Tuesday, January 15, 2013

A Tremendous Coup

I have actually been busy at work lately, which means less blogging.  However, today I had to report my amazing success.  First a little background:

When I first came to work--5 1/2 years ago--my boss's office was a MESS.  There were papers strewn everywhere.  I made it a priority to spend some time every day getting caught up with the filing.  In doing so, however, I found that the files were filled with things that were nearly 20 years old.  I brought the filing up-to-date and then I started bugging him about going through the files and getting rid of things.  It actually didn't take too long before he was willing to do that.  That exercise was actually very helpful for me in getting to know the business that was done there, what was important to the person I was working for, and not going crazy because of what I thought was a "mess."

At the same time, I was also supporting a group manager.  The man is--to this day--one of my favorite people on earth.  He is kind and gentle and sensitive.  He is also a MASTER at his business.  But organized he is not!  One week he got sick, and I shut myself into his office for three straight days.  I tidied, trashed, filed, organized, and deep cleaned.  When he came back his initial reaction was delight, mostly because I had organized his family pictures on top of this Steelcase.  Later that same day, he realized that things had been moved.  By that time I knew the business, and I was confident that nothing important had gone away; but he was nervous.  Luckily it took only a short time for him to realize that all was well.

The next assignment I had was in an office that had been occupied by three different people in about 6 months' time.  There were files and duplicates of files.  So I got busy and got things organized, archived, and general cleaned up.

Then I moved to my current position.  That was 2 1/2 years ago.  My boss has had about 18 huge binders in his office that were dated back to 1998.  When I first dug into his filing, I asked him about those binders (and many others).  I told him they were OLD.  I reminded him that he had never looked at them.  I got a lot of things organized and even tossed, but those many binders stayed.  About a year ago we physically moved to another office and floor.  Again we went through all of his files and binders.  Again we got rid of quite a bit.  But again we could not get rid of those binders.

The man is brilliant when it comes to systems, but for some reason he needs to keep a hard copy of everything.  After a year in these digs, every drawer and every shelf has been filled to the brim.  I started bugging him in November, telling him that we needed to go through everything and decide what was important to keep and what was not.  It looked like the week of Christmas was going to be our opportunity, but he got sick.

You know what's coming, right?  Today was the day!  He set aside time for only me, and we went through the cabinets in his office.  Finally FINALLY we got rid of those binders.  I promptly stripped them of their materials and threw the innards into the shred bid.  We emptied about 50 binders. The binders have been salvaged (to be re-used), the papers have been taken away by custodial services' shred service, and one entire cabinet has been emptied.  My stack of things to file is tall, but not nearly as tall as the stack of garbage we tossed.

 I feel like I just conquered the world! 


Amy said...

No wonder everyone loves you. Seriously. NO Wonder.