Today I stopped by Panera on my way to work to grab a breakfast sandwich and some cookies for an afternoon meeting (tip: if you want people to participate, bring food. Works every time…). I found an awesome pull through spot and eagerly pulled in next to a shiny white Lexus. As I was getting out, I glanced in the window and, I kid you not, there were Kleenex EVERYWHERE! They were on the passenger seat, the floor of the passenger side, the console and the dashboard. There were probably more on the driver’s side and in the back but I didn’t look that close. Was afraid the cesspool of germs that are no doubt thriving in that car would seep out and leach on to me if I stood there any longer.
So it got me to thinking how so many of us present all nice and neat on the outside but on the inside are probably hot messes. Or perhaps the other way around – someone could look all discombobulated on the outside but have it all pulled together on the inside.
One thing I’ve learned over the years is that you can tell a lot about a person by the way they keep their desk at work. Our offices/cubes are like second homes and most of the time they end up looking about the same way our houses do, which is often a reflection of us as people.
Let’s analyze, shall we?
Here’s a pic of my desk at The Mall (if you click on it, you can see a larger version with my notes on it). Keep in mind that I’m a contractor here so while I am not employed by the company inside the mall, I have been stationed here for several years, which accounts for why my desk looks so “lived in”. If I was consulting at a company for only a month or so, my desk wouldn’t look nearly this permanent.
First, let’s dissect the items –
Darth Vader poster: Yes, I secretly work on the Death Star and I know you are all totally jealous. Bet you didn’t know the Death Star was located inside a mall did you? This whole “mall” thing is just a cover. In fact, Scooter is really R2D2 in disguise. Anyway, the big man himself thinks I’m doing great work and sent me a personalized, autographed picture that reads, “Sarah, Thank you for your hard work on the Death Star. Much love, Darth Vader.” Feel free to worship me now.
- Haphazard Christmas Decor: I included this in a post a few weeks ago. I’m pretty much the only one here with any holiday decor. Except for the girl one aisle over who has a dying poinsettia on her desk. It literally has one leaf left on it. It’s the Charlie Brown Poinsettia. As you can tell, I didn’t put much time into putting up my holly garland. But at least it’s more than The Strangler has.
- Christmas Card from The Strangler: Speaking of The Strangler…she was nice enough to give me a Christmas card. In it she wrote, “Have a great Xmas filled with Scooter fun and don’t eat anything from the candy machines, no matter how tempting it looks!” Words to live by, my friends.
- Sogeti mug: as previously mentioned, I am currently consulting at the company in the mall (which shall remain nameless). The company I actually work for is Sogeti. Because a big part of consulting is selling the company, I have my mug front and center! I also have a branded name plate on the top of my cube (which you can kind of see), wear branded apparel regularly, include Sogeti’s name subliminally in random documents and have a tattoo on my thumb so that it can be seen when I shake hands.
- Munchkin Desktop Background: Come on, how could anyone resist that adorable little face? It brightens my day every time I see her smile on my computer.
- Blog Notes: These are kept mostly for Annexed. There’s so much that goes on during the week that I want to include in each Friday’s edition that I have to keep notes or else I’ll forget. I should save those notes. Someday when I’m famous, those notes could be worth millions! [Sogeti]
- Token family pics: see #4. No matter what company I’m at, I like to have a couple of family pics on the wall. Keeps it all in perspective, ya know?
- Clorox Wipes: If you worked at The Mall you would understand the necessity for these. They are probably the single most important item in my cube…
- Box of cookies: Aforementioned Panera drops of heaven, er, cookies. The second most important item in my cube. [Sogeti]
- Random trinkets and junk: various tchotchkes collected over the years. These got reduced tremendously when I moved from the west office to The Mall. I only have a few now that include: a football rubber ducky, an affirmation paperweight, and a green smiley stressball.
- Couch coat: …or whatever coat I happen to be wearing that day. Today it was the couch coat, so named by a previous co-worker of mine who said that the pattern reminded him of his grandma’s couch. To which I promptly replied, “Well then your grandma has great taste!” I’ve had this coat for about 4 years and gotten numerous compliments on it. Every time I get a compliment on it, my inner child thinks back to that old co-worker (coincidently nicknamed Scooter) and say “Neener, neener, neener!” [Sogeti]
I know, I know. It’s not the tidiest desk in the world. But it’s not the messiest either. Believe you me, I’ve worked with some messy people…So what does this all mean? What kind of person does this stuff say that I am? Wait for something really deep and profound…
You tell me – what do you think? What does all this stuff say about me?