|sent from: London, UK. destination: Culver City, California, USA|
Walking into the office for the first time all I could see was row upon row of desks and computers. There were no cubicles, no walls, no offices. The atmosphere was quiet and subdued, gentle clicking of keys. My desk was sandwiched amongst several others, working elbow to elbow. Well, I thought, how exciting, I’ll get to know all these people, new work colleagues, new friends. I’ll chat to them in the kitchen bond over tea and toast. Across the way I spotted familiar face, someone I’d worked with in Los Angeles, who last I’d heard had left to work in Asia, but here he was in London. Fantastic, already someone I know. I went and said hi, we caught up. I looked back at my desk mates and they were staring at me. Fancy seeing Boon here, I said to them, we used to work together. Who? They asked. That guy, over there, you know, Boon. We don’t know him, they replied. Uh, ok. He’s been here several months – he sits right there – you must have met, right, bonding over tea and toast? Nope, never met, didn’t know his name, don’t know what he does. Those guys, over there, you don’t know what they do? My new desk mates shook their heads. The team building exercises and get together over beer that I was used to were obviously not as common as I thought. No one was bonding over their tea and toast. So sad.