After staring at the same walls from the same desk for over a decade, the decision was made to rearrange the AST offices. First step was to sort through the shelves and cabinets. Somehow, over the years, our offices had become a Museum of Museum Exhibit Design. So, the plan was to fill the dumpster with outdated and meaningless stuff. Turns out we were actually embarking on an archaeological Journey to the Center of the Office.
The top layer of artifacts (or the “Administrative Crust”) was simple enough to navigate and sort. Catalogues from 2008, some product brochures and a few business cards from vendors. Nothing really noteworthy or interesting was found in this layer. Most of the vendors in the catalogues were still in business. The products listed were, for the most part, still relevant to our industry. Some of the names on the business cards were unfamiliar but there is a pretty good chance that these salesmen are still walking among us. This layer was fairly simple to dig through and the majority of it landed squarely in the recycling bin.
The secondary layer (or the “Swag-imentary Layer”) was actually a fun layer to navigate. There were pencils, luggage tags, flashlights, buttons and laminates. Most everything in this layer was emblazoned with logos of past projects. Some of the more notable logos included Hard Rock Park, Purdue Musical Organization and even an outfit called Advanced Staging Technologies. While we were a little fuzzy at first about how to use the pencils, it all came back quickly. Muscle memory is an amazing thing. Fortunately we also found a pencil sharpener.
The tertiary layer (or the “Mantle of Nonsense”) proved most puzzling. What were these strange things? Floppy disks? Betamax video tapes? What sort of people used these primitive tools and why? Were their brains so underdeveloped that they only needed to store minimal amounts of computer data? Was their eyesight so poor that the grainy video did not matter? Puzzling indeed. There was enough video tape to stretch from here to the Moon and back. We could tile our bathroom walls with the pile of floppy disks we dug out of there (although this idea was quickly shot down).
The Office Core! – After two days of digging we reached the core. There it was. Buried deep below the dust and cobwebs, still in the shiny blue box; Microsoft Windows One.
It even had a free copy of Windows Paint! The mysteries within this little blue box may never be fully understood. The Universe is vast and filled with more questions than answers. For instance: Why is there dried spackle on Piper’s back. How did it get there? Why is it only on one spot? We may never know.