The entire massive opulent Bloomberg Media mothership is little more than a huddled mass of journalists, yearning to be free. Our post today about the various internal gripes against the company—crowded bathrooms, prison-like layout, mean bosses, everything—brought the following note from another insider. It is worthwhile reading:
The facts: The section on Page 1 about the elevators is true and generally has been for years. For some time reporters could take the elevator directly to the fourth floor where their desks are (a huge capacious room). For a time in 2010 it was possible to take the elevator to 4 but most people didn't know about it and longer-term employees whispered that this was a "new" thing. Apparently it didn't last. Generally speaking when you go to Bloomberg, you get in the elevator (after swiping and showing your orange ID badge) and ride directly to the sixth floor where you get your coffee and breakfast (cereal, fruit whatever) and then head to your desk. its also the place where visitors are met and re-scrutinized visually by security guards, met by whomever they've come to meet (the front desk sends Bloomberg employees email that their guests have arrived.) Sixth floor is more or less the place where the Bloomberg experience begins.
To get to the sixth floor for another cup of coffee on the sixth floor, yes you have to take two escalators up, and then two down to get back, including the famous twisty one. There are also some barely used fire escape stairways that some employees use to get between certain floors. For instance, the Businessweek group sits on the third floor, and so reporters on the wire who end up doing a story for the magazine can use this stairway to go visit the editor they happen to be working with.
The description on page three of the restroom situation is also true, but your correspondent left out some critical details. In the main men's room on the fourth floor, which would be the one that all the male reporters use, live audio including commercials from Bloomberg TV is piped in to keep you informed as you pinch off said two turds. Other men's restrooms in the building also have this odd mirror-tv thing, which plays a ghostly-looking image of the live Bloomberg TV
feed in addition to the audio. It's very strange. It has the effect of causing you to hurry up and get back to your desk where the volume from the numerous TV sets is turned down.
Winkler, known for his "enemy was the human" comment as documented by Gawker, isn't exactly known for being kind when he's unhappy. Fridays are always marked by "Matt's Notes," a weekly summary of what was good and bad about the week's coverage. Usually written by a Winkler aide whose name I now forget, a mention in the note (which arrives by email, and has a terminal function — you type MATW — (Go is the ENTER key in Bloomberg speak) and is also available by video, can make or ruin your week/month/year at Bloomberg. My first week as a Bloomberg empoyee I scored something called an MMWIN or Market-Moving Win that beat the competition (Dow Jones, Reuters, etc) by something like 7 minutes. I was mentioned in the note and was told I should be very happy about this. Later in the year I managed to be mentioned both for something good and for messing something up.
These notes are great reading as examples of Winkler's weird hyper-Type A personality, and it would be terrific if Gawker got a source to send them through occasionally. The reason that no one will is that every email — or message in Bloomberg speak — in or out — is tracked. But someone could print them out and fax them. Gawker? Bloomberg peoples? Are you willing?