With just a few weeks to go before early retirement, I’ve started the process of taking things home from my MegaCorp office. My plan is to take home bits & pieces until April Fool’s Day, when I turn in my badge & laptop on my final day. It’s a small but meaningful milestone in my path to early retirement on April 1st.
I started bringing home my library of business books quite a few weeks ago. I had about 40 books on the shelf in my office, so about a month ago I thought I’d start bringing home 1 book a day as a bit of a ‘countdown’. As the bookshelf dwindled down, I’d be that much closer to my final day – that was the thought. Of course before long I started to forget to bring one home each day and didn’t calculate in weekends. Finally last week I brought home two giant bags of books.
I also spent a couple hours last week going through my office drawers, where I keep my office supplies and miscellaneous things. Since I’m not going back to a job, I had a stack of business cards I could go through & throw away (who needs them with LinkedIn, anyway?) I also have lots of miscellaneous bric-a-brac in my drawers. Much of this stuff has followed me through three MegaCorps and fifteen offices throughout my career.
Everytime I bring a bag of things down to my car in the MegaCorp parking garage, I’m amazed at how much my junk weighs. You tend to bring things into your office one thing at a time, one day at a time – a book, a picture, or a memento. When you take things home, however, you move them en masse – a stack of books, a bag of pictures, or a box of momentos. You really notice how much stuff has accumulated over time.
It’s kind of a somber job to take take your office apart and remove your stuff from it. For better or worse, it is your home away from home and most people at MegaCorp personalize them to some degree. Each day as I bag things up, people come by and say “packing up, eh?” I know that they are really looking around to see if I am leaving anything good. I’m sure people will be in there within an hour of when I leave to swipe a quality stapler, three hole punch, Post-it note dispenser, or something else that might be an upgrade from what they have today. 🙂
I forgot to take a picture of my office before I started dismantling it. It’s never been my favorite office, but I wish I would have captured a picture of it as my “last office”. It is funny that the places you spend the MOST time in are the places that you bother to snap a picture of to remember. I don’t think I have a picture of any of my offices for the last 10+ years, even though I spent what seems like a million hours there.
How much junk do you keep in your office? Is it highly personalized, or a bit sterile?
Image Credit: MrFireStation.com – (my office four jobs ago from 2007)