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(HR Grapevine)   "Opening the office blinds is no simple task for BBC staff in Scotland, who are required to call a help desk 307 miles away in England for permission to carry out such a task"   (hrgrapevine.com) divider line 45
    More: Strange  
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2139 clicks; posted to Business » on 23 Jul 2014 at 9:37 AM (17 weeks ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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ZAZ [TotalFark]
2014-07-23 07:11:53 AM  
I worked for a big company in a big building with automatic room lights. If we worked late and didn't want to work in the dark we had to call a number to override the timer. I was happy working in the dark.

The number was not published, but passed around by word of mouth.
 
2014-07-23 08:33:02 AM  
That's what happens when you're colonized by wankers.
 
2014-07-23 09:45:54 AM  

ZAZ: I worked for a big company in a big building with automatic room lights. If we worked late and didn't want to work in the dark we had to call a number to override the timer. I was happy working in the dark.

The number was not published, but passed around by word of mouth.


We have a similar system here. They go off at 6 pm on the dot. Unless I need to get in the server room, I leave them off until the sun goes down if I'm here. Luckily I know where the override switch is. A LEED certified building is cool, but can also be a PITA.

The situation in TFA could be worse; they could be calling and talking to some guy from India with an accent so think that you need a plasma cutter to get through it, but he would insist that he was "Jeff from Minnesota".
 
2014-07-23 09:51:34 AM  
I wonder what it takes to call about the TPS cover sheets.
 
2014-07-23 10:10:58 AM  
Sounds totally legit.
 
2014-07-23 10:12:23 AM  
The earth rotates 15 degrees per hour. I think I'd call once an hour while at work to adjust the blinds to the position of the sun.
 
2014-07-23 10:14:27 AM  

Mikey1969: We have a similar system here. They go off at 6 pm on the dot. Unless I need to get in the server room, I leave them off until the sun goes down if I'm here. Luckily I know where the override switch is. A LEED certified building is cool, but can also be a PITA.


We recently moved into one and the first cut of rules they sent to us was that no refrigerators, tvs, or other electrical gear was allowed outside common areas.  We kindly pointed out to them we were a software engineering company that supports tvs, tablets, and game consoles.  They chose the rent check over enforcing the rules.

/hell the seven year old game console at my desk eats up more power than my laptop, monitors, tv, and fridge combined
 
2014-07-23 10:19:34 AM  
So, essentially, they have electronic blinds and somebody didn't think their cunning plan all the way through during the last reorg at this office?

Sounds like pretty typical mid-management and executive bungling to me. I once worked at a company that laid off the only person who knew how the security system worked. Which wouldn't have been that big a problem except right before the layoffs started they had him disarm it so they didn't have to keep swiping in and out as they walked out the victims, then they laid him off as part of it. Apparently, however, nobody thought to rearm the system and some kids got in a few weeks later and did tens of thousands of dollars of damage to the lobby. Smashed a bunch of mirrors, threw drinks all over the walls and carpet and smashed the receptionist's computer and desk up.

It's a good thing he didn't disarm the whole system so the interior doors still locked on their schedule and kept them just in the lobby area.
 
2014-07-23 10:28:53 AM  

skozlaw: some kids got in


Yeah.  It must have been kids. I get ya.
 
2014-07-23 10:31:37 AM  

Talondel: skozlaw: some kids got in

Yeah.  It must have been kids. I get ya.


Goats can be incredibly destructive, and they'll eat anything.
 
2014-07-23 10:43:34 AM  
And Target employees in Florida have to call HQ in Minnesota* to turn down the heat in winter. Big companies, etc.*Or so I've been told; can't confirm.
 
2014-07-23 10:47:06 AM  

Talondel: Yeah. It must have been kids. I get ya.


Well, there were cameras so I'm going to assume whoever looked at the footage wasn't lying.
 
2014-07-23 10:49:34 AM  
This just in. Some large/distributed companies centralize functions to save money/labor. Story at 11
 
2014-07-23 10:51:01 AM  
The fire alarms are kind of annoying, too: "Fire! The untamed element, oldest of man's mysteries, giver of warmth, destroyer of forests, right now *this* building is on fire. Yes! The building is on fire! Leave the building! Enact the age-old drama of self-preservation!
 
