The Office Building

I work in a bankrupt building.

My own off again on again employment history over the past decade and the employment history of various people I know has, at various times, involved working in this building so I am passing familiar with it’s story.

The current owners bought it a dozen years ago at a bit above it’s worth, even though it needed work. Due to that ‘above it’s worth’ bit only some of the work was done. Then, when they had it appraised at the height of the property boom they borrowed against the equity to build on some vacant land that came with the building.

But that proved problematical. The sort of problems that require actual explosives to fix.

So more money was borrowed against the building that did not yet exist.

It never would.

The property market crashed around the time the explosions were done.

Leaving the owners owing about 3 times what the building is currently worth & with fewer renters.

Thus, bankruptcy.

The building has a number of unusual features. Some of these are explained by the whole ‘failed to do needed work in the first place’ thing and others are a result of the bankruptcy.

And one is just weird.

First we have this panel

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It’s had the trouble light on since mid 2010. We (me, my coworkers and the employees in the other companies in the building) don’t know what is in trouble or what line the fault is on (or even what is meant by ‘line’) and it can’t be reset because no one admits to having the key to box encasing the panel.

Whoever it was supposed to alert has no doubt long since pulled the plug on it on their end I’m sure.

Then there is this call box

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We don’t know who it calls. There is no other box like it in the building. If you push the call button (and I do, randomly, because I am like that) the green light comes on.

And nothing else happens.

If you push the other button the green light goes off.

We figure some guy somewhere in Poland is really pissed because his phone randomly rings and no one is ever there.

Then there is this door.

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We don’t know what’s behind that door. The only way to get to it is to put a ladder on the deck and climb up on the roof.

But the deck hasn’t been safe to get on since about 2010 or so and anyway the sliding glass doors out to it haven’t been able to open since 2009.

Possibly you could get onto the roof of the area where I took the photo (half the building is one level, the half I work in is two floors) and then rappel down to that lower roof and access the door that way.

There is no interior access into that ceiling space either.

So what was the purpose of it in the first place? Why would you put a random door someplace that even in the best of situations would be difficult to get to?

And then there is this decorative floor lamp

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Brought in from someone’s house because the light in the ceiling was burnt out & was too difficult (or something) to replace & possible investors were expected.

But then the bulb in the floor lamp burnt out & the guests left. So the lamp was taken home and now we (3 businesses on this floor) just have a dark hallway.

Last, there is this situation in the second floor bathroom

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Know what’s wrong with it? The inside part of the handle that connects to the chain that lifts the water flap is broken.

Know how much it is to fix? $8.

Know how long the toilet has been out of order? Almost 3 weeks.

And I expect it will be repaired never. Unless one of us finally cracks and goes and buys the part ourselves.

We’re thinking of putting a collection jar in the lobby with a ‘toilet handle repair donations’ sign on it.

And maybe another one for light bulbs.

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2 comments to The Office Building

  • Interesting situation – I can see why you might want to work from home… Or bring in your own lightbulb ;)

  • A curious collection indeed! I love the idea of you pushing the call button just to see what happens. Bet you might even have a few imaginative suggestions for who could be on the other end