “Hmm, you can hear more drips up here than you can down there.”

He also comments about how there is standing water in there. There is nothing he can do to fix it, since the source is the roof, which is under The Mall’s jurisdiction. He calls them and they promise to go check it out tomorrow morning (which is today). In the meantime he sets up a series of garbage cans around the cubes to catch all the drips.

Look close enough - you might be able to see The Strangler lurking

(look closely – after seeing this image I realized there is a shadowy figure up in the ceiling…The REAL Strangler maybe? ) 

He caught most of the drips, but not all…

A bit later, we hear this weird whining/growling/whirring noise coming from the roof. It sounded like Chewbacca making a death cry. Not sure if it was Facilities getting up there to check things out or what but I was starting to wonder if I would have to make a phone call to Malla , informing her that her son was dying.

The Brit has moved back to the West office so she wasn’t there to witness all the commotion going on in her cube. Don’t worry, I kindly let her know via email:

  • Me: “Facilities just put a trashcan in your cube to catch the water drips….I think the guy stepped and sat on your desk a couple of times but it should be all good. Also, one of the drip sounds might have been him spitting but I can’t say for sure…”
  • Me [a few minutes later after the guy had come back to do more messing around]: “OMG HE JUST STEPPED ON YOUR CHAIR AND I’M NOT EVEN KIDDING THIS TIME!”

I worked out of the West office today so not sure if they ever came back to fix the leaks. I fully expect to find that same set up there on Monday when I come in. Fortunately it’s supposed to freeze this weekend so that will stop the drips…at least the water ones.

Friday: As mentioned above, I came to the West office to work today. Here’s what I found waiting for me on my desk:

Yes, apparently when I left here the last time, I was in a hurry and forgot to rinse out the tea (with cream in it) that was remaining in my mug. Oops. That was over 2 weeks ago. I guess if you leave tea sitting for that long, it dries up and then cracks. Ew.

I’ll admit, this isn’t the first time I’ve done this. Once, many moons ago, I had some tea (with cream in it of course) in a paper cup with a lid on it. I left it overnight and the next morning took a big old swig thinking it was water. It was not. It was curdled up disgustingness. I literally spit it back out in the garbage and then promptly ran to the bathroom and rinsed my mouth out like  100 times. No, I haven’t learned my lesson.

Anyway, today was quiet, book-ending the week nicely. Bob, The Brit and I went out for lunch, which was its own adventure (The Brit ordered an appetizer for her meal and it wasn’t enough food. It turned out to have this black sludge stuff as part of it,which she ate out of desperation. I think she’s been making friends with the bathroom ever since). Before we left, Bob decided to mess with The Brit’s mind and he left his chewed up gum, stuck to a piece of paper, on her desk, while she was in the “loo”. We wandered off and observed from a far. When she came back and saw it, her head spun around 3 times, her heart stopped, she peed her pants a little and then turned to Bob and the following came out, “I KNOW THE COLOR OF YOUR GUM YOU FILTHY BASTARD!”  Ah…good times.

Sadly, I will most likely be moving back to the West Office in a couple of weeks. While this is great news for me and my health, it also means Annexed has only a few weeks left, unless I figure something else out. I’ll probably be back there for meetings and stuff so there may be a few Annexed Specials coming! But never fear, there are still at least 2 more episodes so stay tuned!

Consider yourself Annexed!!

If you like this, you might also like:

Annexed: Land of the Lost

Annexed: The Haunted Theatre 

Annexed: The Premiere

Annexed: Head to Head

I know it’s only Thursday, but technically it’s my Friday so Annexed is getting moved up. I actually didn’t spend much time here this week. I was out at the west office Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday morning. I discovered that having two desks isn’t all it’s cracked up to be, when you only have enough supplies for one. For example, I was granted a laptop when I got assigned to this Mall project because I would need to be portable and roam from meeting to meeting.  So, I got it, and all the paraphernalia that goes with it, while at The Mall. Consequently, my west office doesn’t have a docking station. Also, someone stole the hands free headset for my phone out there. So all week I was calling in to conferences and had to cradle my handset against my shoulder so I could type. Ugh! Maybe it was my chiropractor who stole it because I sure  need to see him now! I also hate shuffling files back and forth. Soooooo…for that reason I am preferring to work at The Mall until I can move back out west permanently.

Who knew The Mall would be the office of choice?

Because I wasn’t here much, I don’t have anything to report so I thought I’d do a run down comparison of the two.  

So, here it is, the head to head battle of East vs. West, Old vs. New, Dark vs. Light, Moldy vs. Unmoldy.

Is this corner we have long time fighter and veteran, The Mall! And in this corner, the new young champion, The West Office!

{ding! ding! ding!}

The West office has automatic EVERYTHING in their bathrooms – toilets, sinks, soap dispenser, and paper towels. The only thing not automatic are the doors. I  kind of wish they were. It would prevent me from having to use an extra paper towel to open them and then toss it back to the trash just as someone else is walking in, thereby hitting them in the face with a used towel. It’s embarrassing. Anyway, they clean the bathrooms there like 800 times a day. Seriously, it seems like every time I go for a potty break, they’re being cleaned. Don’t get me wrong, I love me a clean bathroom. I just don’t love sharing my “private time” with the Mexican cleaning ladies.