2014-07-23 10:52:32 AM  

gingerjet: Mikey1969: We have a similar system here. They go off at 6 pm on the dot. Unless I need to get in the server room, I leave them off until the sun goes down if I'm here. Luckily I know where the override switch is. A LEED certified building is cool, but can also be a PITA.

We recently moved into one and the first cut of rules they sent to us was that no refrigerators, tvs, or other electrical gear was allowed outside common areas.  We kindly pointed out to them we were a software engineering company that supports tvs, tablets, and game consoles.  They chose the rent check over enforcing the rules.

/hell the seven year old game console at my desk eats up more power than my laptop, monitors, tv, and fridge combined


Ours isn't so bad, but we get electric during certain hours as a part of our rent, and get charged a lot for electric use outside that window. The nice part is that we can apparently modify those hours without having to pay more. The one thing I really don't understand is why the windows have these crappy aluminum frames, they're double paned, but the frames are freezing cold in the winter, it's been a source of heat leakage in buildings for years, not sure how it gets them their certification.
 
2014-07-23 10:55:03 AM  
The guys in Scotland just want to make sure that they can spell out what they're in the mood to have written across the BBC building.
 
2014-07-23 10:55:06 AM  

Dr Dreidel: The fire alarms are kind of annoying, too: "Fire! The untamed element, oldest of man's mysteries, giver of warmth, destroyer of forests, right now *this* building is on fire. Yes! The building is on fire! Leave the building! Enact the age-old drama of self-preservation!


Dammit... My last job had no fire alarm, and I figured out a way to set up the phones so that it would send a pre-recorded message out on the intercoms. Anyone could pick up the phone and dial a code(*911 in this case), and it would loop the recording. I would have loved to have that be the message. I could have done it, too, if it weren't for those meddlesome kids!
 
2014-07-23 10:59:08 AM  
I worked in an environmentally friendly building. They had a few problems with it. Since they recycled trash, there was a dumpster for trash, one for recyclables and one for food scraps. They didn't bother to close the lid on the food scrap dumpster so we had a fruit fly infestation. And because it was an environmentally friendly building, they couldn't use harsh chemicals to get rid of the bugs. We spent about two months killing fruit flies while building management found a "natural" bug spray.

They also had issues with the heat and drafts. The heat didn't get turned on until at least mid-November and turned off mid-February. My boss sat by a window and always wore a coat because of the drafts. I thought he was being extreme but he showed me how bad it was by leaving a cup of coffee on the window sill by his cube and ½ hour later it was frozen. In the summer, the a/c was turned on at about 9:30 and turned off at 3... I don't mind a building being "green" just don't go nuts doing it....
 
2014-07-23 11:01:27 AM  
I once became locked in a room.

I had to call India to open a ticket so that the maint. man down the hall could come let us out.
 
2014-07-23 11:11:00 AM  
Gov't agencies can get like that. We have a resource number that handles facilities and buildings. only problem is that that phone line doesn't open until 830am.

the  main IT desk opens at 6, guess who gets the call about an entire building being locked up?
 
2014-07-23 11:16:35 AM  

veale728: Sounds totally legit.


LEED certified buildings are exactly like this.  They're a system that has to be monitored and operated like a piece of fine machinery.
 
2014-07-23 11:20:30 AM  
diggingperu.files.wordpress.com
 
2014-07-23 11:20:45 AM  

GardenWeasel: This just in. Some large/distributed companies centralize functions to save money/labor. Story at 11


Except when it doesn't.

Perfect example - most of the buildings on the National Guard post where I work have fully automated climate control. The problem is that we can't override it for basic functions... like completely turning off the furnaces in the summer. So if the outdoor temperature drops enough at night, the buildings might cool to a degree or two below the "heat" set point. I'll come in to open our buildings in the morning and the furnace is blowing full blast. So these buildings are wasting gas and electricity operating furnaces in the summer... and then using far more A/C than necessary to get them back down to 74 degrees. All to "save money."

The one building we use that still isn't automated has two different manual thermostats (like you have at home). I turn it to "cool" in the summer and never worry about the furnace kicking in. If they aren't going to be used for a few days, I turn the A/C up to 80 or the heat down to 63 and call it a day.
 
2014-07-23 11:21:30 AM  
So what difference does it make if your phone call goes 307 miles or 307 feet?  It is a phone call to a 24 hour center whose job it is to take the call and then adjust the blinds.  If the controls were across the hall it would still be the same process.
 
