Looking for new oddities in my new gig
It takes a serious situation to make me clean out my desk. And such a situation presented itself when Editor Beth Ewen needed more room in her office for another visitor’s chair and my desk would allow that to happen.
Normally, I procrastinate, but because I’m a people-pleaser who doesn’t want to cause anyone else any extra work, I dumped the contents of three drawers into a big box before I turned off the lights to go home. The next morning when I reported to work, I was told another solution had been found. This is exactly why I procrastinate. I have always believed you should put off tasks you don’t want to do until you have no choice. My rationale is that perhaps I’ll die before I have to do them.
So there I was with a big box of odds and ends, with the emphasis on odd. Cleaning out drawers or closets is like taking a walk down memory lane. You’re reunited with items you had completely forgotten you owned—and mostly have outgrown (this is especially true of clothes closets). So here’s a small number of the items that were keepers:
- Two lint rollers from my long-ago days as a pet owner (you never know, Franchise Times could become a dog-friendly workplace yet);
- An old black-and-white photograph of me with my older sister, Sandy. I’m not sure why I have a picture of me at 5 in my desk, but it made me mad all over again to see that Sandy got to hold the stuffed dog and I didn’t;
- The original light-switch cover that I replaced with an arty one. I find it a challenge to plug in a cord or turn on a light if the outlet isn’t aesthetically pleasing;
- Flag pins the U.S. Commercial Service staff present participants on franchise trade missions. No clue where the butterfly pin came from, but the Popeyes’ one was given to me by Greg Vojnovic, who worked there at the time, after I admired it. While I still think it’s cool, I regret not admiring his watch instead;
- Three plastic babies, souvenirs from the time I visited the Gulf Shores for golf and Tacky Jack’s for a cover story. A baby is put in each Bushwacker adult milkshake for Mardi Gras—a tacky play off of the New Orleans’ tradition of baking a plastic baby Jesus in a King Cake (the person who finds the baby in the cake has good luck for a year; the person who finds the baby in a Bushwacker better have good luck finding a designated driver);
- Sources’ business cards dating back to 1999. Perhaps a fun game would have been matching the names on the cards to the companies they now work for. But alas, the cards are now dumpster fodder.
By the way, the reason Beth needed more chairs in her office is that she’s been promoted to editor-in-chief, which means she’s totally in charge of personnel and the magazine. This came as a shock to the editorial staff when it finally sunk in that 2015 was the last year they’d receive a Christmas present from me.
Actually, no one was surprised. Beth has been doing an outstanding job as managing editor and is more than qualified to lead the magazine.
But I’m not going anywhere—except to Europe more often. I, too, have a new title, although seeing “large” as part of my identity isn’t particularly palatable. But I’ve written enough over the years to know that it’s the order in which you put words that really provides the meaning. So, therefore, I am not a large editor, I am editor-at-large.
I will be able to do more of what I love, goofing off—and writing. This back page is now called “Loose Ends,” and I’ll be writing blogs from my travels and franchise adventures under the “Nancy on the Loose” moniker. I also still have “other duties as assigned” that will keep me tethered to my desk—which is why it needed to be cleaned out. I plan to accumulate a whole new collection of odds and ends—the odder the better.