I went to five different schools in the fifth grade. We started in Minnasota, moved back to Washington State, moved again, and a couple more times. I don’t even remember how many different schools I attended throughout my entire elementary school years. It was easily dozens, mostly in Washington, but Alaska and a year in Minnasota. In fact, that year in Minnasota was the first time in my life I’d ever spent a year in the same place.
Eventually, we settled in Lacey, WA. I attended one Middle School and four years at Timberline High School. I vowed that when I had kids, they would get to spend their growing up years in a single place.
My lovely wife grew up in Yelm, WA. She attended Yelm Elementary, then Yelm Middle School, then Yelm High School. She had many older brothers and sisters who also attended Yelm schools. Her growing up was about as grounded as you can imagine. The first time she moved was to go off to college at BYU.
Today is moving day for my company. Well, not the entire company, just a few departments, mine being one of them. We aren’t moving far. We own several buildings in and around Salt Lake City. We are moving from a building out by the airport to one just off the freeway.
I hate moving.
Microsoft believed that it was important to not let employees get too settled; too comfortable. During my decade with Microsoft, I averaged a move about every six months. the company constantly shifted offices, reorganized teams, promoted and switched managers. The goal was to keep people from settling into a rut. They wanted to prevent fiefdoms from forming. I don’t know if it worked or not. But, I do know that I became an expert at packing my stuff.
In recent years, I’ve become a bit of a minimalist at work. I don’t take pictures of my family and post them on the walls of my cubicle. I don’t have knick-knacks or office toys at my desk. My filing cabinet has a box of cold cereal, some plastic spoons and disposable bowls, along with some herb tea.
The advantage, of course, is that I can pack my desk in a single box in about 15 minutes. We’ve known our move was coming for a while. Yesterday my manager came by and asked me if I needed more boxes. He didn’t notice the box he’d already delivered earlier in the week still in pristine condition sitting next to my desk.
No, I’m good, but thanks.
I’ll spend longer driving from the old building to the new one than I will setting up my desk. My job is typically all about my phone and my laptop. Even with the move as easy as it is, I hate moving. Maybe it’s the memory of my Microsoft days when switching offices took up most of a week. Maybe it’s a craving for stability. Maybe it’s the fact that the new building takes me further away from the agents who work on my account. They sit in my current building and they are not moving.
Change is the only constant. So, I’ll pack up my box, load it into my car and drive across town.
I’ve often considered the different upbringing between my wife and myself and how it affected us both. Me, the kid who bounced from place to place craved stability for my own kids. She, the girl who grew up in a small town, was fine with her kids moving schools occasionally.
I hate moving.
Rodney M Bliss is an author, columnist and IT Consultant. His blog updates every weekday at 7:00 AM Mountain Time. He lives in Pleasant Grove, UT with his lovely wife, thirteen children and grandchildren.
(c) 2016 Rodney M Bliss, all rights reserved