Friday, January 27, 2012

Deja Vu Pentagon Style

Heaps of deja vu lately.  This time, it was a piece in Wired about the shopping opportunities at the Pentagon.  It is a nicely snarky piece.  To be clear, there are good reasons to have some shopping opportunities in the building.  Why?  Because it is a damned big building, making it had to duck out and run errands, and because the folks there work long, long hours.  They try to sneak in some errands or some exercise sometime during the day after arriving perhaps around 6am and leaving around 6 pm (we worked half-days--a lame joke).

So, let me run through Ackerman's tour of the building with some of my own experiences in mind:
  • Candy shop.  Hmm, not that I can remember, but given the tradition of folks bringing back chocolate from wherever they went in Europe for their co-workers, this might have been handy for the forgetful.
  • Art of War.  Military folks like military art.  But more importantly, one of the traditions in my office and probably around the building was to give someone a framed picture signed by all of their co-workers, and I think this was the shop form which these sprung.  I am most proud of my picture, although not so proud of the picture of the picture which depicts the effects of the food court and the birthday cakes (for every promotion or departure or birthday).
  • Food court.  Oh, yes.  Where else to go for lunch since leaving the building for a quick lunch is hard to do (especially my year since they had closed the escalator from the metro into the building after 9/11. Just getting to the metro required a walk through and around the building).  The real problem here is that the food is mostly of the not so healthy kind (even before Taco Bell arrived) for a bunch of folks staffing desks.  Perhaps that accounts for the traffic into the POAC (the gym) and the running lanes outside.
  • Military Bling.  Not for me, but given the long hours, how else do you buy stuff for the spouse frustrated at the long hours.
  • Pedicures.  Again, not easy to just run out for such stuff.  Never did get one.
  • Florist.  Again, heaps of spouses needing some pick me ups.
  • Hair care.  Absolutely.  Need to keep hair short and neat.  I was less than thrilled that the barber here had no remorse, no bedside manner when saying that my hair was in retreat.
  • Bags.  Yep, they have to care stuff.
  • Electronics.  I don't remember flatscreens, but headphones, stuff like that, sure. 
  • Tchotchkes.  Not just for tourists but also for folks working in the building needing to buy stuff for relatives and friends.  I did buy a jacket there with Joint Staff on it as a souvenir for my year.
  • Sushi?  Really?
The photo essay missed the travel agency, the bank, and a few other shops that I am trying to remember.

No comments: