Category: Jobs


Work of Heart

I am typing this post at home after my first day at my “new” old job.

I applied for and was offered my old job back in the medical staff office that I quit around 2-3 years ago (I’ve lost track of actual time on when I left).

I seriously question my sanity in going back to a job that I swear gave me a mild form of PTSD.  But at the same time, so much has changed since I left that I am no longer worried about the stress of the position.

One – there are now more people in the department – up to 5 staff members now (when there were just 3).

Two – there are employees who know what they’re doing and are certified in the job with many years of experience working there now.  I won’t be asking questions and receiving non-answers any more, nor will I be left to figure it out for myself.

Three – I have leadership who knows what it is like to struggle and knows my history with the position.  And they hired me anyway because they believe in my strengths and know I can do the job with the right resources.

My first day was less than productive, but also hilarious and heartwarming.

I have no computer to do my work on – but it is on order!  I’m currently using an old laptop they have in the office until the computer comes in (which they were informed today might take as long as 2 weeks).

I have my old desk back.  A really old desk from a position I was in about 10-15 years ago.  As I walked in and the desk was pointed out, I paused and thought, “that looks familiar”.  Sitting down at it, the scratch on the top and the drawer that doesn’t quite open right seemed to whisper, “Hello old friend”.  Speaking with another coworker who stopped by the office later in the day confirmed, yes indeed, it is the same desk I sat at when I first transitioned from food service employee to administrative assistant all those years ago.

My coworkers are a joy to work with.  Each of them wanting to know what they could do to help me, all while I’m asking them what I can do to help ease the work load from them.  They have nicknames for each other and laugh together at the smallest of joys.

It’s a different atmosphere in this office both from before and from where I came from.  It is a stark contrast to have one office employee refer to you as a “b*tch” (and not in a joking manner) on your last day and the new office employees excited that you’ve joined their team that they include you in their nicknames for each other on the first day (officially dubbed “work of heart” – but with the assurance I can change it if I want).

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Work of Heart Bear – She is an artistic Care Bear who shows that creativity and hard work can create beautiful things. (Wikipedia)

I’ve had enough self-growth in this past year to realize that the disgruntled employee calling me a bad name is a reflection on them and not on me.  I consider it tremendous growth to have overheard it (I was meant to hear the comment), let it go without a comment and feel some amusement at the same time.  I am secure in my knowledge of my own actions and behavior that I know I’m not who they think I am.

I am one month away from being at my company for the beginning of my 23rd year.  Today felt like coming home.

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I’ve spent the last couple of years attempting to make my life easier.  In some areas, I’ve been successful.  In other areas, I’m still a work in progress (I almost typed “failure” – but what is failure?  Just an idea that didn’t work.)

One of the areas I looked at was my wardrobe.  I researched capsule wardrobes and was initially intrigued, and then overwhelmed, and then stifled.

Making my life simpler does not include rotating cloths for the seasons.

Making my life simpler does not include mono-toned colors and patterns and accessorizing with scarves, purses and shoes.

Making my life simpler does not include checklists to make sure my wardrobe is “complete”.

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Don’t get me wrong – I am aware that capsule wardrobes are huge and people seem to love the idea.  I personally don’t know anyone who uses one – but that doesn’t mean the idea is wrong.

It’s just wrong for me.  I live in a location that doesn’t require rotating cloths for seasons (in Texas we have chilly, cool, just perfect, hot, sticky hot, and hot as hades weather – sometimes in the same day!).  I love color and sparkles.  I loathe scarves (I have no idea how to wear them, and with my extra-large girls hanging out on my chest, I don’t need any help accentuating them), I have just a couple of purses that I love and my shoes must be comfortable, yet cute.

I love checklists – so much so that Hun groans whenever I talk about one.  But one for clothes?  Come on!  There is a thing as too much of a good thing (if it works for you – great!  I’m not knocking that or you – it just isn’t necessary for me).

So…I didn’t do anything with my wardrobe except clean it out when Marie Kondo’s book, “The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up” stormed the world.  I actually bought her book about a month before it really took off.  I felt like I was on the cutting edge!

