"Craig and I met with Stan, Paul N., Gerry, and Gary B. this morning about the concerns with A Barracks. The latest info is that there is a pest control person coming in today to determine what caused the pile of insulation to be on the floor and in the duct opening in the one office on the second floor. Assuming that the issue on the second floor is resolved the plan would be to have the duct work cleaned (if needed), have a public health type person verify that the building is safe, clean the lower floor
offices and we would move in. We are also looking at alternatives if they are needed. Gary mentioned several times about the need to provide a safe work environment for our employees.
Craig or I will provide you with updates as we receive more information." – Email this morning to my work group from our unit manager
The A Barracks is a building here on base that has been abandoned for at least as long as I've been here (12 years), with the exception of one six month period where they moved us into them to remodel our current building three years ago. The barracks are old, but don't leak, ooze, or whisper Satanic latin incantations. They have private "offices". When we were moved into them last time, we were told not to use the bathrooms. Although the lights are always on in them and the plumbing is functional.
"Don't even open the doors. Infact….nevermind. Just stay away from the bathrooms. And the second floor."
My office in the barracks was a former supply room in the center of all the other offices. It had no heat, no ventilation. It was paneled in that dark 'knotty pine' crap popular in single wide trailers when wife beating was still a sport in Idaho, or so I imagine. It's soul sucking properties were audible.
Our agencies have spent I do not even hazard a guess how much money on leasing office space elsewhere and bringing in trailers for additional on-base workspace for other groups. No one but my unit has ever been sent to live in the A Barracks. There is never any discussion about tearing them down. The huge building just sits in the middle of an expanse of field between other functional over-crowded and temporary office buildings. The A Barracks remain empty save whatever is chewing the holes in the insulation and living in the ducts. Vacant until our group needs "temporary" housing.
This time around, our current building is being made 'earthquake proof'.
Craig is my bosses boss. He works directly for the Unit manager. 'Work' applies loosely here, like his jaws. He enjoys hanging out in my cubicle gossiping at top volume about the other employees and his non-existent sex life while I eat a snack which he almost always provides. As long as I'm chewing, he knows I won't be typing and he can keep talking. Its our unspoken agreement. He brings really dry snacks so I can't eat extra fast.
Craig firmly believes that nothing built after 1975 is "worth a shit". And nothing built before 1976 needs to be fixed. Including the A Barracks,
"It was good enough for me and 6 crews to live in for years…we're going to put porta-pottys outside of both doors…"
"Why not just have us doing our business in buckets?" I ask, "Or in the duct openings to the crumbly asbestos, where the rabid animals are living….?"
"No, that's upstairs. That's offlimits. I think I can get you that same office you had last time," he tells me, "It's the biggest."
I tell Craig, in what I hope is obvious sarcasm, that I like that Gary even had to mention several times "about the need to provide a safe work environment for our employees"
"Yeah," he laughs, "and he mentions getting a health inspector in to certify the place. LIKE THAT'S GONNA HAPPEN!"
"What do you mean?" I ask
"Oh, there is NO WAY!" Craig chortles. "Can you IMAGINE what they might FIND?"
I shite you nay. This is where I work.