I currently split my time and responsibilities between two high-rise office buildings in Mid-town Manhattan- 1285 Avenue of the Americas and 299 Park Avenue. (Okay, stalkers, try and find me!)
When I first got the job at 1285 AoA back in 1997, I called my parents to tell them the good news. When my mom heard where I was working, she told me she used to work in the same building (when it was Equitable Life) some 40 odd years before. Before she had me. When she left, they gave her a silver charm of the building. What a weird gift. She gave it to me the next time she saw me, but the bastards stole it when they robbed our house.
Circle of Life, people.
I stayed at 1285 AoA until they “fired” me, and when I came back in consultant mode, they gave me the added responsiblity of 299 Park Avenue as well as 101 Park Avenue.
I am now responsible for well over 1 million square feet of space and tracking close to 3,200 employees. To be fair, I offered to split my time between the two largest buildings.
At 1285, I sit in a modified storage area on the interior of the building. There is a hotel desk in front of me, and I’m sequestered behind a five foot wall. My plotter (which is a really huge printer for printing out floor plans) sits behind me. When I’m plotting, I can’t hear you if you’re on the phone with me. Plus it gives off a LOT of heat. But then again, I can just turn around and grab the plans out of the bin. My wall affords me enough privacy to surf the web, do my cross-stitching and/or take a nap. Most people have learned to knock first and I am an expert at hiding the “evidence” of my non-productiveness.
This “office” of mine is located next to an elevator shaft, so I get spotty cell phone service. It also shares the same wall as the men’s bathroom of the other tenants on the other side of the building. So on a quiet day- which, granted, are few and far between- I can hear talking, grunting, swearing and flushing. Yeah, ew. We are on the 3rd floor so at least if there is a fire, or a black-out (shudder) or if the apocalypse hits, it won’t take me long to get downstairs.
This “office” is also located in the reception area of our suite. I am constantly barraged with people “stopping by” on their way in or out, or on their way to the bathroom. The reception area also sports a Receptionist/Help Desk person. I’ll be nice and won’t say anything about her except she’s on the phone CONSTANTLY. Our company doesn’t need all that Help, if you ask me.
Our team occupies our suite. Again, I’ll be nice and won’t say anything bad about any of them, except for the plant-hating phony-ass pig bitch. She deserves to be whipped to the ground by her skinny pony-tail. Her, I hate. This team definitely has it’s share of wackos, though.
Between 1285 and my train (1) lies Times Square and a multitude of Theaters. Y’all know how much I hate matinée day. Thank goodness I changed my route- I now take the F train to Jamaica- I can pick up the train in the station underneath 1285. Trés convenient.
At 299 Park Avenue, I sit in a modified cube farm with my team on the 37th floor. My walls are four-foot tall in the front, with a few overhead cabinets between myself and the person next to me. I can see everyone walking around, but space is respected. If one wants to have a personal conversation with someone, it’s done mainly in the aisles or the hallways. I do get to hear intimate details of the guy sitting next to me, but most of the time I have my headphones on.
My cubicle is in the back right of a 6-pod set of cubicles. It’s a little bigger than the ones in front of me because I SIT AT A WINDOW. If I tilt my head a little, I CAN SEE THE EMPIRE STATE BUILDING. Big deal, you might say. Hell yes, it’s a big deal! I’ve gone 13 years at this company not knowing if it’s raining, hailing, snowing or if the apocalypse has hit and we’re the only ones left. I can gaze at the East River if I get stressed, or watch the clouds when I’m bored. Which I don’t do often. Really.
It’s a short walk to the copy room where my plotter is located. I usually grab water when I go pick up my plans so I’m constantly hydrated. And the water cooler is much nicer. Instead of the bottled Poland Springs crap we get at 1285, this is good old-fashioned NYC tap water- triple filtered. Plus my area is filled with plants. And a tree. And I didn’t have to bring in my own, plant-hater bitch!
A HUGE perk at 299 Park is the cafeteria. I never liked the cafeteria when I ventured over to Lincoln Harbor for meetings. In recent years they’ve revamped their menus and the food is really good. Expensive, but good. They’re combatting costs there, too, by offering up $5 lunches. Mostly burgers and sandwiches. But they have action stations like stir-fry, noodle bowl and my favorite- pear, walnut and goat cheese melted on crunchy flatbread. On my non-Chiptole days, I dream of this lunch.
Our team is great- not a nut-job amongst them. And the mail delivery guy is sweet, not an obnoxious mooch.
Coffee is crap at both places. At 1285, we brew our own in a coffee pot at my desk.
The walk is a little further to 299, but at least I don’t have to deal with the polyesters in Times Square. I do get to push my way through the throngs at Rockefeller Center and the brats at American Girl Place. I’ll take them over the suburban theater-going housewives any day.
So you can probably surmise I like being at 299 Park more. You’d be correct. I haven’t told you the REAL reason I like 299 best.
Within the last two-three years, the landlords at 1285 remodeled all the bathrooms on the multi-tenant floors. That would include our floor, number 3. Pretty color, nice lighting, automatic toilets… which I am convinced are possessed. And evil. If you make the slightest move, they flush. And it’s not a quiet, low flush. It’s a huge, shit-your-pants type flush which sprays little drops of (urinated?) water all over your backside. Go to wipe your butt off, and it flushes again. The only time it doesn’t flush is when your done doing your business. Then you actually have to push a little button. And whoosh! Water all over the seat, so it seems like you sprinkled when you tinkled.
Gracious. I think they installed bidets instead of toilets. I’ve actually fallen over and injured myself on the toilet paper dispenser because I’ve jumped up so fast to avoid the spray. And stepped on my pants and lost my balance. It’s like a caged match of the UFC- me versus the toilet in a bathroom stall.
At 299, they do things the old-fashioned way. You finish, you flush. Handle, not button. No tempermental toilets waiting to catch you with your pants down.
The flowers are a nice touch, too.