The lore of diminishing returns

First they came for my direct reports. They said hierarchy was finished, we were now flat, networked, meshed. When I protested they said I was an anachronism. I wore a tee shirt “Anachrony in the UK”. They put a note on my file.

Then they came for my office. They said it wasn’t compatible with the new flat structure and the hyper connected world. They took down the walls, and turfed me into my team. They said I was on the pitch. I got some noise cancelling headphones and didn’t look up.

Next they came for my cupboards. They gave me a linear metre, whatever that meant in the language of gym bags. They put my files in a paper zoo, and I put the rest in a wheelie bin. There was no ceremony.

Then they came for my pedestal. They turned out the things that glued my day together. Stapler, post it pad, blunt pencils, business cards for people I was never going to call back that made me feel needed.

Next they came for my return. They said I just piled crap on it, and it used valuable square feet. I didn’t know what a squad foot looked like. So I packed up my crap, and put it in my cupboard – oh, no, I didn’t.

Then they came for my desk. We were told to share and no-one understood. How could we share desks? It was like sharing pants. You just don’t. We wandered, like the first man emerging from the olduvai gorge. We longed for the old certainties, and were lost.

Now I just have my locker. The last thing in the office I own. A tiny square of next to useless space, apologetically placed in the corridor. We unpack in the morning, and pack at night, getting in each other’s way, jamming in all we can carry until it pleads forgiveness.

There is even ridiculous talk now that we don’t need the office at all. A coffee-stained consultant was seen with management, and was overheard talking about square feet. They called in the Finance Director, who smiled a lot.

When they have taken everything else – will they come for me?

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