Clean Sweep

My first memories are of my mother chiding me to clean up my room. I would argue, claiming my room was clean, albeit messy. I’m a stacks girl. I love to have multiple projects occurring simultaneously. You walk into my apartment and see a photo album project stacked here, piles of mending stacked there, letters to respond to stacked over there, magazines yet unread stacked here. I feel guilty each night when I return to my apartment, thinking I really should clean my apartment, just in case a friend were to drop by. I begin the task, then immediately am distracted. Maybe I should finish that book, so I can reshelve it. Maybe I should just read that article, so I can put the magazine in the recycling. That’s more efficient, isn’t it? Needless to say, I never really make any progress. My apartment still has piles everywhere.

My company is being sold. Most people have responded with utter chaos. Oh, my god. What will we do? Who will buy us? How will we survive? It doesn’t bother me. I’m comfortable with chaos. I’ve been able to continue my projects, actually more focused than ever, not worrying about the future. Until now. The email came out. Basically, clean your cube and dress nicely. The buyers are coming to visit.

I’m the type of worker who leaves all papers spread out on her desk when she leaves for the day because then I’ll know exactly where to begin when I arrive the next morning. I don’t really use my file folders until the project is completely finished.

I considered it somewhat serendipitous that the same day the “clean your cube, dress nicely” email arrived in my inbox, the link for this article did as well. I’m definitely not a man, but maybe I could take some pointers from him. I tried his technique tonight, and I’m sad to say, it didn’t work. “The average guy gets distracted so easily,” he explained. Yeah, I do too. My apartment still has piles, but two New Yorkers are in the recycling. I guess that could be considered progress. At least for me it is.

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