Working in an open office is always a challenge. Every morning I arrive on time and I follow some kind of protocol. During summer, I park my car in the external parking area, in a numbered position, carefully in the limits of the painting lines and then I cover the windshield with a sun protector. I lock the car and I cross the heavy traffic avenue of the company. I enter the building, catch the elevator and I am heading to the restaurant, on the last floor. I get in line for the first coffee of the day. Now I am ready to descend at the floor of my team, sit in front of my computer and start checking my inbox.
Although it is summertime and the sun is bright, the light on my office desk is dim. After a couple of hours I feel my eyes tired and I start blinking. Keyboarding is hard, I am not so fast, I keep looking at the keyboard most of the time. I realize that I have reached a dead end and now it’s time to pick my battle.
I send a meeting request to the supervisor. He turns his head and looks at me. He comes to my office and asks me “Is there something wrong?” The work is going slow and we both agree to meet at the time. “Don’t worry, I need five minutes; I won’t keep you any longer” I say.
We enter the room and I close the door behind me. “Come on in, take a seat. What’s this all about?” he says.
“Look, it is a long time, over a year actually, since we’ve moved to this floor and everyone in here works with the roof lights closed. I don’t know why, don’t ask me, but everyone’s monitor is glowing and flashing and glittering. The problem is that it hardens my work. I cannot see. I cannot see my desk surface, I hardly manage the keyboard and the mouse”.
“All right man, don’t worry. We will find a solution” he responds.
“Look”, I continue, “if no one feels comfortable with the lights turned on, I am willing to move to the north corner of the floor, where the sunlight is plenty enough. I feel like a nerd who plays computer games in the dark”.
“No, no, don’t worry. Come with me. Here, what do you think of this position? It is next to the window…”
I pack my stuff and I move to my new desk. I clean it carefully before the installation expert arrives for the network connection. I ask myself while unpacking: “Why did you spend so much time in allowance?”
2 thoughts on “Getting over my fear of confrontation”
This is a great example of how simple it is to change things, as long as we decide not to be passive.
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Indeed, Sophia. It was a huge lesson in holding my ground, every time I feel uncomfortable in the workplace. Thanks for commenting !