The date is January 13, 2011. Bite Me.

January 10 was National Clean off Your Desk Day. January is National Get Organized Month. If you’re like me, you’re 85% I Care Not in response to this information. However, a treacherous 15% is ‘Gosh, it is the start of a new year. Maybe I should tidy up a bit.’

Listen to me. Listen. Ignore the 15% [via Deutschland über Elvis]:

In a brilliant stroke of post-modernism, the day was first declared by a leader of the Professional Day-Declaring Community.

This intrigued me. No, scratch that. It pissed me off.

Every bit of evidence I’ve read shows that people with fire-hazard desks are at least as productive as their neat-freak counterparts, if not moreso.

When others confronted him about his famously messy desk, Einstein posed a question: If a cluttered desk is the sign of a cluttered mind, what is an empty desk a sign of?

If you’re nodding your head in agreement, today is your day. If you’re rolling your eyes or shuddering in disgust at the thought of clutter ...

Brief review. On the one hand, there are messy people. We have a quote from Albert Einstein and an official logo. On the other hand, we have the people who wrinkle their noses and exclaim “How in the world can you find anything?” What do they have?

Wow. You know, the sound of those papers, folders, envelopes and books, inter-layered with pens, sticky notes, Legos* and plastic ants† all getting to know each other better on my desk is mighty loud when the neato torpedos don’t have anything to say. Hark! I do believe I hear that neat Japanese candy wrapper I saved flexing as the atmospheric pressure in the room changes.

Now that the anti-FUNdamentalists have gone off to make sure everyone is using the right fork or whatever, please join me in reciting the International Day to Bite Me pledge:

Is someone dicking you around? Is your day filled with petty people tut-tutting you at every turn? Through no fault of your own, do you find yourself marching to someone else’s tune? Strike back against the petty tyrants and oxygen thieves. For one day, let them kiss your sweet, fragrant buttcheeks.

Feel free to debate Order v. Chaos in the comments. Anyone who mentions the latest episode of Hoarders can just ... You know.

*Because it’s my desk. Don’t like? Don’t look.
† See above.

Posted by Hunger Tallest Palin on 01/13/11 at 10:30 AM • Permalink

Categories: Knee SlappersMessylaneous

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It’s a shame we can’t post pitcures in the comments, otherwise I’d be crowned King Of All Office Slobs.

OTOH, having worked with somebody who truly had Hoarder Disorder (to the point where the fire department had to tell him to clean up his act—twice), I find myself getting a bit nervous when the piles of paper become TOO unruly.

I don’t mind cluttered desks as long as important paperwork I need hasn’t disappeared on them; I have 3 people in my office that do that. Once, one lost the key to our mailbox. We found it inside a binder, under the metal part a couple months later. Luckily, we had spares, but I think it’s a plot to make sure I don’t take any days off. I never know what I’ll find when I come back.

I do not know any accountants who do not have messy desks.  In fact in the heat of tax season the clutter usually extends to cover the floor of the office except for a small path from door to desk.  And we are people who have passed the CPA exam so bite us.

Just flashed back to my worst boss ever.  He required everyone to tidy up their desks before going home each day.  No loose papers allowed.

Of course we all just shoved random crap into folders and then had to sort it all back out in the morning.  What a nuisance.

He also stood at the door at 8:30 every morning to ambush anyone who tried to slip in a minute late.

Yesterday, by coincidence, I happened to be cleaning my desk. And by cleaning, I mean removing enough detritus to make out the contours of what seems to be a piece of furniture. Having achieved near desk-ness, I declared victory, and then declared National Have Something With Liquor In It Day.

Is there an official line between clutter-er and hoarder?

People who are organized internally have no need for external organization.  A clean desk is the crutch of a disordered mind.

My paper problem relates to procrastination.  Papers represent things that need to be attended to.

I sort them, I stack them, I move them from place to place, everything but deal with the information they contain.  Then there’s a monthly mini-purge in which everything with a due date gets dealt with, while the remaining things are organized and moved somewhere, then new things are added to the stack.

I can relate to this.  I’m a senior administrative type in social services, which means that anywhere else in the world I would be drowning in paper. Happily, the local authority I work for is committed to doing things electronically, and I embrace that with enthusiasm; the more stuff I can deal with via email, the better.  And it means I don’t have to get up and get crap from the printer every five minutes, so it’s all good.  And if anything does involve paper to a distressing degree, I delegate it to one of my underlings…

In my experience, the most organised people, deskwise, are high level PAs; that’s partly an appearance thing, but also because managers tend to be rubbish at organising themselves.  I’ve done the job myself recently - I was the interim PA for five months to one of our higher level managers while they were trying to recruit permanently. The one I worked for is just the nicest person, but also chronically disorganised.  I used to have conniptions looking at her calendar; she adds things without telling anyone and gets herself double and triple booked.  Drove me mad.

I like clutter.  I live clutter.  I clean when it reaches the point in which I can’t stand it.  Doesn’t happen often.  So, clutterers unite!

And if anything does involve paper to a distressing degree, I delegate it to one of my underlings…

Hmm. That makes me sound terrible on second reading. I’m actually quite nice for a boss type, honest.

Is there an official line between clutter-er and hoarder?

Best guess:
1. Whether the clutter hinders your ability to function.
2. Why the clutter is there in the first place.

I’m pathologically tidy.  I have no regrets.

Hmm, reminds me I “forgot” to vacuum over the weekend. My desk at work, now shared with another fellow (Palinista no. 1!) is always a mess. My books at home, once removed from the shelf will wait months until they are placed back and if the dust on the wainscoating in any indication, my small apt. is a supreme fire hazard.

Fuck off neat freaks.

I’ll happily bite you, HTP.  Glad to see you getting into the spirit.

Hey HH. Thanks for creating a day for schlubs like moi and thanks for dropping by.

Is there an official line between clutter-er and hoarder?

See my previous comment re: involvement of fire department.

Hmm. That makes me sound terrible on second reading.

Yes. Yes, it does. You should have used the word “minions.”

Yes. Yes, it does. You should have used the word “minions.”

I have called them that in jest before, actually…

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