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Columnist, Sheila Moss, is humor writer from  Tennessee. She writes  a weekly human interest column about daily life and the funny things that happen to everyone.

   She has written for  the Daily News of Kingsport,   Griffin Journal, Oakridge Now, Atlanta Woman Magazine, Aberdeen Examiner, Angleton Advocate,  and Smyrna AM, a supplement of the Murfreesboro Daily News Journal. She has been published by Voyageur Press, McGraw Hill, and the good folks at Guidepost Books.  Her articles have appeared in numerous anthologies and other publications, both in print and online.

    She is a former board member and past  Editor of  the, website of  the National Society of Newspaper Columnists, the oldest and largest professional organization for columnists. She is the Web Editor of Southern  and  a founder of the Southern Humorists writers' organization. She is writer, editor, and webmaster of

    To carry her weekly column in your newspaper, or to republish an article, please contact her. It's that easy. 

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The Exodus...

The Exodus

We are moving. Our office is being remodeled and we must move from place to place to get out of the way of construction. Few things are as disruptive and disorienting as trying to move and trying to conduct business as usual at the same time.

This is our second and, hopefully, final move. Some people in the office will move three or more times, so I hate to complain about moving only twice in the same year. We are like frogs hopping from pad to pad.

The aisles are full of pink moving bins like a highway under construction lined with orange barrels. Plastic bins are the new thing. No more cardboard boxes. Now it is plastic crates, all the same size and stacked on top of each other with a flat dolly under each stack, so they are easy to move.

This is supposed to be more economical as the plastic bins are rented and reusable. It is also supposed to be "green" as it eliminates the need to recycle a bunch of used cardboard boxes. Cardboard is, at least, biodegradable while plastic is forever. But that isn't my problem. My problem is only to be sure everything gets in a pink crate before the 4 PM deadline.

There is a method to the madness. You pack the bottom crate first, then stack an empty one on top of it, fill it up and so on. Hinged tops are attached so no tape or assembly is involved. Of course, you must be sure not to overfill the bin or the lid won't close. Somehow whatever you put in one of these things is invariably about half an inch too high forcing you to repack the entire thing.

When you move, you always pack something important that you end up needing before you go, something you hardly ever use, but when you reach for it in the usual spot, it isn't there. For me it was an important folder, one I thought I was finished with until I packed it. I finally found it in basket along with other papers. At least I didn't throw it away.

"Can I use your stapler?" is an inquiry from the next cubicle. "I packed mine already."


I hope it doesn't run out of staples, I think, racking my brain to try to
remember which bin I might have packed them in. I'll be so glad when I can find my stuff again.

Moving presents the opportunity to clean out files and get rid of old papers, duplicates, and things that probably didn't need to be filed in the first place. Of course, as soon as it hits the bottom of the recycle bin, you realize that you have thrown out the one thing you had intended to keep. Cross your fingers and hope no one needs it before it is obsolete, or go dumpster diving in the recycle bin and dig it out.

Anyhow, today is the day. We finished packing our office life into the pink plastic tombs. After we go home tonight, movers will come like shadows in the night and invisibly move them to the new destination.

Tomorrow we will reverse the process and unpack and wonder why we thought some of the things we packed were important enough to move, and where in the world are we going to put all this stuff.

It is hard to decide which is worse, the packing or the unpacking. It should be fabulous to have a clean new office once the dirty work is done. If only we could skip the unpacking part and go straight to the new office part, things would really be fantastic.

If you will pardon me now, my stapler just ran of staples. Maybe if I ask nicely and hold my mouth just right, I can borrow some until after this exodus.

Copyright 2013 Sheila Moss

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