Everything that I didn’t love left my closet.  There were a couple of pieces of clothing I had to keep due to work requirements, but everything else that I didn’t love – gone!

Three large trash bags of cloths were donated to charity.  I was left with about 20 shirts, 7-9 pairs of pants/skirts, 4 sweaters/jackets and 2 dresses hanging in my closet.  I could move my hangers freely.  My clothes could “breathe”!

At the point that I cleaned out my closet, I worked in a position that required uniforms – but before that I worked in an office that was business casual.  I kept everything that I could still wear as a weekend/after-hours outfit.

When I switched jobs about a year later, the business casual outfits were once again in use full-time.  I started to panic that I didn’t have enough work cloths.  It bothers me to wear the same thing every week to the office.  It depresses me and affects my mood.  But since I was only working part-time, I could not justify the added expense of new cloths.

One day, after about 6 months at my new position, a coworker asked me, “Is that a new outfit?”

Me – “No, it’s not.”

Her – “Then it’s a new shirt?”

Me – “No, I’ve worn this at least 3 times since I started working here.”

Her – “Huh, well…it looks different.”

I thought nothing of her comment at the time other than to realize – people really don’t pay much attention!

But…then something else happened recently.

I’m part of a group that recently issued a challenge – “Lay your cloths out the night before to help you be more productive in the morning.”

I commented, “Hmmm…I already have a system in place for this, but it doesn’t involve “laying clothes out the night before”.  All of my clothes (except for a very few, event specific items) are worn on a 4-5 week cycle.  Does that count?”

An astonished poster commented on my post, “You mean you have a plan on what you’ll wear each day for the next month?”

Not exactly – the closet and my system “plans” the outfits for me.

And that is when I realized that my “capsule wardrobe failure” is actually a success.

Most of my shirts will pair with most of my pants/skirts.  Most of my sweaters/jackets will pair with most of my outfits.

My shirts are my accessories with the colors, patterns and bling/sparkles.

All of my clothes can be dressed up or dressed down – depending on the occasion.

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My solid royal purple shirt goes well with my grey pants, black pants, white pants, jeans, shorts and black and while patterned skirt.  Each time I pair it with a different bottom, it is a new outfit.

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My tie-dyed inspired pink, brown, orange and white shirt goes well with jeans, shorts and either my brown or white pants.  Paired with a brown sweater, it’s a whole new look.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I wear the clothes that are “closest to the back” today, each day.  By doing this – each item is worn on a regular basis.

Why don’t I just pull from the front?  Because that’s where I hang the clothes that I just washed – pushing the older clothes to the back of the racks.  Isn’t that what most people do with their freshly washed clothes?  If I pulled from the front – I’ll be wearing the same items I just wore this week – and I abhor wearing the same thing over and over again!

Why don’t I just put the freshly washed clothes in the back?  Because doing that would cause my “special occasion” clothes to eventually make their way to the front – where I don’t want to see them when I first walk in the closet every morning (I know…I know…picky picky picky!).  Do you want to see your ski pants or ugly holiday sweater in July?  Besides – I’m usually rushing to hang clothes up just to be done with laundry – I don’t want to think about how to hang the cloths up any more than I want to spend time thinking about what I’m going to wear each morning.

So…how long does it take me to pick out my clothing each morning?  Depends on the day.  I spend more time thinking about what I want to wear on the weekends and my days off than I do on work days.

On work days, it takes me about 30 seconds to go to the back of my closet, skip the “special occasion” tops, grab the first top that was worn the longest ago, pair it with a bottom and decide if I want a sweater or jacket or not (usually yes – our office is FREEZING!).

On weekends, I consider what I’m doing that day, who I might see, where I might go, what I might do, what kind of mood I’m in, what the weather is going to be like where I’ll be, and if there is anything “special” about the above.  Will I need a change of clothes, should I layer, did I wear this to that event last time, and on and on and on.

I’ve spent more time than I care to admit attempting to figure out what I plan on wearing to Walmart than what I wear to work.  There’s something not quite right about me apparently…

So there you have it – my solution to my capsule wardrobe failure…uh…I mean…success!

