Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Presidio Modelo de mi Vida

The place where I have been working is built out as a trading floor. It is an open, square space, each side slightly longer than the length of a football field. Offices line the walls; cubicles fill the inside of the square. Almost no windows, but a lot of glass block to let in the light. The ceiling is high, at least sixty feet. Another ring of offices is lofted over us, with their glass walls looking down onto our floor. This is where the C-level execs dwell.

The space is a giant echo chamber. A sneeze on one side of the floor travels amplified throughout the cavernous space. I can hear a Hispanic woman screaming into the phone at her significant other. Another man is negotiating a mortgage refinance. Food odors waft through the air, making it hard to fast this Tisha b'Av.

A few days ago I had the occasion to go up to the lofts to pick up a package. Looking down onto the sea of cubicles, you get a view of what everyone is doing below. This is quite surprising, since while sitting down in the cubicles, you really don't realize how exposed you are. It's kinda like being inside a Panopticon.


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