Like The Queen
Whatever happens to strike my fancy, but surely some sort of fiber content.


My favorite thing about your office was the beautiful antique skein winder in the corner.... you are keeping that, aren't you?

(or should I offer to take it off your hands?)

By Blogger Amie, at 3:15 PM  

I think I have the Worst Nightmare Office. I'm going to take a picture. It's truly embarrassing, so it will be called a "before" picture. Will you come and help me turn it into a Real Office?

By Blogger Jane, at 3:56 PM  

No, I wouldn't let the antique skein winder go. It's safe in its corner to remind me of why I work.

It will probably go home when I buy a drum carder - because that means I'll have a place for it.

Hmmm. what about a career change?Office Organizer Consultant

By Blogger Bess, at 4:57 PM  

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Wednesday, February 08, 2006  

The biggest thing I’ve ever done, besides raising the PerfectAngelBabyDarlingOnlySon, was to steer the library from its old cramped 2,000 square foot former high school shop building to the pretty brand new 8,000 square foot new building, designed specifically to be a library. You would not believe how much you can fit into 8K sq.ft. but you have to have the right architect to do it. The dream for a new building grew out of a boring car trip in an un-air-conditioned car, up I95 to D.C. one hot July day. The reality came 7 years later, when we moved in, to the thrill and delight of the entire county.

Now - I know lots of communities have/build/expand civic buildings and I was not coming up with an original simple machine, but I sure was doing something entirely new for me and this was a project that had to actually - gasp - horror! - Come To Completion. And to the greater public, it did. Out front, where YouThePublic peruse tidy shelves with elegant paneled woodwork or lounge in fabulously comfortable & stylish chairs, clustered in a sunny bay window, you probably think the library was all finished years ago. It was not. As we got down to the wire, all the clutter, crap and mystery paper, all the ancient statistical compilations - going back to 1978 I discovered yesterday - that were in what passed for my office in the old building just got shoved onto shelves and into drawers in what is a real office - for me. I had never had a real office and did not know how to be in one, unless I was visiting the doctor. I had only ever known cardboard file boxes with slightly crushed edges and little bits of grit that had sprinkled down from cinder block walls. I had only known metal warehouse shelving purloined from some garage owner looking for a tax write-off. I had never had enough staff, even, to go into an office during business hours. Imagine your worst nightmare of an office - and mine would be just one step below that. I know it is one step below because I have been in the worst nightmare office and it belongs to someone else. But mine is close.

Or - it was, because late last week I began the Great Office Excavation. The first stage was to clear off the desk top. In my old office I had a sheet of plywood nailed to a sheet of plywood paneling as a desk. In my present office there is a HON Office Furniture desk (or what looks like one, anyway). I’ve managed to clear it of loose scraps of paper and folded-open-to-the-article magazines maybe a dozen times in the past 6 years, usually just before I go on vacation. The sad truth was that all those heaps were just in one of the empty lateral file drawers, which, now, are full of piles and heaps that I hid from view immediately prior to previous vacations. Evidently, I have yet to actually move into my Real Office.

I’ve spent the past two days clearing off the wall of shelving where there were THREE (3!) Operations Manuals for the New Building. I have no idea why there might be a need for 3. The county administrator already told me he didn’t want one and neither did the maintenance man. Now there is only one. And there are no more statistical forecasts from the Commonwealth of Virginia older than 2005. It might be fun to see how wrong the wonks were a few years ago, but I am not wading through 15 years of miscalculations. No point in housing them. There is also no longer a bag of huck toweling on one shelf nor are there two cassette players and their headphones. The future for these bookshelves will be to hold books I actually use and perhaps a few tasteful ornaments or photographs. The rest is to be Open Space - space that can be dusted by janitorial staff who come in the night.

There actually are three large file drawers with at least a semblance of organization to them, but there is another full of photographs and wrapping paper and two more that are just full of mystery paper. The trash heap was so bad yesterday we had to make a trip to the town dump with it. I shudder to think what it will be like by Friday. But already I can feel the difference a tidy, attractively arranged, usefully stocked wall of bookshelves is going to make on my working day. Just sitting at my desk, looking across a gleaming surface at shelves with space on them made me feel so relaxed and yet at the same time so energized. As if I could think at last.

Odd - I can hardly wait to go to work - to do housekeeping. Fun, so it only once housekeeping. Happily there are people paid to do the drudge of daily maintenance. But at last, after 6 years, I am ready to move into my office and it’s an exciting prospect. I’m just sorry I didn’t take a Before photograph.

And speaking of photographs - for those longing to see visual representations of TheQueen’s Progress - I must beg patience. Like the knee bone being connected to the thigh bone - a camera purchase must be connected to the bank statement which is connected to both the Visa bill and the electric bill, non of which have showed up in the mail. And even then they must all be connected to the final balance which must be connected to black numbers.....

But one of these days there will be pictures and perhaps you will urge me to go back to a text version. Till then, be pleased to know that I’ve knit up one front shoulder to the short row shaping rows. When I finish with the other shoulder I’ll join front to back with 3-needle bind-off stitches and knit the loose turtleneck collar immediately. After that - the sleeves!

Happy Hump Day to you all.

posted by Bess | 6:54 AM