I’ve spent part of today packing up my office. Â No, I’m not leaving Siemens. Â I’m not changing jobs. Â I’m simply changing where I work from: I’m going to start working from home a majority of the time. Â It’s just a trial for now, but I’m hopeful its going to work out long term. Â I do have a few folks that work for me that are also in my office, but they’re all grown ups and I will be in the office one day a week if they really want to remember what I look like (or buy me lunch).
I’ve been in this office since 2002, shortly after I came “back” to what was then EDS (when I left it was SDRC). Â I started “back” in November of 2011, but we had space in another nearby building so I haven’t been in this office since the beginning, but nearly so. Â It was my first “real” office, i.e. not a cubicle. Â It was pretty prime real estate – an actual corner office on the top floor (albeit it was only a 4 story building…).
All things change with time and the need for me to have an office has changed. Â Out of the gate I can save 2 hours a day of commuting. Â Even if I split that with work, that’s an extra hour of work and an extra hour for me. Â A lot of what I do these days involves creating, writing…or being on calls. Â I can do all three from home, and two of them (the first two) I can actually do better from home. Â And in case not, I will still have a cube in the office.
Packing up has given me a little glimpse into the work years that I spent in this office. Â I’m by no means a pack rack but I am still throwing away about half of what I’ve gone through. Â Here’s a look at some of the things I’ve come across on various shelves and in drawers that will not be making the trip to either my home or my cube:
- Many really thick strategy and planning books, some dating back to 1999. Â I did flip through some of them and marveled at how many good ideas were in them – some we still haven’t pursued. (Note to any competitors that might read this: don’t sully yourself…these all went to the shredder).
- Newspaper clippings that almost got me fired. Â This is a long story, one that probably deserves a post of its own….someday, but there once was a time that I thought I was doing the right thing, but turns out I wasn’t and had to spend a frantic weekend and a little bit of the next week undoing the wrong thing to make it a right thing. Â I saved the newspapers (where the wrong thing would have happened) as proof that it didn’t. Â I don’t think any of the people involved in that are even working anymore, much less at my current employer, so those can go to the circular file.
- CDs. Â Literally Terabytes worth of CDs. Â MSDN CDs. Â Marketing CDs. Â Video CDs. Â Mini CDs. Â Business Card CDs (remember those?). Â Event CDs. Â Collateral CDs. Â Training CDs. Â A whole drawer of CDs. Â Life was messy before dropbox.
- Old org charts. Â When I first came “back” to EDS I had more than 40 people working for me. Â I immediately had to make the choice of which of the 25 would remain working for me. Â Over the course of the last 13 years, I’ve been as low as having no one reporting to me, but never had more than that initial 40+, even though it only lasted a few weeks. Â There are the names of people on those charts I consider friends still today, names of people that probably don’t like me very much still, and names of people that are no longer with us – both the business and some the planet.
- Lots of shiny brochures. Â Most for “us”, some from competitors and some from partners. Â Those were fun to read to see what we used to say about ourselves – how much its changed and how much it hasn’t.
- Cables. Â Probably one for every CD I found. Â There is no way I have had as many gadgets as the pile of cables I had would indicate. Â It must be that cables reproduce in some abiotic process when closed in office drawers for weeks on end. Â But is anyone needs a fat to slim SCSI cable, let me know (quickly).
So what is coming with me? Â The few books that I keep in a reference library. Â A few pieces of art that do give me something to reflect on. Â And of course my PC (with only a few necessary cables – power, network and video).
Going through all of this has been a nice trip down memory lane. Â Getting rid of it has made me realize what’s important now.