Now you might think it a little odd that a company where the head dude walks around in Birkenstocks holds what's called a White Glove Inspection. At least once a year Fred warns us that inspection time is coming so that we make sure to get things cleaned up and organized. To be honest I think I have one of the offices he looks into to determine when to trigger these as I certainly seem to collect more than my share of gunk.
Fred is proud of the company and its employees and with the clean look of the new buuilding he wants to makes sure everyone buys in to keeping it neat and orderly. The general rule is that there should be no boxes on anyone's floor space but as we have been through these for a couple of years now it seems to be slowly morphing into keeping a clean desk and storing away office supplies. So many people come through for tours of the unique and fun space that is ETC there's also the desire to have them see a nice AND neat place to work.
For days leading up to the inspection, employees hustle around in their spare time to empty boxes, recycle leftovers, wipe down the horizontal work surfaces and conspire how to hide things from prying eyes. Fred almost always finds everything. Usually about a day before the walk through, Technical Services gets various odd tested and prototype equipment dumped on them from R+D and Manufacturing and then we run even a little crazier catching up. I personally have talked about loading up all the oddities from my area on a cart and with the help of some wireless technology and associates in other departments figured I could push the cart from department to department avoiding the inspection crew so that I could return back to my grotto with the cart contents while still passing. Although a fun game for sure, Fred never takes the same path twice. He's smart.
The day arrives and no one knows when Fred and his chart-toting minions will pass through with bright pink Post-It notes. You see, each item that is deemed out of sorts is documented and tagged with the bright pink stickies. In a few cases, entire offices have failed with the Post-It being placed on the door. It is those rare cases where the note also has something written on it like, "Condemned," (engineer) or "Not a great example." (vice-president)
This year I lucked out as I was busy in a meeting during his trip through our area and that's a good thing as I may have been a candidate for a sticker on the door. I felt bad enough that I came in over the weekend with the help of my lovely better half to dig through my stacked filing system and dust bunnies.
Truth is I think we all feel better that Fred does this and are still thankful no white gloves are really involved.