Every year about this time we start getting emails from the office reminding us to get the pharmacy all cleaned up before the end of the year. Ready 2012 files to be moved to the storage room and make room for the 2013 crap. After 26 years as a pharmacist, 17 of them in the same place, I doubt I need to be reminded of this every year, but it doesn’t stop them from doing it.
Once I start cleaning I have a hard time stopping. It must be a small smidgen of OC that lingers in my bones. I do like “clean”. For those that remember “the odd couple”. I am truly a Felix Unger. Thankfully the rest of my staff are just like me so we keep a pretty organized and tidy place that only looks messy during flu shot season when amount of work>time allowed to complete.
This year I have taken this cleaning obsession to a new low…( or high) depending on your perspective. Mr Chick has been out of town several times in the last several weeks for one reason or another, leaving me at home alone. This is the perfect time for PC to launch in to project-mode and get stuff done. While MR Chick is certainly not a messy person, he is a bit of a pack rat so if he is around when I start these projects, he hangs around a little too close and wants to hang on to junk. AND I mean JUNK. He is also a “hider” ( not on purpose). He finds a so called ” place” for something that makes no sense to ever re-find it again then promptly forgets where he put it. When and if he ever thinks about the item again, he has no idea where it is and likely will not find it. I certainly will never find it unless I stored it in the first place.
There is only one genre of things that I hold dear to my heart….must be the pharmacist in me: and that is pens and pads. I will go to my grave packed in pharmacy pens and pads. I have pens for drugs not made anymore. I have pads for drugs my techs have never heard of. Drawers of pens, and boxes of pads and I will never throw them out. The rest of the house however is fair game.
I started with the store room upstairs. OMG its been years since I ventured into that crawl space….and 2 hours later I had a pile worthy for the dump. Some went to Goodwill, and the rest overflowed the trash. I had empty boxes for things I dont even have anymore, boxes of coffee cups acquired over the years ( we dont drink coffee), totes of left over yarn, etc etc etc…. The next target was the file cabinet…another repsitory for worthless and outdated paper. I went thru the first file cabinet and generated a pile of paper destined for the work shredder (much bigger than my own). I probably dont need anything over 2 years old..except my tax returns. I filed thru things I hadn’t seen in a long time, including stuff I really couldn’t throw out simply for the historical factor. When I found some notes from my mother, a few tears dribbled down my cheeks. Seeing her handwriting is a very emotional experience.
Today’s project was the office/den space. That took a good 4 hours start to finish. I tackled (with permission) Mr Chick’s desk and file cabinet, found a cache of even more pens and paper ( whoo hoo), a collection of glasses cases ( not sure why he needs 8 cases for the 1 pair he owns, but hey…), 6 tubes of chapstick, name tags from a place he hasn’t worked in a dozen years, and a bag of junk he collected at a trade show he went to A YEAR AGO, including about 6 stuffed monkeys( the company mascot I guess), and a sleeve of crappy golf balls nobody but a non-golfer would use. There was even more pens and pads ( whoo hoo). I emptied and pitched over a dozen 3 ring binders stuffed with materials that were dated and unneccessary. I also cleared out the “library”. We have a lot of books, most of which are either golf or God related. I filled two huge sacks of books to be donated. The acceptor of these books will know we golf and will probably think we hate God now because we gave away all these precious tomes!
Which ( as an aside), why is it that we are so hesitant to get rid of books? To be honest, if I read a book, I seldom go back and read it again. If I start a book and find it boring or not engaging, I put in on the shelf and have no future plans for it. Those are the books I cleaned out today. It seems that I received a lot of “free books” when I donated some money to some ministry because I still had the paper that came with them: ” please enjoy this book as a thank you for your donation to XYZ ministries”. Sorry, but somebody else will enjoy the book…I didn’t read it. Not that it wasn’t a good book…for somebody…its just that if I wanted that tome, I would have ordered it. In the pharmacy I tend to hang on to pharmacy magazines, a habit I am duly breaking. I never go back to them..they certainly aren’t worth storing and nothing in them is worth referencing.
But anyway, I kept the majority of Mr Chick’s books because it wouldn’t be nice if sometime down the road ( which I doubt will happen) he actually seeks out a book on those shelves. For example, before he left he handed me a book one of his clients gave him: a book of poetry that she had written. He said keep this. It looked familiar….so when I went to the book shelf I found out why…we have 6 other EXACT copies of the same little book of poetry. He doesn’t like poetry and will never read it, but this will join the other 6 copies of her book. She must be very fond of her poetry, if she keeps giving the same book to the same people.
Next project for after work tomorrow will be the smaller file cabinet that has every owners manual for everything I have ever purchased.
Won’t that be interesting.