Accumulated crap from over the years | Bleader

Accumulated crap from over the years


Sign up for our newsletters Subscribe


From the days when staffers had time to kill
  • From the days when staffers had time to kill
The Reader office was a strange and fascinating place when I started working there about five years ago; I could spend hours—or minutes, at least—sifting through the layers of ephemera pinned to bulletin boards. Most of it was "ridiculous, nerdy shit that had nothing to do with anything," as one coworker put it. Random stuff like an empty Diet Coke can and a fake rose decorated the heating ducts near my desk, while a bag of packing peanuts was pinned to a rafter.

At one point I discovered a giant pinkish meringue on top of a wall dividing the cubicles. Judging from the amount of dust coating it, it had been around for a while. I was puzzling over how it might have come to be there when a coworker saw it and solved the mystery. Apparently he'd taken a bite of the meringue while sitting in one of the cubicles about eight years earlier, decided he didn't like it, and put it up on the wall, where it had stayed ever since.

And despite periodic cleanings, the refrigerator and freezer can resemble archaeological sites as well. Last year I found a chicken turnover in the freezer bearing the initials of former editor Alison True, who'd been gone for more than six months at that point; closer inspection revealed that its arrival at the Reader predated my own and that its fourth birthday would be coming up in a week. I believe I put it back for future generations.

In some ways, the move to a new office will probably be a good thing. There are clearly plenty of relics from this office that it's probably time to part with, even if no one ever took the time to throw them away. Still, I've been keeping an eye on the moving bins as they've filled up, and taken note of a few things that I'm happy will be coming to the new office with us. For example, the creepy doll that got passed around the office a few years ago:


The old style guide (since replaced by a digital version), plus our guidelines for freelancing (now available online):

And one of our motivational posters: