Moving by staying put


A few years ago, Michael Kaplan opined on his distaste for office moves, particular the ones for which there appears to be very little benefit. One of his options was "interview with whatever group moves into Building 24 and work for them instead."

Many years ago, an organizational change to the project I was working on resulted in my group ceasing to exist. The reason isn't important to the story; what's important is that the members of that group were redeployed to other parts of the project. At the time, I hadn't yet learned that material goods are a burden, and I dreaded moving offices because of all the packing and unpacking I would have to do.

Solution: Join whatever group was moving into my hallway on the condition that I get to keep my office.

They gladly accepted the terms of this agreement.

Comments (13)
  1. Alice says:

    The Red Queen would like a word with you.

  2. dave says:

    Possibly I’m taking this more literally than intended, but I’m puzzled by the notion of caring so little about what one does that one would ‘join whatever group…’

    My own career has been somewhat haphazard, but never quite as random as that.

    [It wasn’t completely random; it’s not like the accounting department was moving into our building. I had a good idea what group was moving in. Sometimes you feel like doing something new. -Raymond]
  3. Nathan_works says:

    I asked a friend and classmate that works at MSFT if he ever met you. His response was that "yeah, we moved into his building and he joined our team." Which led to an interesting discussion, now relayed in your post.. heh.

  4. Tim Dawson says:

    Are you going to keep your old and new roles as referred to in this post a secret?

  5. Gabe says:

    So this is how you ended up on the Shell team, huh?

  6. Bernard says:

    A while back, I moved from one side of the company campus to the other side and my commute distance (and time) was cut in half.

  7. Anonymous says:

    Reading Michael’s blog post, it seems he would prefer not to move for medical reasons.  Sounds fair enough to me.  However, in the absense of that, it really is good to be close to the people you work with.  I’d bet there’s a substantial loss of productivity from having offices far apart, and that can probably be measured.

  8. Chriso says:

    Haha! Maybe, certain groups are using this technique to get the employees they want for their group. Like they know another group gets disbanded/moved/whatever and apply to move into that building instead in hope a certain employee will like his office so much that he would apply for the new group under the condition to keep that particular office. :D

  9. Nik says:

    Whenever I don’t like my office, I just wait a few months and inevitably we’re moving again.  11 moves in 5 years at Microsoft.

  10. Ian Johns says:

    11 moves in 5 years?  insane

  11. 640k says:

    And this was how Raymond abandoned Linux. ;)

  12. Steve says:

    I quite like this way of thinking.

    That way after 20 years when you introduce youself to a new colleagu: "Hi I’m Bob, I started in QA in the 70’s and then moved onto the UI team in ’79 and then moved to the Shell team in ’85 and then back to the QA team in ’94 and blah blah blah" you can just say

    "I’m Raymond.I work in Building 6" (or wherever) ;)

  13. Torben Rahbek Koch says:

    Since Raymond obviously is a HERO to many people (he is to me), it would be more cool to say: "I’m Raymond. I work in building 26" ;-)

Comments are closed.