 

Special Projects

My Mantra for the year is “Accomplish”.

What can I accomplish?

What have I accomplished?

What should I accomplish?

What will I accomplish?

I have attempted to be mindful of this mantra all year.

Whenever I am feeling down, I am attempting to redirect my thoughts to everything that I have accomplished so far and what I will continue to accomplish in the upcoming months.

There are some situations that this process does not work well with.  I’m dealing with one of those situations now at work.

I’ve accomplished a great deal at work in the last 7 months.  Special projects that were assigned to me that were in complete disarray when I first glimpsed them.

Most of the projects are still “works in progress” – they will not be solved overnight – or even within months.  The fact that progress is being made – that is the accomplishment that I’m most proud of.

“Rome wasn’t built in a day” and neither will these special projects be completed in a month (or even, in some cases, a year or more).

So, why am I feeling a sense of failure?

That’s easy to answer – on the surface – I have a coworker who constantly questions my method and ability to complete these projects.  She has no interest in taking these projects over – it appears she just wants to nit-pick my methods and point out every mistake she thinks I have made.

That leads me to doubt my process.  I’ve made several mistakes in the implementing of my processes – some pointed out by others; some discovered as a result of just following through steps that I thought would work one way, but reality showed a different outcome.  Weeding out what does and doesn’t work is part of the process as well.  I welcome the process of improving my processes – that helps everyone.

So…why is her involvement in my projects causing this sense of failure?

I’m searching for answers on this and not finding them – at least not an easy answer.

In the past, I have been told that I need to “let go of my perfectionism”.  I don’t believe I am perfect – I do want criticism and constructive feedback on how to make a process better.

I do not appreciate being told “you are wrong – because I said so”; which is what I’m hearing from my coworker.

So – how do I change what I’m hearing from a place of negativity to a view of positivity?

Telling myself, “She’s trying to tell you your process needs improvement – she just doesn’t know how to say that in a constructive way” helps, but falls short of the mark for me.

Trying to read between her lines is tiring and exhausting.  I like to tell people, “I failed mind-reading class.”  Attempting to clarify what she is saying has backfired in the past as she responded as though I was attacking her and I’m hesitant to try again.

I cannot change her, I can only change myself.  So…how can I accomplish this?  Something new to add to my list of special projects.

I Am At Peace

I’ve had many things happening of late that I want to write about, but it’s all so jumbled in my mind that I haven’t felt like it would be coherent to share with you.  I think I’m finally ready – but if it doesn’t seem rational, just know that I warned you!

Hun and I went on an honest-to-goodness vacation several weeks back.  It was wonderful, blissful, (mostly) non-stressful, and relaxing.  We went on a cruise with another couple, cousins from my side of the family, and just being the 4 of us, it was great.  We did what we wanted, when we wanted and with whom we wanted.

Before leaving on the vacation, I prepped my work and coworkers on what I needed them to do while I was away.  I actually left my job at “Inbox-0”.  I had NOTHING pending in my work email that needed my attention or would hold a mental distraction for me while I was away.  This is the first time I have ever left work without feeling like I was forgetting something or that my work would be more stressful when I returned due to unfinished business.  This added to my relaxed feeling while I was away.

When Hun and I returned from our trip, he came down sick – bronchitis with a vengeance.  And I received a text from a previous boss asking if I could meet with her.

She proceeded to tell me that she had a part-time job opening and she wanted me to be in the position, that I was the first and only person she considered hiring for the spot.  I was/am honored beyond belief that she feels this way.  I asked her for the chance to talk with Hun and to think about the offer.  She readily agreed.

The next day, I talked with HR – I suspected and it was confirmed by them – the new offer would affect my current position and there would have to be negotiations between the two departments for my time.  This wasn’t a surprise to me, but meant I needed to think through my options carefully and proceed with care – for my own mental health and well-being.

Before I could return home that evening, the start of a tickle on the back of my throat alerted me to the fact that now I was coming down ill.  My former boss is not one to wait and she texted the next day, while I was ill, wanting to know if I had an answer for her.  I let her know of my illness and asked to wait until after the weekend before speaking with her, hopefully I would be better by then.

