January 4th, 2016

makaiju - tee-hee.  orisinalee.

Learning boundaries at work

When working a store filled with thirty years of history, it's important for me to remember that what looks like trash to me might be very important to the owner.

Saturday afternoon was really slow so I spent some time tidying up the workroom/office.  I cleaned off a couple of shelves and sorted through the various books, papers, and pieces of equipment that I found there.  As I was dusting off a shelf, I started thinking about where I could hang some of the many posters we're sent by publishers.  I saw some really cool Shel Silverstein banners by my boss' desk haphazardly strewn about and collecting dust.  I wanted to hang one of them on the wall, but I had to find some fishing line first.  Instead, I cleaned the surface of the banners and rolled them up to protect them, then placed them neatly on a shelf.

Today my boss was looking at that corner of the workroom and said in an irritated tone, "It's very strange.  Usually I have banners hiding these shelves, but someone has moved them.  I wonder what's going on!"

I froze and apologized.  I explained that I was trying to clean things up and I hadn't meant to cause her trouble.  Thankfully she laughed.  "That makes sense.  Poor thing.  You see something neat and want to display it, but I'm using it to hide my stuff."  But that was a good reminder that I shouldn't get carried away with cleaning and rearranging things.

HOWEVER...I still spent most of this afternoon emptying and reorganizing the supply cabinets in the workroom. It was so chaotic that no one could find anything anyway, and it's my job to keep the office basics in stock, so I figured it was necessary that I know where to find anything we might need.  I ended up throwing up some old phone books and forms for shipping companies that no longer exist, but most of the items I just sorted.  This time my boss was working nearby, and I made sure to periodically check in with her so she could stop me if I was going too far.