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Working situation?

Out of curiosity - what is your working situation?
Do you work in a cubicle / office? Or do you work from home?
Are you on job sites very often or very rarely?
What are your hours (not including those at home working on projects)?
Is your place of work full of "fun" or is it shirt & tie every day and people don't quite mingle?
Do you have a dress code for the days your in office?

I personally live literally right above the office. (Boss has a few apartments above the shop/office.) My day typically starts anywhere between 8-9AM, and will usually work until 6-7PM, but that'll range really ranges between 5-8PM depending on how busy and the urgency of the projects. The majority of our work is in Kansas City, and we live about 3 hours from KC, so I typically don't go out to those jobsites until the last few weeks. As far as we go, we're an extremely fun, home-grown good 'ol boy group. (C'mon - they're all from Missouri - I'm from Metro-Detroit originally. LOL) I'll occasionally wear my "I shouldn't have to press 1 for English" and other political / novelty shirts to work without anyone caring. (Of course - NOT to a client's house though.)

Anyway, I'm just curious how it is for everyone.


  • ericmedleyericmedley Posts: 4,177
    Not that it's any of my business, but just to let you know. I came from the same area you're from. I was born n raised in the KCMO area. I first started doing AMX from Lincoln, NE and now live in Charleston, SC.

    My work situation is:

    I have an office to myself. I pretty much just program all the time. I commute 30 minutes one way. I work from 8-6 and take time off for my other job...

    My other job is I'm a semi-retired music producer/recording engineer. (music biz since 1982) I no longer do the tracking and only mix records. I have a studio in a building behind my home. It is set up mainly for mixdown. I do have a small area for tracking if need be. I still sometimes will work with the vocalists to get lead vox tracks and whatnot.

    I loved the music business but the hours and travel were killing me. I went into semi retirement for the following reason:

    I'm also the geeky dad of a 6 year old daughter.
  • DHawthorneDHawthorne Posts: 4,584
    I kind of have a private office ... years ago, we had a repair shop in our store that housed 3 technicians and all the appropriate shelving for storing equipment to be worked on, etc.; the shop was closed down due to it not being cost efficient. At that time, I had a desk right alongside the bookkeepers and project managers, which are upstairs over our sales floor. I was finding it increasingly difficult to concentrate on projects up there due to the continual phone ringing, and PM's leaning into the isle to ask me questions instead of properly setting up meetings. So when the downstairs shop space (physically as far away from the other office staff as it could be), I was moved there. I occupy a corner of the old shop, and the rest is used as a staging and rack-building area; I'm not partitioned off from it, but I most of the time have the entire room to myself. My only complaint is I have no window, and often semi-jokingly refer to "going back to my cave."

    Sometimes I work from home, if it's a pure coding situation, but I have my test NI-700 and panels in the office; if I want to load and test code, I like to be there, so I don't work from home all that often. Mostly, it's if I was at a customer's site early in the day, and it doesn't make sense for me to go all the way back to the office again.

    My time is divided about 60/40 between the office and on site. This suits me; I get a bit of cabin fever if I'm in the office too much, and I appreciate the break to get on site now and then. Also, since most of our sales staff isn't completely familiar with what can and can't be done in programming, I am the one to go over finer points of detail with the end user, and tweak the programming to their liking.

    I commute about 20 minutes each way when not going to a customer site, but those can be up to three hours away sometimes. My hours are flexible ... 5-8 hours a day, sometime but not frequently more. I have a chronic fatigue problem, so flexibility has been a must for me and those hours are not by any means contiguous each day.

    There is no dress code that applies to me (the installers have a uniform of a sort - company logo polo shirts). I wear jeans and polo shirts typically.
  • Basement office in my house, two states away from the head office. No windows in my "cave" either, seems to be a natural environment for a programmer. I'm connected to the office via e-mail, IM, cell, IP phone on the office PBX, video conferencing, etc. It's a pretty good arrangement for me... my office wouldn't be as nice if I was working out of the head office, and I'd be interrupted a lot more often, with corresponding decrease in efficiency. No dress code unless I have a video conference scheduled, although my wife won't let me wear PJ's all day for some reason.

    I have some test equipment here in my office, and some in the lab at the head office. Occasionally they'll send a device out to me for testing, but usually it just gets hooked up in the lab for me. I do mostly programming, a little bit of system drawings, and a little bit of project management.

    Only visited a couple of job sites so far, just the biggest ones. Dress code applies. I've been fortunate to work with some very skilled installers who can troubleshoot and debug software problems over the phone when I don't have remote access to the site. Worst case, they use a mobile broadband card in their laptop to get me temporary remote access.

    My hours are pretty much fixed... I thought it might turn out to be more flexible, but I generally need to be available during predictable times for our installers. It makes things a little more predictable at home to have fixed working hours as well. 40 hours a week barring emergencies, as opposed to some of our installers who seem to enjoy their 60+ hour weeks.
  • I work in a typical university tech workshop. I have for company a bench grinder, drill press, mig welder and assorted whistling TVs. I've got an old sweat-finish table in the corner which looks more like a cable-and-paper art installation. (I must clean it up some time.) I've also got a NI-3100, CV6 & CV7 to develop/test code on. I have natural light since it is thankfully an OH&S requirement here. My role also requires me to drop everything & run to assist academics with data projector/laptop problems. A continual souce of frustration (along with the bench grinder) for a programer who is "in the zone".

    My work hours are usually 7am to 3pm. A non-AMX colleague covers midday to 8pm. The idea is so we can service classrooms outside of class hours. Some rooms are occupied until 10:30pm, so the theory doesn't always work. During semester breaks I try to get into our major venues and work on upgrades then. Work hours are a bit more flexable during the breaks - we tend to work longer hours due to limited access to venues... I'm based at our largest campus but go to our other four campuses to do upgrade work. I try to get the local campus tech to understand the system so they can support it themselves.

    We have a uniform which I try to wear when seeing the big bosses or on meeting days. Two shirts for the whole week gets a bit stinky, so we aren't particularly strict with the policy.

    Having previously lived 12 minutes from work, I really enjoy living 1 hour away. It lets me leave work at work, and allows me to get rest. Otherwise I would probably work 14 hour days. I travel to work on our lovely public transport system - two trains each way. Much cheaper than petrol, and the trains break down a little less than my car!
  • The small back room at home, with a view out over the sunlit pool - but I keep the blinds mostly closed when working - and the sound of Rainbow Lorikeets (scrawk!) in the neighbour's palms and Torresian Crows (WAAARK ARK ARK!) on the roof.

    (The only problem with the back room is I can't hear the doorbell!)

    The desk is a door attached 100mm from the wall on four very sturdy brackets - the gap allows for cables and PSUs and the fatarse CRTs. All the junk is strewn along a plank hung from the brackets under the table.

    The chair cost me $300. It is adjusted perfectly to let me sit here for hours without tiring. (Bad idea of course.) I wanted to buy an Aeron on eBay recently 8^(

    Shelves above the desk hold reference books, an Anglepoise (adjustable) lamp and the sound system. The old DVD player that won't read DVDs any more, plus a Creek CAS4040 amplifier (a little beauty from the UK about 20 years ago) driving Boston Acoustics for immersive sound just above ear level.

    An old dressing table under the window on the right with all the useful junk in the drawers and space on top for any number of VCRs, DVDs and switchers.

    A huge shelved builtin cupboard on the left filled with boxes of cables and old gear.

    Two 2nd hand 21" monitors attached to a fully loaded desktop and an unloaded laptop with two identical keyboards. The desktop is on the desk (d'oh) front to the wall so that I can get to the rear ports easily.

    Cable broadband, wireless for the printer in the corner and the laptop in the front room.

    AC on the back wall and insulation in the ceiling.

    On the desk, a steaming cup of coffee made from the best beans that money can buy.

    At the low gate across the doorway, a 2 year old boy with jam on his face, demanding his 3rd breakfast (Oast! Oast! Oast!) and holding something valuable, fragile and very sticky.
  • jjamesjjames Posts: 2,906
    LOL! Sounds like you have an eventful working situation, and lively office! I'm just picturing your son with jam all over his face and saying "oast" - funny!
  • Large room at home - tucked away on the Somerset / Devon border deep in Exmoor, views across the moor on one side and across the bristol channel on the other... perfect (with a broadband connection) peace and quiet, although today saw the "tour of britain" cycle race going past the door, so chaos reigned outside earlier!

    Work from home 4/5, with site visits usually on the other side of the country (3hours on train each way)...

    The usual freelance mix of PM, Design, CAD & Programming work occupies the days.

  • Mwahahahahaaaaa!