Three days in bed allowed me time to think through my options.  There weren’t many that didn’t lead to increased stress on my part, in some cases enormous stress.  Hun’s one request of me regarding the job offer was that I not go back to the dark place I was in several years ago.  I’m just now coming back to “normal”; I don’t want to go back there either.

On Monday, I let her know of my “conundrum”.  We walked through all of the scenarios that I could potentially foresee.  I laid everything out, honestly, where the stress points would be and why and for how long.  She agreed, it was a conundrum and one that she could tell wouldn’t have an easily solved solution.

She finally commented, “So, if I want you to work for me, I have to be able to offer you at least what your current job is already giving you; so you would leave them and solely work for me, is that an accurate statement?”

I thought about it – yes, I guess so.

Without realizing it, I had negotiated my own terms into the job offer.

I had no intention of doing that – that isn’t me.  But it is something that brought me satisfaction once I realized that is what I did.

I’ve since found out that my old boss is unable to give me what I need to quit my current job and come back to working with her.  In the past, I would have moved heaven and earth to make a move like this happen, regardless of what my gut was telling me.  While I am disappointed (I love this boss!), I’m also relieved that it didn’t work out.  Not because I don’t want to move – I would in a heartbeat if the terms had been agreeable and met – but because I know the move isn’t going to bring on increased stress.

I am at peace with the entire process – so I know that this was the right decision for me at this time.  There are no worries, no wondering if I made the right choice, no wondering if I’m disappointing someone and what they think of me.  This is a new feeling for me.

I like it.

Calm Out Of Chaos

There are subtle noises at my work being made that are leaning towards change.  At barely a whisper, it’s hard to tell if the change is merely my imagination or might actually happen.  Usually, I can tell when something is “off” and right now, something is “off”.

One of my coworkers, while very nice and a great person; usually talks or makes some type of noise for the better part of the day.  Random song lyrics out of nowhere, blurting out what she’s thinking regardless of the subject (she once informed us she needed to go #2), and wild statements that you’re positive aren’t true (my mom believe’s you’re the devil).  My assumption is she talks to hear herself talk; but she’s also commented that she takes meds for ADHD, so that probably plays a large role in her personality.

Recently, she had an upcoming day off.  One of the other ladies asked her what her plans for the day were – her response was “I’m going to a job interview”.

No one said a word – positive or negative – we were all silent, like she hadn’t said a thing.  Just like we react to 95% of her statements.

I asked one of the other coworkers (when we were alone) what her thoughts were.  She responded with, “I don’t think she’s going to an interview.  I think she just said that because she wanted someone to say ‘no, don’t leave!  We’d be lost without you!’.”

But, for some reason, I think she was serious.

I don’t know.  I could be wrong – I’ve been wrong before.

This leads me to another, similar, event.

While I did change jobs about 6 months ago, I am still with the same company.  I’ve been with this company for over 22 years now.  Over those years, they’ve done different processes for employee evaluations.  Their current model is that everyone has their evaluation done during the same time-period.  So, even though I’ve only been in the position for 6 months, I just completed my yearly evaluation.

It was a decent evaluation, with my manager praising the changes I have helped with during my short time in the department.  She went so far as to say, “I wish there were 6 of you!”  She also commented that she wished I would go full-time (I’m only part-time at 28 hours a week currently).

I stayed silent on her comments.

In the past, I would have agreed immediately to whatever my manager wanted from me.  Bigger challenges?  I’m on it!  Want me to work myself crazy?  No problem!

But not now.  I reflected on her comments and reviewed the subtle shifts happening in the department.  I see patterns, and can intuit things before others see the same things.  I think we’re going to have a job opening in the department within the next 6 months.

And if my manager stays true to her statement, I’m not going to take the offered full-time job.

This is a huge change for me business wise.  In the past, I would have jumped right on it.  Already thinking about how I could change the position for the better (before I was in the position or even before being offered the position).

Now I know that if I took the position I would eventually be miserable.

Within a year, I would be stressed out and, eventually, willing to throw away my career just like I was before.

