I just started working at a newspaper publishing company. The office is old, with stains on the walls, badly peeling wallpaper, and giant holes in the carpets. Those are expensive renovations, I can live with those problems.
The thing that bothers me is that in the back of the office, where my desk faces, there is a giant pile of random boxes and junk.
So just talk to the boss and offer to clean it up, right? Well, a co-worker with 15 years of experience there seems to be the creator of this junk pile. In fact, his desk area is sort of a nest, piled high with junk maybe 4 feet tall closely surrounding his workspace.
He's pretty much the one that I go to before bothering the boss or the owner, though, so I asked him if I could clean the junk pile (the giant office-sized pile, not his personal junk nest) in my free time. He said "No." - I asked why and he responded with "Because I don't want you going through it." So, I said "Well, you aren't going to do it." And he looked at me like "That's right."
So anyway, the next step would be for me to go over him to the boss. I have a few concerns though:
he's a pretty big asset to the company. So keeping him happy is probably high on the manager's priority list.
The place has been like this for 10 years, and no one else seems to have cared enough to do something about it.
They might not have a place to put the stuff even if I get permission to clean up.
So anyway, I've been going above and beyond for the company with my design work, and have already seen some great responses from customers who I've designed ads for. I'm even programming a web application in my free time at work for the company to have a better e-reader edition.
My point is, I'm working hard to make the product that we produce better, and I think having a clean workplace is part of that process.
How should I proceed to approach this issue, or rather, should I push it further at all?