Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Difference #491 between Naptown and the City That Never Sleeps

As you probably know, I recently completed a 12-week sabbatical from Eli Lilly and Company to work for the United Way of Central Indiana. It was an incredible experience and I'm so thankful that I was chosen to participate! (Rather than repeating what I've already written, if you want to read more about it, you can read a blog I wrote last week on the LiveUnitedGiveUnited blog.) I came back to Lilly and much has changed here in only 12 weeks, including my own work environment. Let's just say I wasn't very happy at my previous desk for a variety of reasons so I voluntarily signed up to "go mobile", meaning I don't actually have a desk of my own anymore and instead have a locker. Yes, a locker. Thankfully, these don't have a combination that will cause me to have nightmares about forgetting how to get into my locker to get my books and instead just have a normal key, but it's a three-part locker to store my belongings while I'm out and about all day. There are a few "mobile work areas" for the other people like me, and we just roam around until we find a suitable desk. Many people are totally freaked out by this concept but I think I'll actually really like it.

Given my new locker location within this small city that is the Lilly Corporate Center, I've been working on the optimal parking arrangements, which brings me to the title of this post. The place I think will work best for me is a large parking garage, and to enter the building, you actually cross under Delaware Street and take a 2-story escalator up to the main lobby... you know, kind of like the ones you see in New York or other big cities coming up from the subway. However, the Lilly escalators have two very entertaining signs that make them very different from the big city ones: one says "Do not rush other passengers" and the other something like "No walking or running". As a person who likes to get where I'm going quickly, I just find these signs entertaining, and they are clearly a sign of (1) Midwestern values of "just take your time" and (2) working for a company that, understandably, doesn't like accidents in the workplace. (Urban legend says there is a "citizens arrest"-like policy if you see someone walking up or down stairs without holding the handrail, but I've never experienced that in real life.) I'm thinking I may need to dig up my old Woodbrook Crossing Guard uniform and be the Escalator Police for next Halloween, but my friends in Health & Safety might not be so amused.

1 comment:

  1. Listen:
    I think we should switch environments. I would be strangely at home at Lilly and you would love Tokyo.

    For example:
    1) I always hold the handrail, but I have never seen anyone else do this in Tokyo.
    2) I don't rush around during my commute, and I know this annoys the hell out of people around me. Basically, I'm lucky enough to have a job with flexible hours so there's not need to dash for a train and knock over a little old lady in the process. (This happens)

    And here's one more thing you'll love: nobody here knows what side of the street to walk. It's a disaster. Even though cars and trains pass on the left, walking through a mall is like a pinball game. But since many people here don't drive, I don't think this kernel of "common sense" has taken root.