With the current job I have, and the personal growth I have experienced over the last several months, I know what I want out of life now.  I know what I want to be when I “grow up”.

I want to create.  Specifically, I love to create calm out of chaos.

That’s what I’m currently doing.

My core job duties are the same as what my coworkers’ job duties are – except I only do those duties about 35% of the time, while they do them around 85-95% of the time.  The other 65% of my time is dedicated to special projects.  The job didn’t start this way, but it has morphed as my manager saw my strengths and utilized them.

The projects I am given are a complete and utter disaster when they are handed to me.

I make sense of the project.  I create processes on how to do the project going forward.  I test out my process and revamp and revise as needed/necessary until it makes sense.

In six months of being in the office, I have tackled 6 major projects.  Most are completed; a couple of projects are still in process.  I’m given a new project every few weeks.  I have more projects “in queue” to be worked on than I currently have time for.

And I am ecstatic!

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Will I be willing to help out my manager in a pinch if my coworker does quit?  Yes.

Will I do it without a plan to return to what I’m currently doing?  No.

I finally feel like I’m a grown up.  Funny how things like this work.

Let The Journey Begin

I am about to embark on a very exciting journey!

I have decided to open up my own business.  I have the general idea in place and am currently working through a lot of the planning stages of a venture such as this.

I’ve never owned my own business.

I have no idea what to do, where to start, or what to expect.

But that’s okay, because I’m not the first person to take on this adventure.  Others have gone before me and have paved the way.  I have countless blog posts saved for aspects of this business idea that I haven’t even thought about yet.

Everything points to starting with a business plan.

Plan?  Like in lists?  And expectations?  And getting down to the nitty-gritty details?

AWESOME!

I LOVE planning!  I LOVE making lists!  I LOVE details!

I don’t love not knowing what I’m doing.  Sigh.

That’s okay – these road blocks, speed-bumps and detours are not negatives at all.  They are there to make sure that I am considering all angles and my business will have the best chance for success!

Every negative that has been thrown at me so far has been nothing but another bullet point on my planning list to explore, learn about and incorporate into my business plan.

Will I be successful?

I have no idea.

Will I regret not trying?

Yes!

Will I include everyone in on my journey?

You betcha!

That Was Quick!

{Sigh}

I already have another job.

{SIGH}

I really wanted more time off.

{HUGE SIGH}

I realize that I don’t have to start right away…..but at the same time, I don’t want to look a gift horse in the eye either!

At least I’ll have a week off to rest…..

PS…..I realized too late that I mis-timed posting my last post about quitting.  I did resign, but I’m still working and TODAY is actually my last day at the super stressful job.

Interviewed on Wednesday, offered the job on Thursday and requested to start on Monday…..told them couldn’t happen!  I needed at least a week off!  Currently scheduled to begin working the new job on March 30…..

Apparently my reputation precedes me and the new boss couldn’t wait to give me the opportunity to start working for her.

{Sigh}

Time Out!

I resigned from my job today.

Is that a dramatic enough opening?

By the time this actually posts, I’ll probably already be unemployed (unless something drastic/amazing happens).

The stress from my job has gotten too extreme for me to deal with any more.  Something had to give.

The support and understanding that I have received from my boss and coworker is beyond anything I can explain.  They are behind me and my decision 100%.

It makes me feel guilty because I know what they’re about to go through.  I’ve been through it myself multiple times in the last several years.

But not guilty enough to agree to stay longer.

My boss even went so far as to extend the offer for my last day to be tomorrow – and she’d still make sure that HR paid me for a full two week’s notice.  I believe her too – I’ve been at the company for 20 years.  I know the players involved and I know that none of them want what is happening.  I may work for a company – but the company is made up of people who have been there for 20+ years.  We’re more like a family away from family.  I cannot walk through the hallways without someone saying hello or stories being exchanged about our kids.

Plus, I will not do that to either of them.  There is too much work that is still pending, not to mention training and making sure nothing is dropped – there is too much riding on the work not being done for me to just walk away.

It’s not all scary.

