I used to work for a guy whose desk was always a mess. I am not exactly a neat-freak, but I always tried to keep a reasonably tidy desk. Having papers and crap randomly spread out on my desk made me feel anxious, so keeping it relatively clean helped me maintain my sanity in what was often a chaotic work environment.
I used to dread it when I had to walk into my boss’s office and ask him for something. He would rifle through papers and folders that were scattered across his large desk for maybe five minutes before he’d finally locate whatever files or papers I had asked for.
When I commented on his disorganization, he would quip, “A messy desk is a sign of an organized mind.”
“No,” I would think to myself, not daring to say it out loud to my boss, “a messy desk is a sign of a messy desk.” I encouraged him to take some time to organize his desk. I even volunteered to help him organize his files. But he always claimed to know exactly where everything on his mess of a desk was located.
But this tale has a happy ending. My messy boss was ultimately let go and I was promoted to take his place. So while he believed that a messy desk is a sign of an organized mind, I learned that a messy desk is a promotion opportunity for someone with an organized desk (and mind.)
Written for today’s one-word prompt, “organize.”