Here’s proof that things can seem horribly bad one week and just peachy the next.
On March 18, employees of the Mississippi Department of Revenue endured the ear-splitting sound of a hail onslaught banging on a tin roof and aluminum walls. Seven days later, they heard the wonderful words they’ve awaited for nearly two decades: “We’re moving.”
With that announcement, the several hundred employees who have spent their workdays at a former Mississippi Power warehouse in Raymond the past 17 years learned their extended exile would soon end.
“Spontaneous cheering and applause” broke out Monday morning when the announcement came over the loudspeaker, said Kathy Waterbury, DOR spokeswoman.
“We’re all excited about moving to a proper office building,” she said.
Proper office building?
How about a whole new world.
By mid-summer 2014 they’ll have left behind an aging over-sized storage shed on Springdale Road for the modern conveniences of the former WorldCom headquarters in Clinton, known today as South Pointe Business Park.
It’ll be Christmas in July (July 1, specifically).
But first, the logistics of the move must be decided. No room for delay or error here, says Waterbury, not when your job is to keep the state’s cash flow flowing.
“We can’t miss a day’s deposits,” she said. “The state needs the cash.”
Waterbury took part in the tax collection agency’s move from Jackson’s Woolfolk building to the Raymond warehouse those many years ago. They essentially completed the move over a Thanksgiving weekend, she says.
“We put a lot of time and a lot of planning into that move,” she says.
“We remember how we did the move. We’ll look at that again.”
The biggest change from 17 years ago will be the computer network. Today’s is much more extensive than what the revenue agency used in the last century.
Much of the planning has already been done, according to Waterbury. “Group after group has been out here talking to us about who needs to be next to whom… how much space they’ll need.”
One certainty, Waterbury notes, is that the days of six-by-six-foot cubicles will be over. “Everybody is going to have adequate work space and adequate storage space,” she says.
For Revenue Commissioner Ed Morgan, the move means a happier crew and an end to their complaints about intrusive birds, insects, mice, snakes and other creatures interfering with their work. “We are pleased with the results and look forward to moving into our new home,” he said of the selection of the agency’s new headquarters, practicing a bit of under-statement in a state issued press release.