Spring cleaning

So we're moving from one floor in our building to another, and as a result, we've had a few company-sponsored "cleanup" days toward the end of the year. I missed most of these days, and now I've been trying to fit 5 or 6 years worth of useless shit into a 12" x 16" garbage can, a little at a time, over the past two weeks. I think the cleaning lady hates me, mostly because sixty-pound chunks of old computer gear is probably not supposed to go in the little "non-recyclables" bucket. I am also pretty sure she's wiping boogers on my chair.

I don't care. At least when I am finally forced to move, I won't have to haul anything but a few pictures and my laptop.

I did find some interesting things though. Here's a look at today's inventory, from a single desk drawer and overhead bin:

Item: A Palm III, with modem. Never has there been a more useless piece of shit, even when it wasn't completely obsolete. The thing eats batteries like Rosie O'Donell eats Big Macs and/or Kelli Carpenter. I never could get the hang of that shitty handwriting code either. Status: Chucked.

Item: A bottle of cough medicine with codeine, expired 2001. I took a sniff, and it didn't smell too bad, but I don't know what kind of poison codeine turns into after 5 years. I knew I probably shouldn't take the taste test, especially since I don't have a cough right now. On the other hand, when you are hacking up your lungs at work, there's nothing like a little codeine to put the drool on the desk. Status: Saved for a rainy day. I figured it might not kill me, and if I was coughing bad enough to need it, I might prefer to die anyway.

Item: 4 tightly-swollen packages of generic mayonnaise from the cafeteria, circa 2002. These scared me. I didn't think that could happen to pre-packaged condiments. I was tempted to open one up, but was afraid that if it came out black I would puke. Status: Carefully wrapped in old newspaper and gently placed in the non-recyclable bin in someone else's cube.

Item: 400 pounds of 6-year-old documentation for a software product we don't use anymore. I can honestly say that not a single volume of this immense row of books, this standing monument to our national forests, has ever moved in the 6 years it has taken up space in my overhead file cabinet. Status: Untouched. This will remain behind when I move, for whomever inherits this cube. It is my gift to them.

Item(s): A box of hot cinnamon candy from the dawn of time, a yo-yo, a spiderman pop-up book, a foam rock, a HotWheels parking garage, a Simpsons Nuclear reactor with talking Bart and Homer, a package of expired Immodium AD, approximately 357 non-working pens, a Mennen speed stick with rug marks in it, folders with papers that contain my handwriting --the contents of which I have no recollection of ever having written, $237.50 in nickels and pennies, a pile of business cards, all of which belong to people and/or companies that are dead or out of business, And lastly, sixteen pounds of unwashed silverware from the cafeteria. Status: Chucked. Well, except for the foam rock and the talking Simpsons thing. Those were gifts.

Honestly, I'm surprised I don't have rats.

I did find one other book. This book was an unintentional gift from my favorite female boss of the past 10 years. She was a really great person, and a blast to work for. We had the same sense of humor, which made work almost fun. When her job was eliminated, I was told to go get anything useful from her cube. As I glanced around, I noticed her garbage can. Here's what I saw:

Dammit, I still miss her.


  1. What? No analexcellerator card to throw out?

  2. Sorry, that should be colon accelorator card.

    The mind is a terrible thing.

  3. Anonymous8:23 AM

    Like other people's shopping trolleys at the supermarket, the contents of other people's bin, and what they choose to rescue from it = horribly fascinating. Thanks for the laughs, throw out the medicine- these things have a use-by-date for a reason.

  4. Hate to break it to you but Immodium doesn't ever "expire"...so you're good to go. It's helpful when mgmt starts the ReamMachine up again...

  5. wouldn't that be good to not go?

  6. Thanks a million for the Rosie/Kelly imagery there. I'm scarred for life.

    I found my Palm III to be completely useless too. I feel bad that my husband lovingly paid $300 or whatever for it one Christmas because I wanted to be like everyone else in my office.

    I too had a four year old bottle of Tylenol with Codeine in my desk when I quit last year. Ya just never know right?

    Finding that book is classic. I had a great boss like that once who got canned for being too good a boss...when I quit last year he and I started our own company and now I have him back. Yay!