Friday, August 12, 2011

Lobby Love

This is a picture I took a few minutes ago of a lobby in a building in downtown Mountain View, California.  What do you feel when you see it?  Does it fill you with dread?  Do you imagine the horrible, stressful life of a working drone?

Me, I get a chubbie.

I love lobbies.  I always have.  I’m not sure why, but lobbies are like the prologue of a good book, or the title sequence of a show after a cliffhanger ending and a hiatus.  If you love your job, walking in to the lobby should fill you with excitement.  If you hate your job, they should, at least, make you not dread the work day so much.
I couldn't find a picture of the Oracle lobby, but this one has squares.
I first got interested in lobbies after working at Oracle (a database company) for a while.  One of my coworkers pointed out the giant grid theme on everything in the lobby.

“It’s a great big database,” he said. 

If you add to that the fact that the Oracle buildings are based on the cylinder, which is also a symbol for a database, you have to admit Larry Ellison is a bit of a nutball.  It makes me wonder if there were people like him who hid symbols in things to make conspiracy theorists go nuts.
I shudder to think what they'd look like if Ellison was in the porn industry.
As I moved into games, I became excited by lobbies.  I would drive to work, park my car, walk inside the lobby, take a deep breath and say “I make games.”  After that, I could do anything.  I sat at my desk until I threw my back out (three times).  I worked all day, including weekends, to make the games more fun.  Walking into a lobby was like what I imagined taking drugs was like.
I don't know what they sign is supposed to say.  "Hok a loogie here?"
Later, as I moved to less prestigious jobs with crummier lobbies, the effect dwindled a bit.  The peaked ceiling at Eidos wasn’t bad, but the pathetic, unstaffed, receptionist’s desk at GlobalVR made me want to run and hide.
Nice tile, but doesn't pull you in, you know?
Now I work at home and get no lobby love.  When I do happen to walk through a lobby, I get a big rush of excitement.  It makes me want to be successful.
I think I'll take the elevator.
Someday, I will publish my game, my novel, my “12 Months of Shirtless Matthew” pin-up calendar.  I will make gobs of cash, and I will get a real office with real workers.  When it comes time to pick a building, I’ll look at safety, size, natural light, and location.  However, you know I’ll pick the one with the cool lobby.

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