The Mall has tried to make updates and automate everything, it just doesn’t always work. Only one of the soap dispensers works, and it’s on the sink that has cold water (you can’t adjust the water temp here). So I find myself going to the hot water sink and then reaching across to use the soap dispenser on the cold water sink. If there’s another person washing their hands at the same time, it gets awkward. The paper towels don’t always dispense either and have gotten stuck on several occasions. Thank goodness one of the Texans knows how to fix it. Otherwise we’d all be walking around with wet hands. The cleanliness of these bathrooms is questionable. The cleaning ladies are in here probably once a day, which is better than nothing. Thank goodness too or who knows how long I would have laid on the floor. Also, let’s not forget stall #1. Weird things go on in there.

Speaking of weird – look what I found waiting for me in the stall today…

Here’s the closeup:

Yes that says #10 on it

So I took a risk and picked it up. It’s fudge, I think. Some kind of chocolate and orange fudge. It was either the 10th one made or a number 10 for taste, not sure which. Generally, not something one would expect to find on the floor of the bathroom! Look how close it is to the toilet! How did it get there? Did it fall out of someone’s pocket? Which begs the question, why would you carry #10 orange/chocolate fudge in  your pocket? I left it in there, though moved it off the floor. When I went back in later, it was still there so I just threw it away.

Winner: The West office.

Kitchen Facilities:

The kitchen here at The Mall wins in the size category. It’s probably 2-3 times the size of the one out west. It literally  has 4 refrigerators in it! I haven’t quite figured out why though. There aren’t that many people in the Annex. Oh well, it means that my food doesn’t have to fight for space with someone else’s so that’s cool. There’s a TV in this kitchen too, but it’s never on. There are also 3 microwaves, which is nice for the lunch rush. I have yet to wait in line for a microwave to become available. There was no hand soap when we first got here but The Strangler took care of that in a hurry and we have some now. There are also no paper plates here, which I find odd. There’s also 3 vending machines in there – one for food and 2 for beverages. Oh, and as an added bonus – this kitchen has a helium tank that you can use to blow up balloons!

The kitchen at the West Office is smaller and more compact. Only one ‘fridge and one microwave. They do have plenty of paper goods though and the color scheme/vibe of it is nicer. Never thought I’d say this but…

Winner: The Mall – any kitchen capable of blowing up balloons wins in my book!

You’ve all seen what my desk looks like here at The Mall. It’s  your basic cubicle  – square-shaped, 3 walls, some cubby things, etc. Nothing to write home about. But, it’s a pretty decent size and I have privacy. I don’t have any drawers though. There are supposed to be some but they were missing when I got here. The colors are your basic brown and grey. Nothing fun and exciting.

My desk at the West office is in a pod so there are only 2 walls – it’s like a regular cubicle cut in half from corner to corner. We have nice tall closets for our coats and to keep stuff in. I also have drawers there. There isn’t as much privacy and being in a pod lends itself to more conversation and collaboration. It’s definitely more modern.

Winner: it’s a tie. I like the size of The Mall desk but the collaboration of the West Office set up.

Believe it or not, I live about halfway between the 2 offices so it’s about the same distance for me to drive to either one. However, getting to the West Office is all interstate and to The Mall is all back roads. The West Office is in a more central hub of the city and you can find just about anything within a 5-10 minute drive and most stuff is even closer than that. Makes it really easy to run errands over lunch or after work. Also provides a whole host of eat out options!

The Mall on the other hand is sort of secluded. It makes it worse that I know squat about this area. No errands get run while I’m here and we always eat here. And let us not forget, that the office is located inside a mall! I mean, while it has its charms and I’ve grown sort of fond of it (in a “feel sorry for the strange old man next door sorta way”), it is what it is and there’s  no denying the crapiness of it all.

Winner: hands down, The West Office.

The West Office is where all my technology peeps are, and more specifically, the other BA’s that I work with. I have a lot of friends there and enjoy our chats, lunches, and work together.

The Mall has operational people here, of whom I know very little. I’ve met many more of them being here but they treat our little team as outsiders. However, our team is awesome. Between The Brit (aka, The Strangler), Bob, the Texans and the Indians, we have a lot of fun. Our group is starting to break up though. Bob moved his stuff back to the West Office yesterday and The Brit will be splitting her time, probably spending most of it out west, when she gets back from vacation. The Indians have started leaving too so I imagine the days won’t be as much fun anymore. Makes me kind of sad really.

We also can’t forget the other cast of characters at The Mall – Scooter, John, the mall walkers, and other random visitors here. That’s definitely something the West office doesn’t have.

Winner: the West Office only because it has all my BA peeps as well as the project team once we move back there. If the project team was stuck here forever, I would have made it a tie. 

Well, I think the West Office is the overall winner, by a small margin. It’s funny to say that now. 2 months ago when I moved down to The Mall, I would have made the West Office the clear winner by A LOT! But, I’ve grown fond of this sad little place and am glad for the experience here.

Annex will probably be on a break next week since I’m only working 2 days, unless something very noteworthy happens that I have to share with ya’ll!

Happy Holidays! 




A holiday greeting from The Strangler


You've been Annexed!


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