master shredders.

We are switching offices at work at the end of the month. It's not a huge move, actually just around the corner in the same office park. But it's nice to have a change.

I think we're moving to save money. A few years ago, after the economy tanked, we cut our office in half. The office park people came in and literally threw up a wall in the middle of a hallway. We used to have a different front door and some fancy big-wig type offices down there, but now some other company works there. We lost our big kitchen and conference rooms, but they remodeled part of our warehouse space into new ones.

We had a lot of warehouse space. Years ago, we used to ship an actual product, on a disc in a box with a manual and everything. Apparently, they had shipping parties when a new version came out. Everyone would stay late and they would package product in an assembly line. I assume there was pizza. I'm not sure when they stopped doing that. Every once in a while, someone here will ask if I was here for that, and the fact that I wasn't makes them feel old.

We still have a fair amount of storage. There is a cage in the back which holds boxes and boxes of paper records. And we still have all the old shipping equipment, which means stacks of boxes and a thing that does shrink-wrapping. It mostly just sits in the back, but whenever I need to mail a package, I do help myself to a box and some packing peanuts.

Our new space will be smaller again, and I expect the shipping supplies to just go away, since there won't be space to store them. And something has to be done with all the other things that just hang around the office, reminding us of a bygone era.

Like all those records. This week, the accountant has been bringing in the boxes of records and recruiting the rest of us to help her shred. The shredder is massive and impressive-looking, but it honestly is not really up to the task. You can only feed it so many pages at a time or it grinds to a halt and sometimes shorts out. We had to take a break in our destruction this morning, because it had overheated.

The amount to be shredded is staggering. Paystubs, receipts from water bills, reimbursement records, invoices from orders filled, and stacks of technology patents. There was stuff from the 80s in there. Apparently, our company used to bank with First Union. Remember First Union? It was funny to come across paystubs that were paid out when I was still in high school and recognize the name as my current coworkers. We have some long-timers here.

Given the amount of material, it appears that it will take several of us, working in shifts to get rid of the years of documents. The recycling man is going to have a nice surprise when he comes for a pickup this week.

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