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What Corporate Culture Doesn’t Understand

In the States I worked with a wonderful, tight web team. We went out and partied together, we had lan parties, we sat together in our lights-off, cavelike office where the corporate types never felt comfortable bringing people. There were bare feet with toe rings, ties were scarce, and my boss had the most gorgeous waist-length hair that you could imagine. My mother even loved his hair.

Suits abound here, and although you can dress down on Fridays, it’s more of a spiffy polo shirt and jeans thing. It’s a large, open-plan, corporate environment. I miss working as a web team in a proper IT-weirdos-only environment…I miss it enormously.

These are the things that corporate culture doesn’t understand about us:

1. We need toys. Our toys define us as part of geek culture. I used to have a whole shelf of Spawn figures. We had cubicle toys, both manufactured and homemade…like the infamous CDs of death that would be sailed across the room. (What was it, was it one of the Evil Dead movies that had the character with embedded CDs sticking out of his head and body? Safety in the workplace? That’s for normal people.)

2. We need darkness. We need that absence of overhead flourescent lights that allows you to work on a computer in comfort. We LIKE being the trolls in the dungeon. “We are the weirdos, mister.” We need to be separate from the marketing types.

3. IT and web teams don’t do well as corporate clones. We just don’t have the corporate cubicle mentality.

Just give me back my toys, man.

10 thoughts on “What Corporate Culture Doesn’t Understand

  1. Your last word says it all. Your entire stock of IT weirdness in the US comes from hippies. It’s where Apple started and Windows was plagiarised from…

    Look at Pixar – that would be the company for you…the little scooters and couches, and weird individual pod-cubicles… collective rooms for mucking about and brain-storming…

  2. Google’s much the same, from what I’ve seen of their work environment – I’m with – computing in the UK came out of the Boffin culture – men (always men) in white lab coats and stern expressions. Computers are serious stuff over here.

  3. Hmmm…. I think you and your team should build a little tentlike ‘cave’ of sorts! ;) That would help with the light, and confuse them so much, they wouldn’t dare trespass. To keep them happy, you could even PLASTER the outside of it with the company logo. ;) Your own little ‘fort’.

  4. Different than in the States, then. Or perhaps it’s a difference between the new-school web people and the old hard-tech guys, I don’t know.

  5. I could, to an extent, as long as they’re non-offensive. They certainly wouldn’t allow shooting CDs at people. Mostly, no one would understand…which is really the problem. I sit here in this desert of corporate/marketing blandness.

  6. Hah! I would love barriers…soundproof ones to shut out the customer service ladies with the terrible case of verbal diarrhea. :)

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