Monday, March 3, 2008

The AD office

Doesn't it seem like your desk is covered with supply catalogs? They are in your desk drawers, on the filing cabinet, on shelves...anywhere you can stick them. Oh come on, don't tell us your office, if you are lucky enough to have an office, is clean and well organized. Every place I worked everyone else in the facility seemed to think my "office" was the place to put everything that didn't have someplace else for it to go. If someone didn't know what it was, whose it was, or where it might belong, it went to my desk. I could come in to work in the mornings and find a desk piled high with things that were not there when I left the day before.
But, supply catalogs--ya gotta love em. What would we ever do without them? How can we bare to part with them? Some come once a year, some every 3 or 4 months with the season changes. What were your favorites? Mine were always the S&S Crafts, and Oriental Trading. There were always things in those catalogs that, if nothing else, would give me good ideas for things to do in either a craft activity or some other type of activity. Everytime I would take a new job, I would eventually have to work at cleaning out the files and get rid of all the stuff that was no longer current, including back issues of these beloved catalogs. Finally, just to try to keep a handle on my own pile, I would go through all the catalogs everytime I got a new one, no matter what kind it was. If it was one that came out once a year, the old one got tossed and replaced by the new one. If it came out more often with seasonal changes, I kept one year's worth, then started pitching them. That at least kept my stack under a little bit of control.
Okay, another item that always seems to turn up somehow over night. Flower vases! If you are lucky and have a good area for storing all your supplies, this isn't too hard to deal with. If not, you could have a problem until the next bunch of flowers arrives for you to take to residents' rooms. Either way, they can't stay on your desk very long and you still get your documentation done.
One place I worked, there was a funny story about how they handled their fire drills. The routine was to secretly place a red flag somewhere within the building and whoever finds it has to initiate the firedrill. Well, this particular day, the person in charge decided to put the flag on the Activity Director's desk...that was in the morning. It wasn't until later in the afternoon when she was cleaning her desk off that she actually found the flag! From the first time I heard that story, I always checked each day to see if they might pull that one on me.
I am an organizer. If...and that is a BIG IF...I have the space available to organize the way I want to, life goes much smoother. But most of the time, I have issues with finding places to keep things that are needed. On the job, this can be a real challenge because we have to be able to put away such awkwardly shaped objects of all sizes from the smallest package of balloons, to the largest kickball and all kinds of other things. My last job I had the best office/activity room I had ever had. The room was shaped in an odd shape, but one end was all cabinets, with loads of counter space and wall cabinets above, including a sink. The other end for awhile held big bookcases full of books which provided the residents with an in-house library. We had two desks, and two big long tables, one holding a constant jigsaw puzzle. This was also the largest facility I had ever worked in. Until someone not doing a great deal of thinking of what was best for the residents came along and convinced management to get rid of all the books and the shelves to make more room in the activity room, it was an often used service. If the residents could, they came to the room to pick out books. If not, we took them books. Other than that, however, that activity room/office was the best supplied I had ever worked in.

Now it is your turn. Post your comments here about what kinds of offices you have had over the years. What was the best? The worst? Could you keep it clean and uncluttered? Do you have organizational ideas to help someone else organize their office and/or activity room?

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