Cost Savings

The fluorescent lights above my cube have been blinking from dim to bright for about 2 weeks. Our area used to have an admin who handled this kind of thing, but we don’t really have one anymore. Admins used to be assigned per area, but now they’re assigned specifically to a senior leader with very little area responsibility. This allowed the company to significantly reduce the demand on the administrative resources and basically allowed them to fire a bunch of people. What’s more, the admin for my senior leader (who I should go to under the new process) isn’t on my floor. (Although I recently changed jobs/departments, my physical location hasn’t changed yet, due to a back-assed system with more process than productivity…but that’s another rant for another time. Point being, I’m sitting on a different floor in a different end of the building from the rest of my team.) I dealt with it for a week, because I foolishly assumed an admin for the floor would notice and get it taken care of, but as explained above, I have no admin nearby to take care of it automatically.

So, I took matters into my own hands and started querying as to how one gets a light bulb replaced around here. Last week, right before the holiday, I finally managed to find the right site to submit a lightbulb change request, and late on Monday, I submitted the req. Today, a guy comes by with a ladder and some bulbs.

I said, “Oh, thank goodness you’re here. That light has been driving me batty.”

After looking up at the light and then down at me (dude was tall even without a ladder), he said, “Well, that light is still flickering. I can’t replace it yet. We can’t replace them until they’re completely burned out.”

I goggle at him, “You’ve got to be kidding. It’s driving me insane, flickering every few seconds.”

“Nope, it’s new policy. We can’t replace a light bulb until it burns out. Cost savings, you know,” he said, with a hint of sadness, like he understood my plight but his hands were bound.

“That…that…that can’t be right. This isn’t workable,” I sputtered.

At this point, I start wondering what organization I need to report this policy to. We have an ergonomics division, but I can’t remember which org they fall under. I start racking my brain for contacts, because this is just insane. I can’t possibly work with this light flickering anymore. Every time it flickers, I jump a little. Then, I start wondering…

…whether I should stake out some temporary office space somewhere else, like maybe this will finally push me to becoming a nomad on the floor I’m actually supposed to be on. Midway through this thought, he grinned at me and confessed that he was just joshing me.

I don’t know if it’s sadder that I believed him or that when I shared this story with a friend here at the office, much as I’ve just relayed it to you all, my friend believed it, too. Now I’m curious how many of y’all will fall for it until you read the part after the jump.

Either way, I give the dude credit. That was a great joke. 🙂

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