Being “boss” of a family-owned company, a man can have just about anything in his office that his wife is supportive of. Having had this job of “boss” for nearly 40 years, there are lots of things that have found their way into my office that represent memories too important to throw out. Thus it is, that every corner has something it in; but each item is intended to create a comfortable, sentimental working environment. My strategy is to feel good when I walk in and not be embarrassed when receiving guests or giving a tour.
Now, it’s not like I spend a lot of time there; the majority of my work is done outside the office, especially on the work floors, in other people’s offices and in conference rooms. Typically my office is used for email, phone calls, written communication and meetings. Once or twice a year, I might even take a nap on the couch.
In my mind, you can tell a lot about a person by looking around their office and asking yourself a few questions — not necessarily expecting answers: “What’s the story behind the saddle; why would anyone keep an old mailbox in his office; why so many guns; what in the world is that; I wonder if he’s read all those books?” Certainly there are a lot of boring offices, but hopefully mine is not one of them.
When giving a tour of the buildings on our campus, I always apologize for the guns and dead animals (taxidermy) – just for humor, of course. My office is probably the best (or worst) example, with a bit more density of guns and animals than anywhere else – each with a story behind them.
The desk is only medium in size and always seems to be cluttered with projects – sometimes really cluttered. At my level in the organization and stage of life, there are often a couple of dozen projects open at any given time. Some are about finished, while others have been going on for a long time. A few are seemingly forgotten, having had no attention for a while.
Of course the shelves and window sills are full of family pictures and other memorabilia – things that mean something to me, but likely no one else – nothing labeled, of course. All an all, I hope it’s as interesting to my guests and visitors as it is to me.