The Blog

Adventures in the New Office

The big move happened this weekend–the movers transported all the big stuff over to the new office.  Which is, by the way, still in total disarray.  However, after a few minor delays, I actually did get to read slush today, so I might not get that far behind schedule after all.

When Gordon was buying the house, he mentioned that the seller was the sort to cut a lot of corners.  Well, there’s plenty of evidence of that everywhere you look.  Most of it’s just stupid–like, why bother to repaint if you’re going to do it half-assed?  But one of the things that’s perplexing is that the painters just like painted over everything.  The hinges of the doors, electrical outlets.  Instead of, you know, painting *around* them.  

The door to the office apparently fell off after the movers were done delivering stuff, so Gordon had it propped open.  I didn’t realize this, and accidentally screwed it up some more.  The hinges *cracked,* so not exactly high quality.  And so when we tried to remove the hinge since it has to be replaced, we were all but stymied by the gobs of paint that have buried the screws in the wood.

Got hopelessly, hopelessly lost on the way in this morning.  Had Google Maps directions, but they LIED to me.  I printed out a zoomed in view of the in-city portion of my journey, but only had the larger overview of the highway stuff–this was my downfall.  There’s a place where it tells me to turn right, and bear right onto a certain road, but when I looked at the map again when I got home, it’s very clearly bearing LEFT.  But at least now I know which way to go next time.  My trip home tonight was without incident, and it was pretty quick, so I’m happy about that.  It’s funny–the new office is less than two miles away from the old one, but I think the commute is going to be much easier.  We’re now very close to the highway entrance, so there’s very little city driving required, and I’m far enough away from the tunnels that I won’t have to fight through all that traffic.  

Haven’t done much exploring of the new area yet, though I had lunch at a nearby Chinese restaurant.  Quite good, actually–they make a mean Schezuan chicken (though there’s a definite language barrier problem, so good luck with any special orders).  Also, they stock Sprite Zero, which is nice, since it’s hard to find a restaurant that has a sugar-free/caffeine-free soda available.  

When I got home, however, I poked around on Google Maps, searching for things in the area.  Turns out there’s a post office about three blocks away, and a branch of our bank two blocks away from the post office.  There’s a Rite Aid around the corner from the bank.  All good things.  So maybe we’ll be switching our submissions address after all.  No word on that yet–have to talk to the boss.  He was saying that it took us five years to train the monkeys at our current post office, so it might be better to just stick with them.  But I don’t know–despite our best efforts, there’s really only two people there who know what the hell they’re doing, and one of them moves about as quickly as continental drift.

Also discovered that the Journal Square PATH Train station has parking available, so I can just drive right there with no walking.  Hopefully it doesn’t cost an arm and a leg.  But it also looks to be much more convenient for me as a commuter, since JSQ is right near Rt. 1-9, which I use to get home.



  • Rob Darnell

    2:46 am Mar-29-2006

    It took you five years to train the monkeys at the post office?

    Heh heh, you cam probably guess what images are going through my head.

    Anyway, I’m curious about what they needed to know.

  • Patrick M.

    8:07 am Mar-29-2006

    I’m confused by the train station parking. It sounds like you drive all the way to work and I would assume park in the driveway.
    Does the train go from your house to Gordon’s? Might this be an alternative? What kind of walk would you have to Gordon’s at the far end of the train if you have to drive to JSP?

    This dilemma is greatly hindering my effectiveness today and is seriously imposing on my life hapiness. :|

    It’s getting hard to breath. The walls are closing in.

  • JeremyT

    8:43 am Mar-29-2006

    Sounds like a step up! Always nice when life becomes more convenient and not less. Mine is in one of those awkward stages where I hope it’s going to become more, but there’s no guarantee. (Finally started seriously looking for a new job).


  • The Slush God

    8:53 am Mar-29-2006

    Rob —

    The PO monkeys, most of them, know how to handle your standard PO requests, but when it comes to business stuff, a lot of them don’t know what to do. For instance, exchanging IRCs for stamps is often a hassle. It’s little things like that we had to train them for.

    Patrick —

    The the train is for when I want to go into Manhattan.


    Good luck! You’ve needed to get away from that place for a while, considering what it was doing to your allergies. I hope switching jobs will take care of that problem.

  • Trent Hergenrader

    9:35 am Mar-29-2006

    Hilarious post.

    1) I lived in an apartment in Chicago where corners were actually rounded due to the number of paint layers.

    2) I am convinced both Google Maps and Mapquest are programmed by criminals who try to steer you down back alleys so they can mug you and strip the car. One time in Seattle I had a meeting with a software developer who just moved offices. Mapquest led me to the center of an old farm field about twenty minutes outside town. I called the guy and asked if their office was out in the country. He said, “No, we’re by the mall in Bellevue. How the hell did you get out there?”

    3) I sincerely hope none of the USPS employees read “The Slush God Speaketh.” I can’t figure out if that scenario would be worse for you or me.

  • Patrick M.

    10:24 am Mar-29-2006

    Sweet Relief!!!

  • --E

    11:24 am Mar-29-2006

    1. You actually used an online mapping source and didn’t double-check against a real road atlas? Next you’ll be telling me you’re getting one of those on-board navigators that talk to you. ::eyeroll::

    (Sorry–those of us who are not directionally challenged should have more sympathy. But inability to navigate is as incomprehensible to me as colorblindness, or discalculia. I accept their existence, but I cannot fathom what they feel like.)

    2. LOL on the paint job. Every now and again I contemplate moving all my crap out of my apartment and hiring some real painters to come in and strip the walls and redo it. I suspect the original 1948 paint is under there somewhere. And yep, my hinges and sockets are all painted over.

    3. YAY on the PATH train! Jenny was saying the other day how we need to have more dinners than just the post-KGB ones.

  • Chris Willrich

    11:42 am Mar-29-2006

    –E, I got to use one of the talking navigators last weekend and it was cute to listen to it when I decided to take a different route. There was a steady drone of “turn right on street x,” “turn right on street y,” “turn right on street z…” At least it never lost its temper. Have to admit it was fun to use.

    Slush God and Jeremy, good luck with the new office and the new job.

  • --E

    5:42 pm Mar-29-2006

    Chris, I experienced one of them when visiting a friend who had it in her car. Drove me crazy. The effect was one of having a really, really stupid back-seat driver who was on Valium. Maybe you had a better program than my friend’s.

  • Chris Willrich

    6:35 pm Mar-29-2006

    –E, “on Valium” really nails the voice, but yeah, maybe it gave better info than your friend’s machine. Also, most of the trip was straight down one road, so it was quiet most of the time.

  • The Slush God

    8:36 pm Mar-29-2006


    I didn’t check a regular atlas, but I always zoom in on the Google map to examine the route, and sometimes even switch to the satellite view if the map view looks a bit confusing (satellite view is also great for scoping out whether or not there’s parking in an area). It looked simple enough, so I didn’t think I had to cross reference multiple sources.

    Chris —

    Thanks for stopping by!

    Everyone —

    Chris has a great new Imago Bone/Persimmon Gaunt story in an upcoming issue of F&SF, called “Penultima Thule.” With a cover illustrated by the wonderful Cory & Catska Ench too!

  • Chris Willrich

    9:15 pm Mar-29-2006

    Slush God, you’re too kind. Ia! Slush God fthagn! And absolutely ditto on the gorgeous cover.

  • Mary Robinette Kowal

    3:44 am Mar-30-2006

    I was on tour in NJ and quickly learned that google map just doesn’t work there. It doesn’t know how to deal with the jug handles.