Friday, April 18, 2008

'Tis the Season

No, not Christmas, but office cleaning.

Having just cleaned out my desk in my home office, we now have received notices here at my community college that we will be getting new furniture in early June. Consequently, we are to clean out our desks, file cabinets and bookcases, boxing everything up in preparation for this moving about of furniture.

Now, you would think that the announcement that we are getting new furniture would be cause for rejoicing. But you would be wrong.

All the office occupants here have become rather like pack rats. Professors have tunneled into their little burrows and stowed away, for lo these many years, books, papers, doo-dads, Lord knows what all. And, frankly, they are now deeply resentful that they might have to rid themselves of some of this detritus.

(thank goodness, this photo is NOT of the office I am in!)

It is really quite humorous to listen to these conversations. Grumble, grumble, mutter, mutter--who do they think they are?

I was flabbergasted at this reaction. See--the furniture here is what one might call from the early random collector and discarded items period. Nothing matches. Some of the items would not be in offices in state government. Trust me, having worked in state government, I know dull green desks when I see them.

In the office I share with two full time faculty, we have three desks--two are beige metal with a faux wooden top, the third is green metal, same top. We have two white bookcases that one of the full time faculty brought in, one short metal bookcase in taupe, another tall bookcase in beige. And the three desk chairs that we have are all different.

The new furniture will be modular (and matching), which may be part of the uproar. Faculty have collected small round tables, coffee tables, side tables. They have boudoir lamps, refrigerators, coffee pots, microwaves, radios. Every imaginable accoutrement which gives each office the vague air of a college dorm room. The word is, all these will have to go when the new modular furniturre is in place.

{YAWN} That's me barely concealing my boredom with the griping.

I have slowly set about tidying my things to store in boxes. And, in the process, I came upon this note I had posted to the door--it was making the rounds last year in email.


1. You accidentally enter your PIN on the microwave.
2. You haven't played solitaire with real cards in years.
3. You have a list of 15 phone numbers to reach your family of three.
4. You e-mail the person who works at the desk next to you.
5. Your reason for not staying in touch with friends and family is that they don't have e-mail addresses.
6. You pull up in your own driveway and use your cell phone to see if anyone is home to help you carry in the groceries.
7. Every commercial on television has a web site at the bottom of the screen.
8. Leaving the house without your cell phone, which you didn't even have the first 20 or 30 (or 60) years of your life, is now a cause for panic and you turn around to go and get it.
10. You get up in the morning and go on line before getting your coffee.
11. You start tilting your head sideways to smile. : )
12. You're reading this and nodding and laughing.
13. Even worse, you know exactly to whom you are going to forward this message.
14. You are too busy to notice there was no #9 on this list.
15. You actually scrolled back up to check that there wasn't a #9 on this list.

AND NOW U R LAUGHING at yourself.

Updates on the office refurbishing as news is forthcoming. I just got
the official email, which concluded thusly:

"On Friday, June 13th, after 5:00 PM, the movers should be removing and disposing of furniture from (said office) Bay. Removing carpet and painting (two coats) can commence immediately with new carpet and furniture being installed by June 20th. During that week, staff from (said office) must function elsewhere."

R-i-g-h-t! Function elsewhere--hhmmmmm!


Ginger said...

Oh my. This is practically the unpardonable sin! We moved the English professors TWICE in the last 4 years--out of the old ad building into a remodeled house, then a year ago into the newly built ad building--and we're STILL hearing about it.

Good luck...

JeanMac said...

Great post - I love your list of 2008 - guilty as noted. Have a great Friday.

Ginnie said...

All I can say is that I loved it when I had to re-organize. It was a great time to throw out a lot of unused stuff and hone down. Now I try not to accumulate again...but it's hard.

Beverly said...

I am trying to get rid of STUFF at my house. It always seems to mushroom into more.

I love tghe list. Oh, so true. I'm not much of a cell phone user, I must admit. The main reason I have one is that my son has no land line, so I have the same kind as his so that there is no usage of minutes. Oh, the things we do.

I can think of some good places to function...

Anvilcloud said...

I don't suppose anyone minds the furniture, but it entails a lot of work for people who could rather be doing something else. Filing and organizing such stuff is not the strong suit of many an academic.

Ruth said...

I like your list, especially # 3, 4 and 10 which I can relate to. We just had a big office move to a newly renovated floor this week.

Tossing Pebbles in the Stream said...

Is this furniture upgrade do to that bureaucratic rule. "We are approaching the end of the fiscal year and we have a large surplus in our budget. We must spend it or they will cut back next year's budget!"

Pam said...

I always find things I thought I had lost when I reorganize, I like that.

Love your list, and yup, I checked back on number nine. LOL

Mary said...

12. You're reading this and nodding and laughing.

I'm not nodding and laughing only because the numbered list is true, I'm laughing out loud because I've seen the same uproar before! How can a professor with 25+ years of STUFF packed away in every nook and corner of his/her office be prepared to MOVE?! LOL!

Government furniture vintage post-war 1950's - yeah, I've used those green vinyl chairs that squeak.

Some office workers are hopeless packrats. A female professor I worked with in Delaware was shocked to learn our floor was going to be thoroughly cleaned and all office items were to be packed within two weeks. We had to find volunteers from an outside agency to pack her office...the job was too overwhelming for her and no one in the office cared to help :o)

I spent 15 years in an office at a high school in Maryland - it only took 1/2 day to pack up my belongings when I left and straighten for my successor.

entoto said...

Hee hee! Poor sticks in the mud, whatever will they do?

And will you be able to "function elsewhere?" I don't think you are a robot.

dguzman said...

Back in grad school, all my (English) professors had offices like that one photograph, or worse! There was one guy who never handed back essays because he would lose them in his office. Personally, I don't think he actually graded them... but that's another matter!

RuthieJ said...

The hardest thing I had to get used to in my current job was the "clean desk" policy. We aren't allowed to leave any papers out on our desks when we go home. I don't generate much paper in this position, but I do like my stacks of stuff next to my computer. I guess maybe that's why my desk at home has become much more cluttered now.
Great LOL post, Donna!