Greetings, my fellow port swillers!

It was back to the grindstone for Ol’ Robbo today after his week off, with the added feature that he set foot for the first time into his new work digs, into which his effects had been moved over the weekend.

I’ve been dreading this move since it was first announced some time last year.  Not only does the new building – and it literally is brand new – require a longer commute, the promises of all the gee-whiz architectural and technological innovations packed into it have for months filled me with a jaundiced cynicism and a foreboding of doom.

So I was perfectly willing to loathe the place as I stepped off the elevator this morning.  Imagine my confusion, then, when it all turned out to be…..really rather nice.

I had heard rumor that our offices were going to be mere shoeboxes.  This turns out to be false.  I believe my new room is a couple square feet smaller than my old one, but it is so light and airy that one doesn’t even really notice the difference.  (I still think that when I get ultra-busy and have mounds of paper stacked up all over the place that I’ll notice the difference, but eh.)  Similarly, to save space, the doors don’t swing open and closed but slide back and forth.  For a long time I took this as a clue to the new horror, but the fact is that it’s really pretty cool.  (Alas, they’re not automatic and there are no Star Trek sound-effects.)  True, the furniture is what you might call Discount IKEA, but it’s perfectly adequate.  And for some reason the acoustics of the room definitely enhance the quality of the sound coming from my radio.

So what the heck’s a curmudgeon supposed to do?

I guess I’ll just have to wait until all the little flaws start revealing themselves, which they certainly will over time.  Oh, yes.  They will.

Oh, I mentioned stepping off the elevator.  The elevators are going to be a problem.  In order to whistle one up, you tap in your desired floor on a keypad in the lobby.  The screen then directs you to one of the bank (labeled A through G).  Once you step inside the thing you’re trapped, as there is no internal control panel.  What could possibly go wrong?  Also, when an elevator is arriving at a floor, there’s no simple “Ding!” but a kind of sparkly theme, of which I’m sure I will get quite sick before the week is out.  It isn’t exactly Sirius Cybernetics Corporation-grade awfulness, but it ain’t far off.  (I’m sure that at some point in the not-too-distant future I’ll find myself muttering, “Go stick your head in a pig.”)

So since I can’t gripe about the new digs themselves, I have to fall back on the commute.  And even that is a challenge.  As I may have mentioned here before, the location of the new digs is such that Ol’ Robbo is abandoning his drive downtown and instead is reverting to taking the Metro.  On the one hand, this means I have to surrender my autonomy and my solitude.  On the other, what with the transit subsidy I get, I’m saving a considerable amount of dosh.  Also, I get to go back to commuter-reading.  (Today I started John Buchan’s The Leithen Stories.  The first is called “The Power House” and is all about the eeeevil machinations of a Globalist Cabal.  It was published a hundred years ago but seems pretty durn apropos these days too, what?)

And although my average commute time will be a bit longer than it was previously, there are also some advantages.  For one thing, my route from my home Metro stop back to Port Swiller Manor goes straight past the Ger-may Giyont and Total Bev, whereas previously I had to detour coming out of downtown to get to them.  For another, and this one may seem completely silly, because of the direction I take getting home from the Metro, I’m able to see the Moon rise in the evenings.

Finally, in large part because the commute is going to be longer, Ol’ Robbo was actually motivated to put in the paperwork for teleworking on Mondays and Fridays.  I mentioned this to Eldest the other day, and her response was a bit surprising.   “Good,” she said.  “I’m glad you won’t have to go in so much.  You’re starting to look kind of worn out.”

Yimminy, I’m not that old yet!  Am I?

That regime kicks in next week.  To celebrate, I may work in my jammies on Monday just because I can work in my jammies.  We’ll see.

(And related to that, although I can no longer enjoy my lunchtime walkies around the National Mall, I’ve no excuse whatsoever for not hitting the treadmill and rowing-erg at home on my non-commute days.)

Anyhoo, a definite sea-change in Robbo’s work life.  We’ll see what happens.