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Working in "The Basement"

I'm not sure if I mentioned it, but recently my project team moved into a new office location. We are in an older building, and we are sitting in cubicles in the basement. Not quite the same as the brand new building, with the fifth floor window offices that we were working in. Not quite.

My company has been trying to make the best of the situation for us, but they can't really do anything about the lack of any windows, the crappy florescent lighting that leaves me with a headache at the end of every day, the lack of any privacy due to the open cubicles (I get to hear the person to my right make personal phone calls and to my left clip his nails). But they've beefed up the kitchen area and are providing snack food and sodas to be delivered--although I don't really eat the snacks and I don't drink sodas. There is Starbucks coffee and Deer Park water. And I actually don't mind cubes too much, as I've worked in them on and off through the years.

But guess what we discovered yesterday? A MOUSE!!! From what I hear, where there is one mouse, there are more. The exterminator came this morning, and after talking with him, he is willing to use only snap traps. He was going to use glue traps, but I've heard and read that not only are they inhumane, but they can be unsanitary. Plus, I don't really want to be working with a mouse is dying on one of those. Not exactly good working environment, you know?

So, that's what I get to deal with at work, while on an average of 5.5 hours of sleep (don't ask). Luckily, my migraine had gone away. My headache is back (thanks, florescent lights!), but it's not (yet) a migraine.


Becoming Mommy said…
We have mice in our office buildings. Our facilities management has decided it's not enough of an issue to do anything at all. So every so often I see a little grey fuzball dart across my office.
Here's a tip. Don't eat the snacks in the breakroom and keep all your stuff in sealed hard containers.
We catch the mice ourselves humanely for re-release. A strategic pile of cheeze-its or goldfish crackers attracts them. And we just always have someone watch with a wastebasket at the ready. A sheet of posterboard slides under nicely and you can tip it back up trapping the mouse.
Wow, now that I read it this is terribly ghetto. But then, the organization I work for? Has been in the Post for bad circumstances all around.
I keep lobbying for "bring your dog to work" day. The Hound would mouse happily till the problem was gone.
- Dana said…
That is so typical of our company! Haha! ...providing food to "fix" the problem. You might be over worked or even working among mice, but you won't go hungry! I definitely hope they improve your work space soon.
BisBink said…
You mean you don't like working in the basement? That is where my cube is too. Though I won't complain about it, since I have a killer commute (15 minutes without traffic). My other alternative is a 45 minute to 1.5 hour commute to DC with traffic. I will take the basement over traffic anyday! Can you get out for a walk a few times a day? Speaking of walking, I need to get out and do a few laps around the building.
Florescent lights are evil! esp. if you have to work at a computer. I always managed to convince them to let us keep the lights off and use desk lamps.
I have some pretty crappy office environments, including some that were NOT osha safe... and even in a basement with no windows! but a MOUSE?! good thing they didn't do the glue traps... do you get to enjoy the sunshine for lunch and breaks?
Cloud said…
Oh that sucks. I agree- definitely get out for a walk at lunchtime. I feel so much better when I do that, and I have windows in the area I sit in.

I once worked in a lab next door to a lab that worked with fruit flies (a common model organism). Fruit flies were always escaping and getting in our coffee, etc. But I think an office mouse is worse.
Anonymous said…
It reminds me of that scene in "Office Space" where Milton has been moved down into the basement and they ask him to double as an exterminator. Classic!
ImpostorMom said…
yikes that does suck.

Our fairly new building used to smell like sewage. Yup sewage. Apparently when they built this complex they neglected to expand the sewage system so all those lovely fumes were getting routed right into our building. They've got it worked out now but it wasn't pretty for a while.
Karen said…
I do not miss the work world.
I could gross you out with photos of a mouse nest that was found near my desk and paper wrappings from where said mice had been stealing chocolate from my desk for months, but I want to spare you the horror. Dozens if not hundreds of mice.

Um, yeah, keep EVERYTHING in a sealed container and take any food garbage out at the end of the day.
Don Mills Diva said…
I will never forget working one night when a mouse got caught on the glue trap in the kitchen - it was absolutely heartbreaking - they should be outlawed!
Colleen said…
came by way of BBM...didn't realize you were from the general DC area until she mentioned it.
we have major ants in our building...nearly taking over the kitchen...made me very glad I never joined the coffee club.;)

I noticed you keep mentioning migraines in the past few sorry to hear of them...I used to get them 3-4 times a week and Imitrex was a joke. Then my neurologist started treating the issue and gave me better drugs for fighting the pain when I got one. Now I might get one or two a month (totally hormone-related). He put me on low doses of an anti-depressant and a beta eventually helped train my body to regulate seratonin levels better. He weaned me off a year or so later and I just take 3 advils when I start getting if gets real bad, I take Relpax. Don't know if that will help (if you're not already on some sort of regimine with your doctor), but I always feel bad for anyone with a migraine.
Oh, by the way, Hi...I'm Colleen. :)
La folle maman said…
Wow. I'm so sorry, CaraMama. The previous suggestions of sealed containers and walks in daylight are all I could offer as well. OR maybe you could bring in a sheet of plywood, attach it to the top of your cube and get a desklamp!!! I'm sure that would go over well at the office. ;)
Rudyinparis said…
God, this reminds me of a job I once had where we were in the basement and the boss chirpily told us to "pretend we were camping" when we told her about the mice. I was, actually, pretty mellow about it, but my coworker was really, truly freaked out by mice and I thought the boss was incredibly disprespectful. They're both still there. I'm not.
Shellie said…
Oh good luck. I'm sorry!

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