Tuesday, September 22, 2009

No Poop Zone

I wasn't sure what I was going to tell you about this morning. At first, I was thinking I'd tell you about our office craft service setup. It's a little sad. O.K., I'm not talking sad, like the Crafty you'll see over on CraftDisservice.com, but sad, nonetheless. You all seem to envy us our never ending coffee and snacks (and you should), but you should also be aware that it's not all skittles and beer.

Look at the cornucopia I walked into this morning.

It's yesterday's Box-of-Joe! But then I decided I ought to be fair about the whole subject. I was the first one into the office. And there were only 7 of us in yesterday, so it's not like they've had time to gear up the gourmet buffet, so I'll give them a break.

Instead, let's talk about the one element of design in our office that's stinks...A tiny loo in a shitty place! (I think I'm done with Britishisms now, but if another occurs to me, I'll use it...just a warning.)

Look at the diagram below. You'll see that my office is in a really safe spot, speaking olfactory-wise. (I'm also immediately next to the door to the fire escape which is helpfully disconnected from any alarms and makes for a lovely smoking deck.) The problem, however, is that we have one men's room and one women's room...both of the oners. And they're in the lobby. This is kind of a chokepoint which usually only means it's a narrow bit of ingress/egress that everyone has to pass through.

But leaving the office last night, I discovered that it really is a chokepoint. It reminded me of a scene I witnessed years ago on location. The Teamster driving the trailer for one of our lovely female stars went into her trailer meaning to do his mid-day tidy-up. He opened the door and practically fell back out onto the street, as if he'd been hit by the blastwave from a bomb. Without missing a beat, he hollered, "Jeez girl! Whatchue been eatin'...feet?"

I'll be issuing an executive order today. The restrooms in the office will henceforth be a No Poop Zone. I'm sorry if this is TMI for anyone, but whoever was in there yesterday before I left must have been holding it for a month.

All staff will be invited to make use of their own facilities at home on their own time. In the event they have some alternate schedule of bodily functions that prevents that timing, I'd like to point out that there are 3 other floors here...each with their own facilities. We don't know the people on those floors and I have no qualms about you assaulting them.


Jim Wright said...

Dude, you're out on the smoke deck already. Piss over the side. Problem solved.


Just make sure you're not, you know, facing into the wind.

Steve Buchheit said...

No pooping on company time.

Yeah, good luck with that dictum. I expect the flaming bags in three... two... one...

Jim Wright said...

ooooh, there's an idea. Flaming bags of poop from the smoke deck balcony! Woot!

Nathan said...

Nah Jim...the fire escape only overlooks someone's backyard and the fire escapes on the backs of three other buildings.

There's really no one back there to "Poop-bomb".

vince said...

Ladies and gentlemen, will you please give a warm New York welcome to "Flaming Bags of Poop!!!"

::sounds of crowd clapping and whistles::

Jim Wright said...

Looks like you'll have to go up to the roof then.

MWT said...

Out of curiosity, who picks the office spaces for these productions? Because it sounds like it's not locations...

Nathan said...

It totally depends on the show. I've been on jobs where I had to find the office, jobs where I went to look at stuff with the Producer or UPM to help decide, and jobs (like this one) where the office was found without any input from me.

I can't really say I mind not having to deal with finding an office.


Anonymous said...

Nathan, you find office space h7unting boring?. Strange. I love, LOVE dealing with corporate spaces (well, as I should - I'm a commercial interior designer)
Whoever it was who selected this office space was incompetent: first thing to put into a program is to count the number of occupants and then look into the building code (somewhere around p.324, I believe) for a Table mandating amount of WC, lavatories, urinals and showers vs. number of occupants. It's that simple. Judging by your plan and my 15 years of experience, there must about 40 occupants in your office; for office space up to 50 there should be min of 3 WC for Women's and 2 WC+1 urinal for Men's, and 2 sinks in each restroom. There are also requirements for ventilation, surface finishes and privacy.

I understand that your leases might be short-time and you have no budget for renovation. But if you do, I know how to make this plan work better.

Anonymous said...

Incidentally, wanted to ask - maybe you know. Was walking down the 32nd street yesterday and it was all blocked with trailers; somewhere across Artisanal it was the biggest concentration of them. Do you know what's being shot there?

Nathan said...

We might hit 30 people in the office at our high point and then once we start shooting, it'll be maybe 10 people on a regular basis (since most of us will be on set).

No idea what shoot your ran across. (They'll usually have some of their "no Parking" signs up in the area and they're required to include their permit # and either the name of the show or the production company.

Anonymous said...

If the plan is correct, it's a very weird layout even not considering number and stalls in the restrooms.
Conference room in particular, and most importantly - the amount of space lost to circulation.

If the office is on a short lease, why invest in partial height wood-capped partitions for workstations? They take space, cost a lot because constructed, are not mobile are not possible to reconfig. It would be much more efficient, for your facilities people, to use system furniture, not freestanding desks, and make a plan with big work stations that could be easily modified when the occupancy changes from 30 to 10 people in the office, and the space could be used for something else. And then when your lease is up, you can pack your furniture and go with you, while as of now you paid for all those half-height partitions and will leave them to the next tenant when move.

OK, I went far away from the real concern of this post, namely - exercise of Executive Power (and authoritarian tendencies of any true Democrat...hehe). Sorry. Carry on.

Nathan said...


We don't own any furniture. This place comes furnished, or if we rent some empty place, we rent furniture for a few months. This is actually a fairly adaptable space for a production the size of ours. (It wouldn't suit anything bigger than us, and we'll be stepping all over each other for the few days right before filming begins.)

But the price is right!

And yes...throwing my weight around (when I don't have any) was the point.


Tat said...

I thought you did your own renovation/construction, judging by the pics from the previous post.

And- while my back this morning does deserve the label - please don't call me Creaky. It's either Creaky pavillion (the name of the blog and my ideal setting) or my name,


Nathan said...


The pics in the previous post included shots of my last office. And that one just got a few more desks crammed in it.

If someone hangs a shelf, we consider that a major renovation.

Anonymous said...

But shouldn't you be filled with "team spirit" in the new 3-person office? You quasi-collectivists are so confusing, let me tell'ya.
We are constantly told contradicting things by the clients (especially government agencies): the key words are "transparency", "team cooperation", "collective decision-making", "spirit of cooperation" - and then when it comes to floor plans expressing just that, all of a sudden everyone wants a private office with a window (or two), a desk (two is better), acoustically isolated walls and a grand view (preferably of landscapes, not people or products of their activity).
Oh I just love you, lovers of humanity.

Nathan said...

I guess I'm easy then. I just usually want a door. Walls are good too. Ceilings aren't a deal breaker.