Cleaning Out Room 113

In Eclipse on October 30, 2008 at 7:18 pm

When I first started working in health care over three years ago, I met my team of five and we had lunch with the Vice President.  We sat at a long table in a conference room in our Cypress building.  The vice president, Mike, was very articulate and confident in describing the company’s future.  His phrases and lines were well-rehearsed and I enjoyed his enthusiasm.  However, I did not feel very connected to him.  Before I knew it, we had finished our lunch and our VP was scurrying to another meeting.  My team remained in the conference room.

Three years later, I stood in that same conference room…at least what was left of it.  The long table had been removed.  One door had been sealed by drywall.  From the one remaining entrance, I surveyed the fourteen computers that now inhabited the space.  The credenza, which had displayed our lunch, had been removed to fill the room to capacity with computers.  It was an empty training room now.  A place poised for connection had been converted to stations.  The stations would harness new employees to process prescriptions.

Before I left the room, I noticed two carts filled with random computer parts, old manuals and moving boxes.  I felt responsible to clean out the boxes and carts before I left.  So much had changed in my time with the company.  We had gone through a merge, which ended in many lay-offs and a complete culture upheaval.  Gone were the warm meetings, filled with listening ears; they had been replaced by cold procedures and rigid budgets.  People have ceased to come before the bottom line.  Personalized service has been replaced by processes and numbers.

I wondered for a minute about the transformation of the room.  Was the room any different?  Or do we simply assign value to things?  I used to see a room designed for lunch meetings.  Now, I see one-directional computers monitors.  Rather than facing each other, we face our computers.  And as I move on to write, I remember the value that was assigned to it.  I remember our nervousness as my team met each other for the first time.  I remember the VPs presence commanding the room with enthusiasm.  I am hopeful about the power of a group of people who devote themselves to a noble cause.  To this end, I am willing to risk the corporate comforts.  With these moving boxes, I will carry out my hopes and memories from Room 113.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: