In our business, when claiming expenses, we have to post receipts to the relevant finance department. Their office is in a building over the road from mine, so today I wandered over to drop off some receipts in person.
Meanwhile a form with its monochrome content of figures and descriptions, constituting my expense claim, was coursing its way through the invisible veins of our finance system, pausing in a workflow for the arrival of its life affirming sister receipts. Proof of its very right to exist. Its stamp of validity.
I arrived in the office to discover there was an in-tray, on top of filing cabinet. A plastic in-tray with a laminated sign, propped up to indicate its purpose in life. ‘Expenses receipts’
I dropped in my receipts, stapled to a copy of my claim form.
I paused. There is something strangely reassuring about an in-tray.
I’m old enough to remember in-trays and out-trays. The satisfaction of processing work to empty the in-tray and move it to the out-tray. Work arriving, often in envelopes, departed in much the same way,dropping into the internal mail system to wend its way to the next person in the work chain, safely enshrined in a manilla envelope, carefully addressed to the next recipient. As for the pending tray – what the … was that all about?!
In our modern world, much has improved. Much is to be embraced.
This morning though, my brief dalliance with an old friend, the in-tray, led me to reminisce.
For all the joy of the new, we still enjoy hanging on to the familiar sometimes.
We do this in most aspects of our lives. Fond throw backs to times gone by. Favourites from the past. Comfort blankets that all is well with the world.
This morning, a humble in-tray was my comfort blanket somehow.
Photo: Elky-Lou on Deviant Art