Wednesday, May 09, 2007

The Office

My office is one of the few real offices in the building. Most of the rooms are just temporary structures consisting of seven-foot tall frames of two-by-fours covered with rough plywood. These rooms are hardly ever square, due to the fact that they serve as partitions to larger existing rooms that are more often wedge-shaped than rectangular. The walls may be whitewashed and are usually covered with maps, blow-ups of aerial photographs, and the ever present white boards, without which network guys seem unable to communicate. Most often there are four or eight mismatched desks crammed in, each with three separate computers connected to the three principle networks, one each for unclassified, secret, and top secret work. A fourth system is shared with our coalition partners, which is what we call the Brits and the Aussies. Ironically, in what may be a telling commentary on the true level of trust that exists between Americans and Iraqis, there is no shared Iraqi-American network.

You have to cut through one of these plywood offices to get to my office. It has plaster walls and a chair rail, and the doorways are outlined in green marble. I believe there was probably a small chandelier hanging from the 12 foot ceiling, but it’s been replaced with a bank of florescent lights. I suppose that’s a good thing, as the chandeliers I have seen are more pretty than functional, and the sandbags in the windows pretty much preclude any sunlight getting in. I am not sure what it used to be used for before the war, but it has a tile shower and - get this - a wood sauna (made in Finland). Neither of them are working, so we store supplies and equipment in them.

As I share the office with the Support Chief, there are two mismatched desks plus a wooden table we use for meetings. My desk has three computers, two monitors, three phones, a calculator, and six stackable in-and-out boxes I have a row of books (Schaphort’s Videoconferencing and Videotelephony Technology and Standards, Newton’s Telecom Dictionary, Smith and Lopez’ Implementation Standards for Cisco Network Switches, well, you get the idea) on a shelf to my left, and two large whiteboards for notes and diagrams.

I am usually at work about from 0700 or 0800 until 2000 or 2100 daily. Longer if we have an outage (all too common) or some type of project going on (also all to common). I’d say about half to a third of the time I am in my office, the rest of the time I am in meetings, or traveling.


Post a Comment

<< Home