This is my second day here at the CBC head office in Toronto. This is a weird place.
You’re probably asking: What is Geoff doing at the CBC head office in Toronto? That’s a question I can’t answer just yet — you’ll have to wait until next Tuesday. (The irony is that this won’t be posted until after I can say what I’m doing at the CBC. So I could tell you why I’m here. But hey, it’s all about telling a story.)
I came in yesterday, taking the GO Train from Clarkson, in the very west of Mississauga. The trip out was quite pleasant (the joys of express trains), and relaxing ... so I thought. The train arrived smoothly and without urgency. I was expecting a leisurely walk to the CBC building (I was a half hour early). Wrong expectation.
As soon as the doors opened, I was overwhelmed with a panic, similar to that of stampeding animals. I felt the urge to move very quickly, and stay with the herd, er, crowd.
Now I remember why I like living in Calgary — less pressure.
Wandering down Front Street, I quite quickly found myself at the main doors. Not only was I very early, but I was remarking at how HUGE this place is. The building is the size of a city block, no question. It’s 10 stories tall, not counting the basements. It’s so big it has at least four sets of elevators — probably six or more. They’re colour-coded so you can find them easily.
That’s assuming, of course, that you can find anything in this building. King Minos’ labyrinth wasn’t this confusing. (Nor was the 6th floor of the Math and Computer building at the University of Waterloo, despite its near-legendary lack of structure.)
It’s a bit of a surreal experience. It’s a true media outlet. (The only thing the CBC doesn’t touch is print — but give them the chance, and I’d bet they would.) You’d almost expect to run into one of a large number of semi-famous people (I reserve "famous" for those instantly recognizable) roaming the halls.
I have yet to see Peter Mansbridge, though.
It took me most of yesterday to get the gist of how this place works. Luckily for me, Brenda returned this morning to really get things moving. While I have a vague idea of what I need to do, Brenda had a lot of the details I didn’t.
The building offers some interesting services, aside from the media aspects, of course. There’s the Glenn Gould Studio, a concert hall cum recording studio; robotic mail delivery; an in-house credit union (almost every employee here is unionized); a very in-depth intranet; a beautiful atrium (big bucks in construction, no doubt) that includes a sushi bar; a museum (or three); and probably a lot of stuff I just haven’t found yet.
And I’ve only been here two days. I’ll be here for a couple of days more, though. Then it’s my sister’s wedding, and back home.
Three weeks later, I’m off on another adventure of a lifetime.
Which I can’t tell you about.