Emphasis on the WONDER in wonderland. I’m a simple gal. I have never worked downtown, I have never lived downtown, and I have never been downtown past…oh, I don’t know, 9 p.m.? Yep. I am an old lady inside a twentysomething’s body.
But in all seriousness, I’ve never been attracted to the big city, corporate office picture. I understand some people love it! Or maybe they dream about it. I’ve been perfectly happy working for small companies in standalone buildings, or in a small to medium-sized building. Universal Studios is the largest company I’ve worked for, and that was an exception. That was not an office job.
I scoped out the new location a few weeks before our office moved. It was easy to find, and I had a few route options I could choose from. I thought I knew where the parking garage was too! But I was terribly wrong.
Downtown Day 1
Many of us were under the impression that our parking garage was right next to our 10+ story building. I left an hour and fifteen minutes early on my first day at the new office. It’s 20 minutes further than our office. Without traffic, it’s only 5 minutes further. Either way, I didn’t want to be late.
I pulled in on my first day to a parking garage. It was 8:15 a.m. I made great time! I swiped my garage access card. NOTHING HAPPENED! I swiped it again, because of course something new might happen if I try again! Nope. Nothing. The garage attendant was a little angry, and told me to get a parking ticket to exit. I was so nervous!
You’re going the wrong way
So I grabbed a ticket and did a U-turn. The man was nice when I pulled up. He took my ticket and gave me directions as to where the CORRECT garage was. It was two streets behind the one we were in (really one street if I took the shortcut).
I pulled around…and I got lost. How difficult is it to drive two streets?? Apparently increasingly difficult!! It was 8:20 a.m. Okay, I still had a good 25 minutes before I really needed to freak out.
I wound up getting back onto a major road, wasting nearly 10 more minutes since I wasn’t familiar with the area. Then I made three turns, and I finally arrived at the correct garage. Phew.
I trekked the five-minute walk, across two sets of railroad tracks and a few homeless people. Once I got to the building, it took another five minutes to get in the elevator, stop at just about every floor in the building (cue the Elf feels), and then walk to my desk.
I completely understand what that long process is like, before I’m even clocked in. When I worked at Universal, I had to park my car in the guest parking lot, take a shuttle over to security (they were building a permanent employee parking lot on property at this point), change into my Universal gear, and then walk 8 minutes to clock in. That was an extra 20 minutes factored in.
Downtown Day 2
The next day, I was feeling good! I knew where the garage was, I had a better idea as to when I should leave my house without being late, and I felt better about how much time I should budget. At least, that’s what I thought. I thought wrong.
It was 8:20 a.m. I pulled into the wrong garage. This time, it was the garage located between the correct garage and Day 1’s wrong garage.
I saw a sign that read, “Access Cards Only”, and I pulled in. I thought, I have an access card. This must be me.
Again, I was wrong! This time, I couldn’t get a parking ticket to open the gate, and I couldn’t turn around. There was an empty cop car to my left. I called the number on the access card machine for help. The people were incredibly rude. They asked at one point, “Can’t you back out of there?” There was oncoming traffic. I waited until it was safe, and managed to back out of there safely. I got lost AGAIN, and wound up getting back on to the same road as Day 1, eventually getting to the right parking garage.
Downtown Day 3
By Day 3, I finally had it down. It was still a little disorienting. I’m finally feeling like I have a system now. I am not a huge fan of the change, but as always, we can adapt to new situations. I was proud that I was not late on any occasion. Just a little frustrated and flustered.
I found a pretty amazing pizza place. I fell in love with the library / technology center. They have all the Adobe products, a photo studio, video studio, and an audio studio! And books, of course. Lots and lots of books.
It’ll still take a little while to get used to, but at least I’m in this together with my coworkers.