Who Gets The Window?

Question to the Workplace Doctors about a room with a view: I am one of two supervisors that want the larger cubical by the window.

My company is currently moving people to other areas. This is opening up vacant cubical space. I am one of two supervisors that want the larger cubical by the window. I am a female, been with the company 26 years, have a degree, have a larger workload and files to maintain, and have been in my cubical for 10 years. The other supervisor is a male, been with the company 2 years, does not have a degree, less files to maintain, and has been in his current cubical for 1 year. Our Manager mentioned that we would have to “duke it out” as to who would get the window cubical. I prematurely said I am fine where I am at, but now I really want this cubical. How do I approach my boss that I now have a desire for this cubical?

Signed, Want To Look Out

Dear Want To Look Out:

It seems as if your mamager may have responded to your request without much thought. Other pressures during a period of change make even the best administrators look for easy solutions. Just for perspective — Who has the authority to assign space? Why is space not assigned rather than letting the strongest get the best space? and — How big is the supervisor’s office and is it too in play? I suggest meeting with the supervisors and refocusing this opportunity for him/her to direct space use in a manner related to office harmony, success and productivity.

The meeting should be soon, “I just need a minute of your time for an important decision”. This should be respectful, direct, honest, and allow the supervisor an opportunity to maintain their position of authority. You may want to engineer involvement of the coworker in the meeting–it would then be a three-way meeting. If the supervisor continues to distance him/her self from the decision, then meet with the co-worker. Point out the new authority both of you have to make this decision and recommend the criteria on which such decisions as this should be made now and in the future. Perhaps this could lead to a new management team along with increases in salary coming out of this issue. If no one wants to commit to logical problem solving, reorganize you current space and leave the issue at the door. It should be important to the supervisor. If it is not, your dignity in moving past the issue is.

Jack White, Guest Respondent with a world of varied management experience.

William Gorden