"It's Clean Up Time"

0With retirement drawing ever closer (just six days away) I find the prospect of leaving my little office on June 7th a bit sad. For fifteen years this 10 by 11 foot corner cubbyhole has been my home away from home and a safe haven of sorts for students. It’s not the greatest office but it has a full window wall facing east so it gets a lot of natural light and has a view of the San Gabriel’s in the distance. That’s one of its redeeming quality. The other is that it’s mine. I must say I’ve grown quite comfortable here surrounded by the many photos of my wife and I, my children and grandchildren,that line my shelves. They give my office a rather homey feel. It’s been wonderful being greeted by them every morning and having them around me as I work. But now that I’m retiring it’s clean up time.

 Actually I began packing things away and taking them home a few weeks ago. I figured I’d rather do it a little at a time than waiting til the end.  As of today I’m down to just my larger items, my fridge, microwave, Ipod player and my chair. Everything else is off the walls and packed away. It’s so empty! Gone are all the family photos, the large cork board of student pics, everything Beatle, and all my personally made Photoshop motivational posters. The only ones that are still up are the ones I have on the large glass pane in my door. They include a student making a jump on a skateboard the caption reads “life happens! Roll with it!” The other shows a women in distress who looks like she’s screaming and about ready to pull her hair out. The caption reads ” I’m in charge of my emotions, my emotions are not in charge of me!” I’m sure gonna miss coming up with those posters, they were a lot of fun. I got a lot of comments from students on them. In an effort to keep that homey office feeling going I’m furnishing my man cave/studio with many of the items from my office including my motivational posters. I figure why not?  

Yeah my office is looking pretty bleak and getting bleaker by the day. It’s funny how when your fellow employees know you’re leaving for good they come around and sort of scope out your office to see if there is anything they may be interested in. “Are you taking that with you?” they ask or “What are you going to do with that?”  What a bunch of scavengers! Just kidding! It never hurts to ask. I got some of my office furniture by doing the same thing when others retired before me. I picked up a couple of nice posters and a wire art sculpture from my first boss, and a nice six foot credenza when my third boss left. If I hadn’t asked someone else would have ended up with it. Already a small hutch bookcase I had across the back of my desk, has been claimed and removed by another counselor. He’s also staked a claim on a large double, open faced cabinet that he’ll get once I’m gone. Others have asked about it but he was first so it’s his.

Today that six foot credenza that I mentioned was claimed by our secretary. By the end of the day it was sitting in her office and I must say it looked pretty good there. So for my office is even emptier. It looks as vacant today as it did on my first day on the job fifteen years ago. It’s sad really, once the big cabinet is gone all that will be left for whoever takes my job will be the large old desk, the computer and printer, phone, a wastebasket, a file cabinet and four nice office chairs. Of course there’s no guarantee that the chairs will be there after I leave. Today another counselor asked if it would be alright if she swapped out her chairs for mine as mine are nicer and in better condition. What could I say, once I’m gone everything in my office is fair game. I guess the new counselor is going to have to keep their eyes open and do a little scavenging of their own.

Just a thought…




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