Moving house, so they say, is one of the most stressful of experiences…. Has anyone tried uprooting a business and relocating it across London recently? We did!
We are a company of highly organised professionals – we could cope with this – “simples” to quote Aleksandr Orlov!
We made lists, arranged packing boxes, labelled everything – including each other – and made plans, made more lists, revised plans, re-made lists and drew up a schedule (more than once). We arranged to hire a Man with a Van, enlisted the help of friends and family, and engaged the IT professionals to take care of all our computer needs. How could we fail? We forgot one thing – Murphy’s Law! The little spanner in the works that fate likes to toss about every now and again….
Despite all our careful planning, multiple lists, schedules and plans, if it could go wrong, it did!
When your ultimate Landlord is a multi-national corporate entity, there is almost no end to the legal hoops that require jumping through, nor the number of firms of Solicitors who require papers signed in triplicate, in blood, on a tablet of stone…. This all takes an endless amount of negotiation and these people do seem to exist in a different space/time continuum from our own highly organised world! Sadly deadlines become elastic and take on an entirely different meaning.
Our chosen new offices, a beautiful bespoke space next to Deptford Bridge DLR Station, shone out like a tantalising beacon in the distance, as we camped in less than ideal but extremely helpfully proffered temporary office space in Dartford.
We had new team members too, in the shape of a ladybird infestation who came out to play when the sun was shining in the right direction. In our eagle’s eerie we enjoyed restricted WIFI access to our systems, restricted access to files and other important information (all safely in storage awaiting the journey to the Royal Borough of Greenwich) and bravely smiled at colleagues, clients and customers alike as we spoke to them over the ‘phone! They did not know – Deaf Umbrella prides itself on seamless service and we were determined to ensure that this was delivered in the usual fashion.
Our CIC programme continued – staff manfully carried laptops and all other necessary equipment to the Library; first in Bexleyheath and then in Deptford.
Our Work Preparation candidates enjoyed a change of scene, but the course was delivered without interruption.
Finally the day of the move was upon us – just one day before the Official Opening of our new offices by the Mayor of Greenwich! We were very proud that, on the designated opening day, nobody knew what difficulties, delays, frustrations, problems or indeed occasional tantrums we endured. The bubbles were popping, the orange juice and canapés were enjoyed, the new furniture sparkled in the background – as did the staff – and the guests all enjoyed themselves and marvelled at our new space and how smoothly the move seemed to have gone…. Who would guess?!
A week on we are making the final tweaks and adjustments to Deaf Umbrella’s new home. We have some outstanding DIY tasks, but these are just cosmetic and will be sorted very soon. We have to re-arrange some furniture, but again that is an adjustment rather than a major issue. We are now all seasoned commuters once again (some of us have had a very long break from the trains) but the transport links are good and we have our journeys all worked out to a “t” now. We have explored the local supermarket, found all the best stalls in the local market and, most important of all, tonight we are going for a drink after work to check out the best of the local amenities!
Deaf Umbrella is delighted to be in the Royal Borough of Greenwich – we think we will like it here very much indeed!