    Got the Aeron 8^)
  • DHawthorneDHawthorne Posts: 4,584
    Speaking of chairs, I've developed a rather severe sciatic problem from a herniated disc that so far has resisted all forms of treatment ... the most highly recommended of which (an epidural) actually made it worse. PT and chiropractic also have failed to relieve it, and I am forced to conclude in their rush to treat the problem, no one is really helping me isolate what caused it and how I can take the pressure off.

    I strongly suspect my office chairs (home and work), but I am loathe to drop a few K $$ on a pair of Aerons, only to find they don't help my problem. Sitting is definitely an issue, it flairs up dramatically when sitting (though standing for a long period of time is bad as well), and of course I spend most of my day doing that. Overstuffed chairs and couches are completely out, though most "hard" chairs I can tolerate. Funny thing, sitting on a Spackle bucket in a customer's basement doesn't really bother me much, but on their couch leaning over a coffee table is sheer torture.

    I'm curious about that $300 chair mentioned. What brand and type was it? If I am going to experiment, I'd prefer not to break the bank straight off ... I've gotten some progress with add-on lumbar supports and gel cushions to pad the coccyx, so it may be I don't need to go all the way with this.
  • I want an Aeron one day, too!

    I heard there were a lot of them available online for peanuts after the dot.com bust.

    Dave, you might find some interesting stuff here:

  • DHawthorneDHawthorne Posts: 4,584
    The problem with the cheap stuff is usually you can't return it if it doesn't work out. My problem seems to be fairly unusual, and a lot of "traditional" remedies haven't worked out. I am willing to spend some money, but I can't afford to spend any more to no effect ... the medical bills are bad enough. Being able to "try before you buy" or return the item is pretty essential.

    And yoiks, that stuff on www.relaxtheback.com is very dear ... $1600 for a chair, I'll need to be able to lease it when not in use ...
  • DHawthorne wrote:
    I'm curious about that $300 chair mentioned. What brand and type was it?

    Eos Spectrum 3, which Google tells me is available only in Auckland NZ 8^(
  • just got the new Lenovo R61i think pad. I suppost one of the last with the IBM Logo on it. Was quite a fight with the boss tho get one without native RS-232 ...

    I'm on one of the last sites with my old R32 Thinkpad
  • www.sitforless.com

    Aeron chairs cheeper... But I still couldn't pry the 700 out of my wallet to get one.

    My corporate workspace is like 20 steps from my bedroom, and 10 from the can. The kitchen is downstairs.

    I try to stumble into the office by 7-7:30 and work till I can't take it any more. 10, 11, noon. ( actually I work until 5-6 everday). That or I schlep to the local coffee house and sit in there for a while.

    The neighbors are really glad I put in the new blinds, dress code is definately relaxed!

    Window overlooking the street I now know more of my neighbors by site than I have in 15 years of living here.

    I do go out on jobsites whenever I can, just so I can talk to somebody else. (I have heard all my jokes before and tend not to laugh at them anymore) Most of my projects have me onsite for a couple of days depending on the job. I have been doing a lot of out of state work recently and driving to Wiconsin every week. ( I pass a great cheese store, a winery, and a microbrew so the car tends to fill up on the way back.
  • JohnMichnr wrote:
    I have been doing a lot of out of state work recently and driving to Wiconsin every week.

    It's a good thing that spelling isn't that important for programming. Not only did you spell Wisconsin wrong but also your own last name is spelled wrong.
  • My office at work is about 20x30. Since I started here as the AV tech several years back I have a fully equiped test bench on one side and the other side is where I jam code or bang my head. Last winter I built a rack equipped with the different pieces that we have on campus so I can test all my programs or troubleshoot them before going onsite. I have a screen(manual, still working on electric one) to test the image from different projectors or test new code on them. A white board for laying out system overviews etc. Monday they just upgraded me with a new comp and 22" LCD monitor. All in all I can't complain about my work office. Once I had it all set up my boss liked it so much that he moved his desk into a corner. My home office isn't as big (yet) but I have more test equipment (I started out as a service tech over 20 yrs ago). I do 100% of the AMX programming on campus(near 150 rooms and growing), 90% of all AV equipment repairs, system installations, troubleshooting, client support and I am starting to have more input with the overall designs side of the rooms. All of this keeps me pretty busy, which reminds me I better sign off and feed the dog and rabbit.
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