2014-07-23 11:45:03 AM  

Oliver Twisted: So what difference does it make if your phone call goes 307 miles or 307 feet?  It is a phone call to a 24 hour center whose job it is to take the call and then adjust the blinds.  If the controls were across the hall it would still be the same process.


The article says that the helpdesk phones someone back at the site to actually open the blinds. Once the name of this person gets out, the silly roundrobin bullshiat of having to call an intermediary to open/close blinds should wither and die. It's the nature of the system, and the system is lazy.
 
2014-07-23 11:47:56 AM  

Oliver Twisted: So what difference does it make if your phone call goes 307 miles or 307 feet?  It is a phone call to a 24 hour center whose job it is to take the call and then adjust the blinds.  If the controls were across the hall it would still be the same process.


Scotland is voting for indepence next month and will probably severe all phone lines to England.
 
2014-07-23 12:52:28 PM  
I worked briefly supervising a truck gate building where the heating and a/c were set 2 degrees apart.  it would heat to 2 degrees above it's set temp, then switch off.  Two seconds later, the A/C would kick in and cool to 2 degrees below it's set temp.  Repeat forever.

One of my people figured out how to break into the locked case, bypass the password and alter the settings so they were 5 degrees apart and the dueling environments stopped.

Big Boss comes in one day and flips a gasket, demanding to know who did it and saying that person is fired.  Guy who did it standing right there looking stunned.  I threw myself on the grenade saying that I had done it and WHY.

It was left the way it was and I got yelled at, but no official warning, which was fine with me.

/because, you know, you're really going to fire someone for saving your ass money...
//probably would have fired the guy who did it, since he was fairly new.
///big boss was a dumbass.
 
2014-07-23 12:54:14 PM  

mcreadyblue: Oliver Twisted: So what difference does it make if your phone call goes 307 miles or 307 feet?  It is a phone call to a 24 hour center whose job it is to take the call and then adjust the blinds.  If the controls were across the hall it would still be the same process.

Scotland is voting for indepence next month and will probably severe all phone lines to England.


It will be even simpler. If Scotland votes for independence all those BBC Scotland employees will be made redundant due to BBC Scotland no longer existing. If they are lucky they might find a job in the newly formed Scottish Broadcasting Corporation if the new Scottish government can set it up in time.
 
2014-07-23 12:55:16 PM  

Nexzus: Oliver Twisted: So what difference does it make if your phone call goes 307 miles or 307 feet?  It is a phone call to a 24 hour center whose job it is to take the call and then adjust the blinds.  If the controls were across the hall it would still be the same process.

The article says that the helpdesk phones someone back at the site to actually open the blinds. Once the name of this person gets out, the silly roundrobin bullshiat of having to call an intermediary to open/close blinds should wither and die. It's the nature of the system, and the system is lazy.


I read that as calling back to the system that closes the blinds as opposed to a person.  Now they have ruined  the concept behind automated blinds.  But that is what seems to happen with many energy saving concepts.  They work great until people get involved and do such things as occupy the building.
 
2014-07-23 12:55:41 PM  

Oliver Twisted: So what difference does it make if your phone call goes 307 miles or 307 feet?  It is a phone call to a 24 hour center whose job it is to take the call and then adjust the blinds.  If the controls were across the hall it would still be the same process.


Or, you know, I could just walk two feet away and OPEN THE FARKING BLINDS!!!
 
2014-07-23 12:56:43 PM  
The building I am in now is on a security craze for some reason, we have had no security problems and the one door that has a badge reader on it is the one right next to the loading dock. It has been a time waste for my job. The ole procedure was Fed Ex pulls up to the dock knocks on the door, I let them in we go to the dock, they give me the packages , sign for them and out the door. Now they want the drivers to go to the front of the building to check in, security walks to the back to let them in the dock, the door next to the dock is now an emergency exit door, Fed Ex now pulls around to the back to unload, then they are supposed to go to the front and sign out. I have worked out a system that is still technically correct, but pisses off security. Fed Ex will knock on the door and I open the dock, they never get out of the truck so they dont have to sign in since they are not entering the building.

/technicially correct is the best kind of correct
 
2014-07-23 01:21:09 PM  
Had a similar thing years ago when I worked for a retail chain. In the middle of summer the store was so hot inside we were all melting. I called the person at head office to get something done and he said he'd log into the system while saying "Well there's not really anything I can do, the system is fully automatic and programmed to bloody hell!" He'd got to the settings screen and somehow the set temperature was so high that even in the middle of a hot summer day it had switched the heating ON to try to get it up to the set temperature.
He changed it and the AC kicked in and in an hour of so we were nice and cool.
 
