Keeping Track Of Your Things At Work

Keeping Track Of Your Things At Work:  You are sitting at your desk. You notice that you need to charge your cell phone. When you look in your case, you do not find the charger. As you think over your day and the days before, you can recall the last times that you used the charger, but can not find it in any of those places. Some things just disappear.

In the Navy, I found myself signing documents every day.  I was the education officer for a ship with over five thousand officers and crew.  I signed entries for thousand of service records.  During bridge watches, I made log entries.  When I became a public affairs officer, I used a pen to write daily press releases on a legal pad.  A technician would then enter the articles into a computer. I wrote everyday.

I used the same Skilcraft® retractable ballpoint pens that the military uses in all its branches of services today.  These pens are everywhere in the military.  I tried to make it a habit of carrying one of these pens everywhere I went.

Since everyone used the same pen, there was a tendency for people to put the pen back in their own shirt pocket whether it was his or her pen.  Losing a pen could be moderately inconvenient.

One day a man came to the Dutch door of my office to have me sign a service record.  I borrowed his pen and unconsciously put it back into my pocket.  He asked me if he could have his pen back.  He pointed out that he had put a piece of tape around it.  He said that he had gotten tired of losing pens and having to pick up more from the supply department.  Therefore, he put a simple piece of tape on the pen to help him make sure that he got his pen when someone borrowed it.

In offices, most people are honest.  Few people intend to steal anything, especially inexpensive things.  Yet scissors, pencils, pens, legal pads, and other inexpensive things have a way of disappearing.  Putting a piece of tape or my initials on things can help me avoid losing things.

Where I work, we have more than one phone line.  The main line runs to a separate portable extension phones.  It is easy for the phones to end up in another office.  I have unique settings on my phone.  I want to make sure I get it back.  I put a small white spot on the back of the extension phone for my office.

Some things that cost a little more can easily disappear in business meetings.  Smartphone adapters, laptop adapters, ear buds, USB cords, and other small peripherals often have no unique qualities.  When people go into a business meeting, some people put things on the table as the meeting starts.  A simple piece of tape can easily help you spot which items are yours.

As a convenience note, I find that black cases and black items can make sorting things a bit tricky when I am in a hurry.  Apple makes everything white.  The color is a convenience in a black case.  However, many computer adapters and other items are black.  Simply putting initials on a white piece of paper and taping the piece of paper on black items saves time, especially when in a hurry or tired.  The practice is also helpful to keep track of my small computer peripherals in a conference room.

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