I have enough vacation time to cover my pay for around 10 weeks.  That will explain one angle of why I’m so stressed – no time away from work to use any of the vacation time up.  This vacation time will be paid out to me at resignation.

I’ve also put in a request to transfer/applied for a new position.  The transfer/hiring process can be slow.  It can take close to 3 months for a new hire to actually start from the moment an application is put in.  It can also take almost 2 months for an in-house transfer.

I don’t expect anything to happen too quickly – no matter what happens – it’ll happen slowly.

There is also the possibility that I won’t find a new job for a while.  It could take months, maybe longer!

Thank goodness!!  I need some time off.

I plan on using any time off that comes my way wisely.

If you need me – I’ll be sleeping late, watching Maury and eating bonbons.  Try not to disturb me before noon.

20 Years

January 17 marked the 20th anniversary for me working with the same company.

I am not yet 40 years old.

When I first accepted the job at my hometown hospital back in 1995, never did I think I would have the job even a year later, let alone 20 years later.  It’s been an interesting path; one that has led me through multiple departments, multiple positions and multiple challenges over the years.

I don’t see myself leaving the company any time soon.  I have heard others complain about how horrible the company is over the years.  I have just never seen what they’re complaining about.  Maybe I’m blind.  Maybe I’m being realistic.  Maybe I’m just lucky that I’ve had decent bosses.

The company does attempt to honor and recognize the employees.

When I hit 5 years, I received a brochure to select a milestone gift.  There wasn’t anything that I really wanted, so I ended up selecting a crystal vase.  I still have it.

When I hit 10 years, I received another brochure and another milestone gift.  Again, nothing I really wanted.  I picked a clock.  I think I still have it – I’ll have to remember to look if it’s still sitting in the same location.

When I hit 15 years, another brochure, another gift – this one is in my closet.  A portable DVD player that ended up playing a major part in why Hun and I were being threatened with a lawsuit by Jetsam’s mom, in another state, while attempting to make sure the kids made it to their grandmother’s funeral.  I won’t forget THAT gift.

I’m now at 20 years and again, I received a brochure to select a gift.

My choices (not including options that are specifically for men):

  • Exercise bike (already have equipment I don’t use)
  • Cheesy looking jewelry (complete with the company logo – just what I want adorning my ears)
  • A wine refrigerator (I don’t drink wine)
  • A luggage set (already have)
  • Home speaker system (we already have surround sound)
  • Cookware set (ummm…..really?)
  • Vacuum cleaner (I’m not kidding! This is an option!  It’s not even a Dyson!)
  • Solar powered battery charger (totally not interested)
  • Backpack (…….this doesn’t even deserve a response……)
  • Electric smoker (that’s just wrong on so many levels!)
  • Sentry Spotting scope (can we say creepy busy-body neighbor? Who even wants one of these things?)
  • Bistro Set (yes…one of my options is a small table and two chairs)
  • Golf Clubs (if I played, I suspect these would be the laughing stock of the fairway)
  • Oh….look! Another crystal vase…..this one is red at least…(rolling eyes)
  • Blu-Ray player (already have 2)
  • ActionCam Sport (the only thing that even half-way interested Hun)
  • Dooney & Bourke Pocket Sac – no, not a purse, a Pocket Sac. It isn’t even large enough to hold my “somethingorotherpad”.

I love my company.  I love the people I work with and for.  I don’t love their gifts.  Nothing even excites me as a potential gift to give someone else.

{sigh}

Later Is Now

My organizational mission has followed me to work as well.

It had to – I had to get my job under control rather than it controlling me.

I spent one whole weekend doing nothing but cleaning out my desk and applying the principles in the book, “Getting Things Done” by David Allen.

I have felt more productive in these last several days than I have in many months.

Walking into work one Friday morning, I decided to water our plants.  That led me into our little kitchenette where our watering can is stored.  Just the act of walking into that little space made me want to reorganize it because I knew there was stuff in the cabinet that hadn’t been touched in the three years since I’d been in the department.

