Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Getting Ready to Move

This week at my office everyone is pitching and packing in preparation for the move to our new building next week. I filled my 9 allocated crates and decided to deep six the 200+ file folders in the picture above because they hadn’t been opened in over 5 years. Seems like a good measuring stick to me.

When I went to play music with my friend and doctor Deborah yesterday, I mentioned that my day had focused on the dirty job of packing crates. She commented that she would never get paid to clean out and pack and move because doctors only get paid when they see patients. What a different concept.

Today I brought in a bucket, lemon cleaner, and paper towels. My hourly rate is a lot higher than I pay the El Salvadoran woman who cleans my house. My guess is that I won’t do as good a job as she does. But the grime under all those file folders must be eliminated.

There is something almost soothing about the monotony of doing menial jobs like packing and cleaning. It’s nice to take a break from serious data to doing mindless tasks and smelling lemon cleaner.

An interesting anecdote from someone who has already taken up residence in the new building: Yesterday as they were moving into their offices on the 4th floor, a black SNAKE fell out of the ceiling. That meant that it had gone all the way to the 5th floor in search of what? – a rat, a mouse? That would be a rather unsettling welcome. So the bottom line is that we can now drink the water in the new building, but it is already rat and snake infested. Great way to get started...


Blogger Kristin said...

I moved to a new apartment two days before moving into a new office and three days before leaving for vacation. Not such a great idea on my part, but once I got started with the packing, I couldn't seem to stop and there was so much more than I expected!

10:08 AM  
Blogger Reya Mellicker said...

I love monastic duties, you know, chop wood, carry water. As for your doctor, I believe everything she does is part of seeing patients, including cleaning, packing, and moving, if that's a decision she makes about her practice. Cleaning Healing Arts, returning phone calls, paying bills, washing sheets - it's all part of the job. Cool that you're pitching in!

4:57 PM  
Blogger Barbara said...

Kristin -- It seems we always underestimate the time it takes to pack and unpack.

Reya -- In a way you function exactly like my doctor does. You are paid directly only for the time you see clients. The rest of the time is your investment in your practice, which hopefully attracts clients because HA is spotless, the sheets are clean, etc. Whereas I am getting paid an ungodly hourly rate for packing boxes and smelling lemon cleaner -- the same rate I would be paid to process annual data for 3,000,000 US households. BTW, my survey is the source of the data which fueled this article on the front page of the Washington Post today.

7:52 PM  
Blogger Old Lady said...

It wouldn't pay to investigate the critter population in any one urban building. They are there. I have moving!!! Offices to. I am in the process of stripping and cleaning files that have been around many moons. Paper files take up sooo much room and are barely necessary.

Don't work too hard and I hope you like your new offices.

Nine crates? Really, that's all?

11:49 PM  
Anonymous Media Concepts said...

Snakes in an office! Sorry, I couldn't resist.

11:59 PM  
Blogger Barbara said...

OL -- Yeah, I thought 9 crates was rather remarkable for 35 years of work.

MC -- Snakes are poppin' up all over it would seem...

6:32 AM  

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