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Wednesday, February 04, 2009


Steve Cole reports:

I held off writing this blog entry, waiting for the "first official normal day of work in the new office" but it seems that is a process, not an event. Every day is a little more normal, but the move (while complete) is far from finished. There are dozens of things on the "punch list" (from replacing the toilets to changing the locks to getting the real estate people to remove the sign that says "buiding for sale") and a couple of hundred boxes of stuff yet to be unpacked (two or three of which have been waiting to be unpacked the last time we moved, ten years ago).

The office is gigantic compared to the previous one. What used to be the 600-square-foot office is now in the front two-thirds of a 3,000 square-foot building. (The back part of the building now contains equipment and work areas which were previously in the warehouse. Having them in heated/air-conditioned space is better, much better.) I have a private office (as does Petrick) and Leanna's office is three times the previous size. We have a kitchen (instead of a corner of one office with a sink) and a separate conference room for meetings (instead of using a big table that was in the office I shared with Petrick, which was an issue as every time we had a meeting, Petrick and I had to clean off the table).

We actually "moved in" about ten days ago when a moving company with a lift-gate truck moved the desks and the bigger equipment, but we spent most of last week (working 14+ hours per day) getting the warehouse stuff moved to the new warehouse (and the mezzanine taken down and loaded on a truck so we could sell it to another company) so we didn't do a lot of "work" in the new office. When we finally got everything moved (Saturday, a week after the moving company) our Internet system went down (Leanna plugged something in backwards as we tried to figure out the wiring the previous owners left behind) so we went home and took Sunday off to rest. Monday we had a visitor (Phil Reed from Steve Jackson Games) who was here to see our print-on-demand plant, which tied up most of the day. Tuesday (yesterday) I lost an hour meeting the old landlord (who was stunned at how clean we left the old building and promised to return our deposit promptly) and another hour to a dental appointment and spent the rest of the day sending apologies for emails I had not answered yet (and getting the Origins events registered, which was a lot more trouble than it had to be as their database won't talk to our Macintosh computers). So now it's Wednesday, and I am hoping to get something done this morning as I promised to spend this afternoon with Steve Petrick working on SFB Module G3.

Moving to a new building is a process that never ends. The "punch list" includes changing the locks (who knows how many people the old owners gave keys to?), paying the movers and the ironworker crew who took down the mezzanine, putting up shelves, adding a lock to the door of the bathroom Leanna uses (I had never seen a bathroom without a lock), getting the HVAC people to replace the thermostats (the computerized ones the previous owner used stopped working during the six months the building was empty), replacing some of the light fixtures, setting up the last of the equipment, figuring out the ethernet system, hanging pictures, hanging clocks (anybody seen the box with MY atomic clock?), figuring out the new insurance policy, going through boxes and putting stuff away (most of the stuff I try to put away goes in some spot currently occupied by something that belongs in some other spot which is currently occupied by something that belongs in some other temporarily occupied spot), handling emergencies that came up during the two weeks we were moving (legal forms to shut down a pirate website, a starving artist who needs to get paid, Origins event paperwork), getting mail orders out (we haven't shipped anything in over a week, and the shipments we packed Monday didn't go anywhere as UPS couldn't find the new office, and in fact they didn't find us until 6pm last night), trying to get all four Kyocera print engines to work at the same time (various issues including a part broken during the move, figuring out the network, routine maintenance, and mysterious software glitches), revising the product schedule (looks like a three-week delay for G3, and a two-week delay for Briefing #2, and a five-week delay for PD-Feds), getting new signs made for the door (right now, we just have a laser-printed piece of paper that says "ADB" in letters ten inches high), ordering new chairs for the conference table, kitchen, and office visitors (we want ten that match, which kind of leaves out cheap used office furniture places unless Leanna gets really lucky), and, well, that's just page one of the "punch list" and I won't bore you with pages two and three.

Once this settles down (maybe another month?) we should be much more efficient in getting work done, but for the time being, up to a quarter of every day goes into something involving in finishing the move, not into new products or running the company. But we HAD to move (we were choking to death in the old office) and this WILL be worth it.