For a while now I've joked that Yahoo should have bought S&M Moving quite some time ago. You see, today (Friday) was cube move day. In fact, every Friday for the past few years seem to have been cube move day. Each time, the big moving trucks converge on campus and a bunch of guys begin the ritual of moving boxes, furniture, computers, and so on.

In theory, that means I had the afternoon off. In practice it means I was working anyway, thanks mostly to the wireless network and having a space to squat. Though it was pretty damn loud with all the demolition going on.


Yeah, they were tearing down a lot of cube walls to transform our normal sized cubes into what lovingly refer to as bullpens. We're basically out of space, so you knock down a cubicle wall and the space that used to hold 2 worker bees now holds 3.

The wall in my old cube was taken away yesterday. The lack of a wall where there once was one is rather disconcerting. Sound travels really well, so you can year every keystroke, phone conversation, and so on.

On the plus side, there's this communal area in the middle now. Perhaps I should invest in a bean bag or something. Some of the Image Search folks have a little pool table in theirs.

I shudder to think how much we've paid S&M for their services over the years. A friend of mine who has been at Yahoo about 4.5 years recent moved for his 13th time. That's about one move every four months. It's no wonder he's not managed to accumulate much random junk at his desk--well, other than boxes and labels.

Oh, and bonus points to anyone who names their company "S&M". It's brilliant, really.

Posted by jzawodn at November 12, 2004 08:22 PM

Reader Comments
# Jason Fesler said:

You laugh.. but.. We work in Search and Marketplace.
Ooh, the pain. It hurts. Gimme more.

on November 12, 2004 09:05 PM
# jr said:

I was once told that moving a worker costs about $50, regardless of the amount of "stuff" associated with the worker. That price doesn't include lost work from the two (yes, two. You've got to unpack too) days.

That said, I'm glad we do hire a moving company and not have one of those Open Environs where folks show up and pick random location du jour.

on November 12, 2004 09:07 PM
# Ryan Kennedy said:

Oh boy, starting work at Y! on Monday and this is what I get to look forward to? :)

on November 12, 2004 09:20 PM
# Jeremy Zawodny said:

Heh. Well, until we get more land or buildings, it's gonna be tight, I suspect.

Just starting, huh? Ping me for lunch sometime.

on November 12, 2004 10:01 PM
# Krishna said:

I have moved offices six times in my past 5 yrs at TI. Actually moving offices is good in one way. I usually throw away all the old print-outs, and other old magazines, as the thought of unpacking and rearranging them again makes me throw away most of the stuff. :-)
And one question, if there are three worker bees in that bull-pen cubicle, i couldn't figure out where you plan to put the beanbag or the pool table?

on November 13, 2004 12:01 AM
# David Koblas said:

You should consider yourself lucky, since your wall is only now being removed. Ryan is going to have the "fun" of being put into a four person bullpen. We've even had two people two a normal cube size as an experement.

on November 13, 2004 08:10 AM
# ben said:

Since I started, 4.5 years ago, I have only moved cubes once.

on November 13, 2004 10:10 AM
# Barnaby James said:

Ouch! Your right about sound carrying without the walls. I worked at a startup that didn't "believe" in cube walls - they thought that everyone would collaborate more if there were no cube walls. Of course all the people who said that had offices... The worst thing about that kind of setup is, psychologically, people can no longer delimit where your personal space begins and ends. Picture two people having a conversation inches away from the back of your head. OTOH, since your coworkers have line of sight to you, they are less likely to fall into the "I can't see you therefore you don't exist" trap and start listening to their voice mail on the speaker phone.

Invest in some high quality (possibly noise cancelling) headphones.

on November 13, 2004 10:18 AM
# Morgan Schweers said:

Heh, well, I recommend a Foof chair if you want to do that. Just prior to our integration with our new corporate owners (eBay), PayPal bought a few dozen Foof chairs for the various groups. They work exceptionally well for individual lie-back brainstorming, and creating a circle of Foof chairs for an on-the-fly architecture meeting is curiously...I don't know...freeing.

Having them in quiet corners or out of the way spots allows you to get out of the noise corridor that is 'bullpen seating' now and then, when you can't hear yourself think. Take a notebook (the paper kind!) and paper-brainstorm. (Laptops are a little hard to use when engulfed.)

Good luck, I dislike bullpen seating, so I've (obviously) found various ways of coping myself.

-- Morgan

on November 13, 2004 01:46 PM
# Hanan Cohen said:

Now you will understand the true meaning of NSFW.

on November 13, 2004 02:44 PM
# chad said:

impossible ben, yahoo was not at that location 4.5 years ago. I started 4.5 years ago at 3420, moved three times there, moved three times at the sunnyvale campus... jeremy even building g is filled up? soon marvel will leave building e though and yahoo can start sticking people there..

on November 14, 2004 12:20 AM
# Altizer said:

Ah - bullpens remind me of the days interning at Marathon. Of course real work and interning were two different stories. You got away with goofing off (due to the bullpen) way more easily.

on November 17, 2004 07:51 AM
# Travis said:

Working in the IT dept, I never seem to get to use the services of the movers on the....[counts] 5 moves I've made since being here 6 years now. Well, the first move I did since that was between buildings, but the cancel that out I was moving all the servers at the time :)

I generally just end up packing stuff and then moving after 5PM when it's more quiet. The moving/unpacking is the easy part. Recabling all the computers usually kills a day or two :)

on January 6, 2005 08:58 AM
# said:

I agree with Morgan. We got some Foof Chairs for our company and they're amazing. We got them from

on January 9, 2007 05:30 PM
# Ant said:

We bought a few foof chairs from for our Atlanta headquarters at a great price and had them customized to fit our companies logo and appearance.

So you should try them out and they work great for relaxation and brainstorming... I second Morgan.

on October 10, 2007 09:57 AM
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