2014-07-23 01:26:06 PM  

chevydeuce: Oliver Twisted: So what difference does it make if your phone call goes 307 miles or 307 feet?  It is a phone call to a 24 hour center whose job it is to take the call and then adjust the blinds.  If the controls were across the hall it would still be the same process.

Or, you know, I could just walk two feet away and OPEN THE FARKING BLINDS!!!


Humans cannot be trusted to make such decisions alone.
 
2014-07-23 01:37:33 PM  
Meh, we have to request at least a week in advance to have the A/C or heating turned on outside of business hours.
 
ZAZ [TotalFark]
2014-07-23 02:28:04 PM  
I worked in an office with sealed thermostats and we had to call for help one day when the system failed. The explanation was, the outside temperature over the course of a day fluctuated between heating and cooling levels and the energy saving computer didn't know what to do.

We probably had women in the office. You can't have user-accessible thermostats with both women and men in the same building. Another job in a smaller office let us have access to the thermostats and I programmed them to our schedule rather than the landlord's.
 
2014-07-23 02:41:20 PM  

menschenfresser: And Target employees in Florida have to call HQ in Minnesota* to turn down the heat in winter. Big companies, etc.*Or so I've been told; can't confirm.


Most of the facilities at Lackland AFB are centrally controlled. The heater and air conditioner don't come on until certain days. It might be 50 degrees outside but the air conditioner days haven't ended, so the air conditioner will be on and blowing.
 
2014-07-23 03:18:43 PM  
But does it have to go to the diversity committee to be approved?
 
2014-07-23 03:29:24 PM  
upix.me
 
2014-07-23 03:34:31 PM  

dywed88: Meh, we have to request at least a week in advance to have the A/C or heating turned on outside of business hours.


Remember to turn in your Temperature Program Status report.
 
2014-07-23 03:54:39 PM  

Tobin_Lam: menschenfresser: And Target employees in Florida have to call HQ in Minnesota* to turn down the heat in winter. Big companies, etc.*Or so I've been told; can't confirm.

Most of the facilities at Lackland AFB are centrally controlled. The heater and air conditioner don't come on until certain days. It might be 50 degrees outside but the air conditioner days haven't ended, so the air conditioner will be on and blowing.


That's awesome! And if memory serves, Lackland is one of the 124 AF bases around San Antonio, TX, so who needs AC there anyhow? Hah!
 
2014-07-23 04:27:42 PM  
You know what LEED certification leads too?

img1.wikia.nocookie.net
/You're all going to die down here
 
2014-07-23 04:30:12 PM  

BumpInTheNight: You know what LEED certification leads too?

[img1.wikia.nocookie.net image 740x390]
/You're all going to die down here


I swear the longer I look at the pic, the more pronounced her right nipple becomes.....the water must be cold coming of those sprinklers
 
2014-07-23 04:37:47 PM  

Mikey1969: ZAZ: I worked for a big company in a big building with automatic room lights. If we worked late and didn't want to work in the dark we had to call a number to override the timer. I was happy working in the dark.

The number was not published, but passed around by word of mouth.

We have a similar system here. They go off at 6 pm on the dot. Unless I need to get in the server room, I leave them off until the sun goes down if I'm here. Luckily I know where the override switch is. A LEED certified building is cool, but can also be a PITA.

The situation in TFA could be worse; they could be calling and talking to some guy from India with an accent so think that you need a plasma cutter to get through it, but he would insist that he was "Jeff from Minnesota".


That guy actually could be Jeff from Minnesota these days, doncha know. Lots of Indian folks settling the upper Midwest.
 
2014-07-23 05:30:38 PM  

skozlaw: Talondel: Yeah. It must have been kids. I get ya.

Well, there were cameras so I'm going to assume whoever looked at the footage wasn't lying.


i61.tinypic.com
 
2014-07-23 08:13:59 PM  

clkeagle: The problem is that we can't override it for basic functions... like completely turning off the furnaces in the summer.


The problem is the setpoints/timers are wrong. If you don't mind it being cold at night you should tell the computer that, and it won't run the furnace. You don't need to disable the system, you just need to configure it correctly (or ditch the insufficient control system that won't accept the configuration you want).
 
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