Thursday, November 13, 2008


I confessed my sins to the lovely Ms. Jaywalker at her clever secular confessional, and she has kindly granted me absolution.

But only if I complete my penance.

Thus the horrible task of cleaning out the office begins.

I am to take a bin liner and spend half an hour in the office. (Only half an hour! Thank you, thank you, Ms. Jaywalker! You are ever so kind and forgiving!)

The idea is to begin clearing out this...

and this...

and this...

and this...

Good grief.

The terrible thing about these piles of paper is that they have been in heaps, on the office floor, just like this, ever since we moved into this house, a year ago July. So that's July 2007.

And that's not the worst thing.

Even worse is that these piles were moved directly to their new Polish location by a removals company who transferred them here, in these exact mounds of rubbish, from Johannesburg, South Africa.

And that's not even the very worst thing.

Because these very piles of paper were moved to Johannesburg, South Africa, in this exact state, from South Ascot, England. That was in November 2005.

And as I look at one of the folders (the yellow one, under the SkyMiles magazines in the first photograph) I notice that it's labeled Karate. The last karate participant in this household was Tarquin, who was going to karate classes in Glen Ellyn, Illinois, in about 1998. So these already irrelevant and useless piles of crap were moved in this exact state, from Chicago to England, in 2002.

So a full TEN YEARS of no earthly kind of filing system. What in the world??

It wouldn't be so shameful, except you have to consider the characteristics of the saintly Mr D.

Here is his desk.

Here is mine.

Of course, I don't have a secretary/PA or a thousand people to run around and assist me. But on the other hand, the productive output of expateek is, well, pretty pathetic.

Time to repent. If I can find a rubbish bin liner in the mess that is the pantry.

Oh heaven forgive me, for I have sinned long and mightily.


justme said...

Ooooooh! Your desk looks horribly like mine.... Maybe its time for me to repent as well....

expateek said...

Isn't it AWFUL? So depressing, and I lose hours, no days, looking for things that I know are here somewhere .

Ugh. I say, go visit the Oracle of Delphi, I mean Brussels. She seems to have the right idea!

Jim said...

Mine is, I'm afraid, much worse and what's more, we have to start clearing out for the move to our new prstige building where some offices have glass sides and we're to be a showpiece for the University. I've worked here for 36 years. That's over three and a half decades of accumulated 'stuff'. Obviously thing I thought were important to keep. I think I'm about to learn how unimportant they are.

This is really traumatic for a museum person, so I don't think we need to feel TOO guilty.

expateek said...

Oh no! Nothing like a glass office to force your hand. Gadfry! You have my sympathies.

And yes, I was brought up to think that EVERYTHING should be saved and NOTHING should be ... deaccessioned ... shall we say. So throwing stuff out? Horrors.

Good luck with that. So far I've been doing my penance of a half-hour daily and it hasn't been too taxing, though I won't say great progress has been made either. Perhaps it'll get easier as I get rolling??