Everything in its place

Cleanliness is next to Godliness, so they say. And if thatís true, then we done found religion down at the olí Evening Sun.

With Progress Chenango 2008, inarguably our most expansive project of the year, squarely behind us, itís time today to turn our attention to the future, to map out the year which lies ahead, to set goals and establish new priorities.

But first, Iíve got to clean the office.

Iíve always been something of a neatnik, and my fastidiousness in this area has grown exponentially with time. What started in childhood with putting all the Crayolas back in the box, ordered by hue, has evolved into what some would call a good old-fashioned obsessive compulsive disorder.

ĎA place for everything and everything in its placeí is a mantra which I believe we would all do well to live by. My frustrations usually arise from trying to convince others that this is the golden rule. At home, this order is easily established. My home is my castle, and as King I reign benevolently over my loyal subjects. Rare is the happenstance when we wouldnít pass the proverbial white glove test.



Work, however, is a different case entirely. One could argue that I rule the roost here as well, but Iíve found over the years that legislating neatness is an arduous and often fruitless effort. In my later years, Iíve come to accept that a productive, well-adjusted employee is more valuable than an ordered, methodic one. And, every once in a while, I get lucky and get one who is both. Right now, Iíd say Iím about half and half.

So I go about my daily business, trying not to notice the desks and personal work areas that rival even what I would imagine to be the hoariest scene at the Chenango County landfill. In my office, tidiness is the order of the day. Once an item finds its way to my desk, I tend to process it immediately, believing firmly that no one ever delivers a piece of paper to my office with the intention of it remaining there for all eternity. Type it in, file it, send it out, pass it on. The surface of my desk is always as clean and uncluttered as the day it was delivered.

Which is, of course, a constant source of amusement around the office. Visitors being given a tour of the building are often herded into my office, where they marvel at the sheer pristineness of it all. ďLooks like no one does any work in here!Ē they chortle. ďA cluttered desk is a sign of a cluttered mind,Ē I retort.

Outside my office, in the common areas of the newsroom, things tend to pile up. I do my best to keep on top of things here and there, but with nine other people working in the same environs, and with the volume of newspapers, press releases and miscellaneous office hoo-ha that finds its way to Lackawanna Avenue, itís tough to keep up.

So this week, with Progress behind and a full year ahead, todayís the day to hoe the mess out. Our offices reclaimed from the abyss of disorganization, our files cleaned out and updated, and the crumbs of a thousand lunches vacuumed from their hiding places, Iíll now be able to sit back and admire a job well done. ĎA place for everything, and everything in its place.í

And if anyone messes it up, I will kill them.

Figuratively, of course, not literally. I would never untidy the office like that.

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