This post could not have come at a more timely date. I had been meaning to write a post about how a desk with all sorts of junk on it couldn’t be good for the mind, when something incredible happened.
When I entered my office this afternoon, the desk, and the office, were clean.
As you can see from the above picture, the desk is largely free of clutter. Just last Friday there were notes and papers strewn across the surface of the desk, almost entirely obscuring the calendar that sat on there.
The notepads and sticky-note blocks were not organized in a neat stack as they are now, but were placed in any place where they could fit. It is a marked and improved contrast.
The reason for this newfound tidiness? My father, having been meaning to do so for a long time, finally cleaned up the office. It doubles as the accounting office, where it was previously used by my dear grandmother. I began using it mere weeks ago. My father knew exactly what needed to be done.
There are two lessons here: First, cleaning your desk regularly will help you to feel refreshed at your desk job. That’s how it felt for me!
Second, having a boss who cares about his workplace being clean and neat is incredibly gratifying. Not only does it show that he cares, but it motivates his employees to care too.
So thank you, dad, for teaching me to keep my desk clean!
In the brave new world of social media, content marketing, and the internet, the pressure is constantly on to keep things fast and new.
“The old order is eroding away!” I’ve heard it said. “Old business tactics won’t work like they did in the past!” others proclaim. “Adapt or die!”
I actually once said that last line to my boss, who is also my dad. We were discussing our use of Facebook at the time. I’ve been given a lot of free reign with my marketing efforts here at the shop, just so long as I don’t forget my other duties.
One afternoon, however, I was desperately searching for some Renton Printery stationary, when I stumbled across a book. An incredibly old book.
In case you can’t see it in the picture, it is titled: “The Office Encyclopedia: A How-To-Do-It Manual of Modern Business Procedures.” Credit is given as, “Compiled and Edited by N. H. and S. K. Mager.”
Flipping through the book, I found that its initial printing was in 1955, this copy being the ninth edition, published in 1971. Wow. Forty-five years old as of this previous April.
I examined the table of contents, finding chapter headings such as “Basic Grammar” and “Stenographer’s Handbook” and “Telegrams, Cables, Etc.”, with subheadings such as “Principal Parts of Verbs” and “How to fasten the typewriter to the desk” and “Singing telegrams.”
Pretty wacky sounding stuff, right?
But looking through this little book, precisely 500 pages long, I realized that there’s plenty of useful information here. Some of the technical information concerning typewriters and telegrams may be out of date, but that’s not all it has to offer.
As mentioned, there’s a chapter on grammar, part of a three-chapter section titled, “Office English Handbook.” Plenty of people my age could stand to read that.
You might notice in this blog post that I’ve affect a more formal air, a result of reading a few pages of that opening section every day for the last few days. We’ll see where it brings us.
To get to the point, I am convinced that within this old book lays much useful information relevant to today’s business practices.
At the very least, I’d love to read what this little tome has to say in the chapter titled, “Advertising and Publicity.”
More to come.
You’ve probably never expected to read a blog about printing. I don’t know, maybe you have, maybe you haven’t.
But I work in a print shop, and such a thing has never occurred to me. Until now, that is.
Of course, now I’ve decided to read every blog about printing I can find, now that I’m officially the Chief Gruntwork Officer (and Marketing Guy).
What little I’ve found is so far quite enlightening. Indeed, the less you know, the more you think you know. I’m fairly certain the opposite is also true.
You probably know me, if you know me at all, as that random guy darting around in the background desperately trying to look busy while my father, Rich Sweeney, tries to work out the particulars of the printing you wanted done.
If you’re one of the few, unlucky souls who walked into the shop while my dad was out and about and I was manning the desk, you know me as someone else.
You know me as the guy who mumbled politely, tried to sound like he knew what he was doing, and was unable to help you in anyway whatsoever because he honestly doesn’t know a darn thing about production or quotes or cardstock. He barely knows enough jargon to sound even barely competent.
Well, guess what? That guy, yours truly, is now in charge of marketing at the Renton Printery!
I am the guy who, despite being practically raised in the shop, has no idea how to do anything remotely useful other than play on the internet for a few hours a day.
This means that I now have the pleasure of bumbling and mumbling my way through every networking function, social media exchange, and business card trade-off that anyone wishing (or not wishing) to associate with the Renton Printery will be forced to endure... or else!
Also, I write this blog.
Man, this is going to be a blast!
Marketing Director at the Renton Printery. Providing advice on print-buying and business, along with notes on the state of the shop.