Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Personal Belongings

There’s a lot of talk around here about budget cuts and potential layoffs. No one feels safe. In fact, we were called into a budget meeting several weeks ago and before the meeting, one of my coworkers told me how he put all his belongings in a cardboard box and asked me if I’d send it to him if something happened.

Several months ago I decided it was time to start backing up all my personal files I keep here at work. I didn’t own a computer for a very long time, so all my personal digital photos and documents I kept on my office computer. I finally moved all my photos off my hard drive and onto disks just in case I was called into a meeting and asked to not go back to my office.

After the holidays, I tend to clean things out and start anew. These days, with imminent layoffs and an inclement budget forecast for FY10, gathering important personal items is wise. Because I feel like I’m constantly getting rid of things, I never considered myself a pack rat, but apparently (photos to follow) I keep a lot of things for whatever reason.

I started this job in 2001. The girl before me left a lot of stuff in my desk. I got rid of a lot of it but kept some of it. Like these pastels. These may have been here for years before her time too judging from the design and look of the box. I guess I thought someday I would get artsy and draw a picture with them. Hasn’t happened.

Back in 2003 I took a nonfiction writing course up at the University. I submitted a series of emails I sent to my friend Ilene. Ilene and I had this thing where we would watch 7th Heaven just so we could write to each other and bash on it. After the course I got this email from the instructor who encouraged me to publish them. Never did. But I like to keep this around as a reminder that a professional writer thought I was publishable.

This here is a phone holder. My mom (or Santa Claus, can’t remember which) gave this to me. I’ve had this ever since I’ve had my first phone. Back then phones were big enough to fit snugly in there. No longer.

Oh right, along with the pastels, I decided to keep these little circle stickers. We use them to indicate a piece out in the gallery is sold…so not very often. Martha Stewart showed me how to make decorative streamers with them. So a few Christmases ago I made a bunch of these and hung them from the windows in my office. Except this year. I forgot.

I never really found a good place for this little stained glass window my mom brought back for me from someplace. I think it’s supposed to be the rose window at Notre Dame. It looks good placed up against a blank word doc on my computer screen though doesn’t it?

The dolphin stamp. My coworker left this on my desk once, or maybe he even handed it to me as a “gift.” The cool thing about this stamp is that it lights up when you press down on it. I keep it around because my friend’s son likes to play with it when they come to visit.

I forgot I put all this salt and pepper in a plastic baggie. I don’t remember where I found it but apparently I felt strongly that they be kept around. I think I kept it around for my edamame I used to snack on in the afternoon.

It’s amazing how much personal stuff one accumulates at their office. I’ve heard horror stories of people getting laid off and then not being allowed to come back and save files on their computers or emails or pictures. I have a bunch of CDs here, books, toys – for the kids that come to visit. Maybe it’s time I transfer the important things to a more secure environment.


Ilene said...

I remember that rose window. I also remember those emails. Do I have a copy of those? I should. I always see 7th Heaven on the t.v. guide and make myself ignore the urge to watch. I turn into a very mean person when I watch that show... ah, it was a lot of fun.

Oh, and my first thought upon seeing those salt packets was, "What the h--- is Laura doing with a drawer full of condoms?"

Kelly D. said...

I have one of those Rose Window stained glass windows hanging around here, too! I had a great place for it in Pasadena (my kitchen window), but right now it's in a drawer. I need to find a permanent home for it.

It's good that you're thinking about how to deal with your personal items in your office, but my fingers are crossed that you never have to use your back-up plans!

leandparkermakes3 said...

I personally agree with your professor. I think you should be published! Your blog is the best ever! I just smile and laugh every time I read it.

abel said...

I never store personal stuff on a work computer for the very reason that I may never get it back.

Hope the budget cuts don't affect you.

Charlotta-love said...

I've never heard of the person not being allowed back to their office. And don't worry too much. My dad was laid off the week before Thanksgiving. He is still unemployed but enjoying his new free time. He spends his 8 hour day 'working' as he looks for jobs but at 5, shuts down the computer and enjoys his evening. I know he'll find something. In the meantime, he has turned into one of the most positive, optimistic people. I think it was his job that was keeping him so glum. So...if something does happen to your job (Heaven hopes this doesn't happen), there's a better job being prepared.

Laura Lee said...

Awww...thanks Charlotte. That makes me feel better.

Although, in State Government, they've been known to have a guy with a badge and a gun escort you out of the building after you've been given the boot. And more than one person told me when they got back to their office their email account and everything on their computer was removed.


Lisa Marie Trent said...

Um, how come the dolphin stamp in never brought out when Jack visits...

It's just empty bubbles and water coolers.

Hilda said...

Wow, you did seem to accumulate quite a bit--random things migh I add. Makes you wonder how much more we could be storing in our own homes...yikes!