I started throwing stuff out:

  • Flavored coffee syrup that had been a Christmas gift from a client three years ago that no one had used.
  • Containers of coffee that hadn’t been touched in over 6 months (and wouldn’t be touched because no one in our office drinks coffee anymore).
  • Birthday candles – we work in a hospital – we’re not allowed to have open flames!
  • More decorative napkins than I could count (all colors and styles) that looked like they hadn’t been touched in 20 years.
  • Enough disposable serving utensils to furnish 3 home kitchens.

I started rearranging what was left.

Then I realized that no one had used the toaster in at least 3 years either and wondered why did it have to be out?  I noticed the cabinet behind the microwave (which is on-top of the refrigerator) that we can’t use because the microwave is in the way.  That would be a PERFECT spot for an unused toaster.

I opened the cabinet – it was like opening King Tut’s Tomb:

  • I found a box of powdered apple cider that had a “use by” date on the packages of 1992.
  • I found a box of powdered broth that I KNOW hadn’t been carried by the patient kitchen in 20 years. The package and contents felt brittle in my hands, it was so old and dried out.
  • There were Christmas cookie tins, glass flower vases, and cobwebs.

The kitchenette cleaned out, I moved on to another storage cabinet that hadn’t been touched in 2 years.

The Boss walked in as I was pulling boxes out, took one look at the mess and just said, “Huh.”

The first box I pulled had pre-stamped postage envelopes in it – with postage that was too old to use.  Into the trash/recycling it went.

Then my coworker joined in and we hit the mother-lode – two LARGE containers of Mardi Gras beads!  Why do we have Mardi Gras beads?  I have no idea!  Those were packed up and sent home for her kindergarten-aged daughter to play with.

We pulled more and more boxes out.

This one had disks for “Print Shop Deluxe” and AOL On-Line start up disks.  That one had racks and racks of floppy disks.  Then we found a bag of miniature cassettes for a tape recorder, but no recorder.  We found signature stamps for people who were no longer in leadership positions, but the stamps couldn’t just be tossed due to liability issues either.  I had tried to give the stamps back to the “owners” of the signatures 3 years ago, but they didn’t want the stamps.

Suddenly, the Boss was VERY interested in what we were digging up when I pointed out one of my first questions when first arriving in the office was – Why are there handcuffs in the drawer? (as I held up a pair of actual handcuffs that had been unearthed in a box).  That box held all sorts of office supplies and the Boss went digging deeper looking for treasures.

As they were digging, I formulated a plan.

I put the signature stamps in some zip-lock bags I had found in the kitchen, dug the hammer out of our office tool box and waited while they finished digging through the office supplies.

I handed the hammer and a stamp to the Boss and told her, “Here you go.  Go to town!”

She looked at me perplexed, “What do you mean?”

Me – “Smash it!  We have all been under a lot of stress lately and the fastest way to get out stress is destruction.”

Her – “Oh no!  I couldn’t do that!  You two go ahead.”

Me – “I’m serious!  You will feel so much better!”

She was finally convinced and we decided we’d better smash them on the floor to avoid destroying the furniture.

She took her first tentative swing – crack!  “Hit it HARDER!” I encouraged.  Suddenly she was smashing that poor, innocent, defenseless, signature stamp into oblivion.

She stopped, looked at me, and said, “That was awesome!  Your turn!” as she handed the hammer to our coworker.

Coworker tried to take her turn, but due to medical issues, couldn’t get down on the floor.  So I smashed the next stamp.  Boss commented, “Karaboo has NO hesitation swinging that hammer!”

I gave the last stamp-smashing opportunity to the Boss and she smacked the stamp so hard, the bag exploded and sent pieces of plastic flying while we laughed hysterically.

As we gathered up the broken pieces, the Boss looked at me with a wild look in her eyes and a grin on her face and said, “I can’t believe how good that felt!  You were right!  I think I’m going to have to go home and smash some more things!”

I just laughed and told her, “I told you it would help!”

I can’t believe how disorganized our office really is.  And this is after the office was totally cleaned out 2 years ago for a remodel.  Problem was, the junk and stuff wasn’t dealt with then, it was just shoved into boxes with a statement of – we’ll get to that later.

Later is now.  Later is happening.  Later is feeling great.