As the new managing editor of the newspaper, I feel it’s a part of my responsibility to share with all of you, our devoted readers, some additional insight into the man behind the byline.
Today, while sitting at my desk, it struck me that I do not have the stereotypical newspaper editors office. Often in movies or shows, the editors office will often be cluttered in old newspapers stacked in the corner, print outs spread out across the desk, maybe a few framed articles and/or awards from their early career, an overfilled and half open filing cabinet and often a bottle of cheap alcohol in their bottom drawer. Pretty bland, average and normal.
So when people stop by my office for the first time, they’re often surprised at what they see as they walk in. One of my four walls features movie posters from both Marvel and DC Comics films, I have a couple of colorful art prints and pieces reading “Don’t Grow Up, It’s A Trap” on a second and third wall, and on the fourth wall I have a couple of past awards and framed autographs and photos from celebrities I’ve met.
Looking at my desk you will see a variety of comic book character statues, toys and action figures surrounding my computer and workstation. Over against that first wall I mentioned, you’ll notice a homemade table made of an old countertop, from I don’t know where, laying across two filing cabinet legs. Atop it there are even more collectables and action figures, may of which are still in their original boxes, some VHS tapes on display and my collection of promotional items presented to me at various events over the years.
So, why do I have this desire to fill my office with what one could describe as children’s toys and colorful posters? I’m sure there’s a deeper answer, some psychological reasoning behind it, but the simple truth is, it relaxes me.
As a huge nerd and a lover of a variety of fandoms, it’s easy to see why I have selected the pieces which fill my office. But I think it may also be an echo from my childhood that still remains.
When I was a kid, I had a very active imagination. All of my toys had backstories and were connected to one another. Getting to play with my toys was my escape when I was younger. I always remember being at peace and happy while using my imagination to bring my action figures to life to save the world. Though the connection to my imagination was weakened as I got older, I don’t think the link was ever completely severed.
Now, at 31-years old I obviously am not sitting at my desk and playing with the collectables I have on display. I know that’s what you were thinking. I may fidget with a small figure occasionally if I’m brainstorming or listening to audio, but that’s about as much “playing” as I do.
The colorful posters, art and characters covering the desk, counter and walls of my office still provide me with the same sense of peace and happiness I had as a kid. Just having them surround me as a part of my workspace places me at ease.
I don’t know how many of you have ever worked in the news industry, but it can be challenging some days. The good stuff and the bad, we report on it all. It’s a joy to be able to share upcoming events and new shows or business with our readers. Then, there is bad news to report and we have to be the ones to present it to our community. The impacts we experience from being the best of the best in the news field, can easily leave a mental or emotional mark if you’re not careful.
My theory is, by surrounding myself with the things I love and that bring me peace and happiness, is my own personal way of combating those marks. For some, it’s listening to music, getting some air outside or eating their favorite snack. But for me, it’s creating an atmosphere I can thrive and succeed in.
The importance of giving employees the opportunity to express themselves in a way that relaxes them or provides them with joy is the best thing an employer can do for the people they have working for them. Whether they have an office, a desk, a workstation, an apron or even just a name tag lanyard around their neck, give them the chance to make it their own. If you do, I assure you, they’ll likely be your most dedicated and happy employees.
I always look forward to bringing people into my office and giving them the chance to experience the environment I’ve created. My hope is it will inspire them to design a space of their own that will hopefully have the same effect for them as my office does for me.
While my office is not a museum (yet), I do invite folks to come visit with me and check it out for themselves. My door is open and my email is functioning; so never hesitate to reach out to me. Contact me today at email@example.com.