There are projects that you do not forget for many years. There are those that you prefer to put out of your mind. Yet there are also those to which we recall with a big smile. One of them was the nearly 3‑year project for Codelab’s new HQ office. Before we made this move, when the building still did not have all its windows, an unusual object appeared above the Szczecin sky.…
But before we tell the story of our small car, it’s worth mentioning what the big office is all about. In keeping with the Codelab spirit, we arranged our own “home” with a democratic compromise, having many discussions between architects and several employee representatives. However, one topic fired our imagination, and we quickly agreed — we must have it. Yes, absolutely! But let’s start from the beginning.
The story begins with a photo of a small, white, retro Fiat 500 Berlina from 1970. The long journey from the middle of Poland (Piotrkow Trybunalski) to our reception took a lot of time, countless sleepless nights, and multiple negotiations. To finally make me proud.
Fiat 500 from 1970 is even smaller than Fiat 500 from 2020. Despite the age, the car was fully functional. Still, the risk of driving it to Szczecin (around 600km) in the middle of winter was just too significant. So we have decided to send a tow truck to bring us our Fiat.
After the car has arrived, it appeared to us that having a car as a part of the office interior might not be as easy as we thought. Polish law does not define how to treat the vehicle inside the building. Can it be treated as furniture? Or should it have valid motor insurance and regular technical reviews (as the cars on the street are required)? The security aspect does not allow a vehicle containing vehicle liquids (e.g., oil, brake fluid, petrol, etc.) inside the building. Fortunately, somehow, we managed to jump these hoops.
When we were ready with all the “paperwork” (from a law and building security perspective), a new problem showed up. How does one put a car on the 4th floor of the office building? Cutting our Fiat 500 into pieces was not an option, and even though it is a small car, it is still too big for a modern elevator. Good, that my motto is: “if the doors are closed, use the window ;).”
The solution to our problem was a “flying car,” of course (you could observe the “flight” on the nationwide TVN24 news channel). You probably wonder how we could make the car land softly on the earth, as it had to be lifted 38 meters high. Well, we used a 60-meter crane and a lot of pillows (no, really). And the crane lifted our Fiat 500 and put it through the office window.
Success, right? Yes, but it’s not the end of the story. After safely putting our small car on the 4th floor, we still had nearly a year before moving to this new office. And that meant the office was just concrete; there were no windows, no doors, no technical floors — just a dirty construction site and a lot of work ahead of us. That’s why we had to cover our car with many quilts and blankets (for safety and warmth). And we also had to consider our car during construction work (e.g., when the construction team laid the technical flooring, carpets, etc.).
At the end of the story, I cannot forget about an essential aspect of one’s occupation – fun at work :). And as I found out, also contractors from Posejdon have a great sense of humor. When our Fiat finally stood on the new carpet, they put a fake oil stain under the car. A few people almost had a heart attack after photos with oil stain had been seen by the Posejdon and Codelab management teams.
Speaking Halloween-ish, “trick or treat” ;).
Ps. I am sure that you are curious what the whole of this amazing office looks like? Before we can invite you for a coffee, check out these few photos — we miss our office a lot 🙁 🙁 🙁 Maybe you would like to work there with us someday?