Monday, June 4, 2012

Virtual tour: where tSH works

By request I've been asked for a virtual tour of where I work. I'm sure many of you wonder what brought me here to Finland in the first place, and though the main answer is a life of new adventure and intrigue, the realistic answer is of course, my job.

Now don't get the wrong impression - it was a choice 100% of the way and something that I actively applied for, so it is still 80% life of new adventure and 20% my job, but logistically speaking they're the ones who brought me over and this is really what I'm doing most of my time here. Well, other than sleeping (some of the time...night time sleep hours seem to vary somewhere between 4 and 11 hours, depending on the night), and eating (which as you've seen, takes quite a bit of my time and attention).

So, without further ado, I welcome you to my top secret place of work:

While from the outside it looks like a rather boring, unassuming set of glass buildings, inside a small city runs. Three cafeterias, two gyms, male and female sauna rooms, and a private medical center make up just some of the services that allow this city to run smoothly. Home to about 1000 employees (I've been given estimates up to 2000 but it's hard to tell, separated into three interconnecting buildings), these offices are buzzing with people and chatter about all different things and in all different languages.

Don't be fooled by the outside - the inside is incredible. Clearly made when my company was at the height of its power and prestige, no expense was spared in the building of this site. Everything is glass, steel, and wood. You can always see the sky wherever you are - be it through windows, skylights, or all the way up through the glass ceilings.

Luckily for me, despite there always being glass spiral staircases and endless glass hallways, they had the good design sense to always make these frosted glass, or sometimes even wood, so it doesn't feel like you're walking on a transparent walkway several hundred feet above nothing but air.

Even the elevators are glass - allowing you to see as you go down.

Naturally, being completely navigationally challenged, I've gotten lost more times than I can count in this building. Everything looks very similar, and unfortunately (or fortunately?) the builders didn't make everything symmetrical. So although there are three buildings, with the center one being a circle, the two buildings on opposite ends are not the same, though they are extremely similar. And unfortuntely where I sit, is relatively in the middle. So it took me several weeks to figure out which building lead to where. Lots of walking one direction, waiting until I recognized something (or not), then walking the other direction when I realized I'd gone the wrong way (again).

Apparently my boss had the same problem when she first started here so it's not just me. They don't post floor maps (apparently on purpose) and some doors only open one way, so you can actually get trapped in certain areas. One of my coworkers from my previous site actually did get stuck (he went in a one-way door and didn't have access through the doors that led out), so he was stuck for a few hours until he could get ahold of site security (since his phone was from another country he didn't have the default security number for the local site). Fiasco.

Another thing they've installed for security purposes are these one-person roundabout doors. Imagine one of those revolving doors you see at fancy department stores. But instead of it going slow and fitting a lot of people at once, it only fits one person and you have to scan your badge before going in. Should you mess it up or heaven forbid get something stuck (like your clothing, purse, or I dunno, a hand?) inbetween the door and the tube in which the door rotates, the thing still keeps continuing forward. I once watched in horror as a woman got her purse stuck outside the tube and she had to stand there for a few minutes pushing the door in the opposite direction just enough to shove it thru so she could continue.

There is a panic button in some of these revolving door tubes, but as far as I've seen (because I've been really curious...and a bit nervous in case it happens to me) they're only on one side of the door. So I guess if you're going in the opposite direction, you're kind of screwed.

Also, in case you were wondering, if it reads your badge and starts letting you through but something happens (like the person behind you has a bad badge), in order to stop that person from following you in, it actually reverses direction and forces you back out. This has happened to me in the garage and I had to rescan back in twice as my boss waited on the other side patiently. The logic with which it was programmed leaves a lot to be desired, but...well, something something security and safety.

All of my complaining aside though, it is a gorgeous building. And now that I'm relatively pro getting around it, it's wonderful. I strut into this beautiful building everyday and feel like a relative rockstar, working in my little top secret station of wonder. Part of this comfort and feeling of positivity comes from the fact that I know with confidence that there are very few places I can get trapped (as I have pretty good access rights), but also that should I get trapped, I know who I could call and get out.

*I'm leaving my site unnamed for privacy purposes - most of you already know where I work, or at least can figure out where I work, but generally speaking, I will not put specifics here for confidentiality reasons.

Also, although I have received a request for a tour of my actual design work space, I'm gonna need a little more courage before taking pictures there, as a lot of the stuff lying around is unreleased and therefore could violate various NDAs. I will however cover the design floor cafe, since it's gorgeous. Thanks for your understanding. Should any of you come and visit me and really want to visit it, I can get you guest badges to visit certain public areas of my site.

1 comment:

  1. completely clear office plus nonstop sun = i hope you're wearing sunscreen and i think you're coming back with a tan!