Yesterday, I spent the late morning and all afternoon transferring 300 boxes of Halloween merchandise from a storage shed in Albertville, to the store in Minneapolis. There are now two small mountains of boxes on the show floor, waiting to be opened and stocked.
In the evening the two owners and I discussed the floor layout while eating BBQ and drinking beer. I put on a witch mask and danced for them.
We got drunk and discussed the pre-fab shelving that lines nearly every inch of wall in this 8000 sq ft, former Hollywood Video. We have little use for it. One of the owners talked about trying to sell it. I talked him out of it, suggesting instead we find someone willing to dismantle it and take it away for free - to be used again. They would make nice bookshelves.
We tried to move one. The whole thing fell apart, the shelves broken. It's a click and lock system something like what Ikea employs with their cabinetry and furniture (This is not an Ikea product, to be clear.) The steel locks inside the wood pulp shelves have ripped through the wood pulp and laminate. I tried pulling the shelves individually, from another rack. They wouldn't unlock. The three of us spent twenty minutes, trying to remove shelves. None of us could.
It became clear that there would be no removing these and moving them somewhere else. I had a brief moment of despair, looking at all those shelves, thinking about the trees that were ground up to make them, the toxic adhesives required to hold all that wood mash together, the laminate that is made out of...who knows what. Deeply sad, and angry, that such a thing as these shelves were ever made; an oh-so common example of our cultures indifference to the health of the Earth.
I said as much to the men with me, before I told them that as long as these shelves can't be moved we might as well have some fun destroying them. These guys are office guys, they haven't had an opportunity to do something like this since we were in college 16 years ago. Karate chop! and now the floor is littered in a ten foot deep ring out from the wall, in broken DVD display shelving.
There are beer cans in piles. Plates of BBQ. And the mountains of boxes.
I'm interviewing 10 potential employees in that space, starting in...one hour. The one who isn't intimidated is the one we will most likely hire.
****On an unrelated not, again: I find it interesting that Google CEO Eric Schmidt is talking about us having to change our name and identity to escape our eternal Internet indiscretions, and that he wants Google to be our one-stop information channel for everything, but when I Google my name - William Hunter Duncan - this Google blog doesn't show up in the search results.****