Thursday, September 09, 2010

Mold-Free Monday

I cleaned my office desk this afternoon. This is one of those little "housekeeping" details that frequently…eludes me. I'll go through my day sucking down cups of loose-leaf tea (because bags would leave me in grave peril of tea-cup tidiness, and we couldn't have that), or coffee liberally laced with milk and sugar, or even {shudder} instant hot cocoa (sugar-rush desperation, I occasionally haz it…), and then sort of not get around to the part where I rinse it out, preferably with a little soap being involved at some point.

I make toast with butter and jelly (usually in lieu of actually eating lunch, which is a terrible habit I've noticed is extremely prevalent in our group, especially during deploy weeks – which this week was), and as I'm shoving the plate, cup or bowl aside, I make a mental note to make sure I don't, you know, forget to clean that.

And then I totally forget all about it until I need it again. And there is no way in heck I'm going to remember to take a minute at the end of the day to take care of it, because approximately 99.95% of the time, quitting time jumps on me like a mountain lion pouncing on a mouse. SURPRISE! {squeak!!!!}

I don't know why it is that quitting time always seems to sneak up on me. After all, most days it arrives at precisely the same time. I even have reminders set up, a recurring "meeting" I've put on my Outlook calendar that pops up a little window fifteen minutes before I should be leaving.

And yet I almost never leave the office in anything like an orderly fashion. Oh no. It's always a rout. I'm always trying to finish one last email, or just look at the distinct values of this one field in this one (200-million-record) table real quick (there is nothing 'quick' about a table with 200,000,000 records), or I'm embroiled in an argument a vigorous debate about whether or not this line of code is doing what we think it's doing.

And then suddenly, without warning, I've got 28 seconds to be in the elevator or I will miss that train, which means missing the bus, which means missing the second train, which means cooling my heels for an hour at the bus stop waiting for the next blasted shuttle.

I don't like missing my shuttle. It makes me testy.

Half the time, I don't even notice I've still got dirty dishes on my desk. I just start flinging electronics in the general direction of the zippered pockets all over my backpack, and then I run for it. I'm genuinely surprised (and disgusted) when I get in three days later to find my tea cup has applied for a driving permit and the cream cheese from Thursday's bagel has been sneaking off to Planned Parenthood because it's got a thing going with the little bits of burned meat I picked off my sandwich.


Now, much as I'd like to pretend this has only happened once, maybe twice, well.

I'm afraid it's actually all too common an occurrence.

But not today!

Because, before my last meeting of the day, I looked at my desk, noted (and herein is the miracle) that said meeting was going to end precisely at quitting time, and I said to myself, said I, "Self! Deal with that, right-now!"

So I did.

People, you would have thought I had invented penicillin. That is how clever I felt, for having done the impossible, by which I mean knocking the spent tea leaves out of my infuser into the compost (hello, this is San Francisco – of course we separate our refuse into compost, recycling, CRV and {GASP!} landfill…the basket for which is I kid you not the size of a tissue box…), rinsing all the particles off my utensils, and even (in a spasm of cleanliness that defies all tradition) dried them so they won't be all spotty when I get back in Monday morning.

I also cleared off all the (mostly) empty soda cans, used napkins, assortment of wrappers, and other such goo-gahs.

It took me two trips to the kitchen.

And on the second trip, I brought back a damp towel with me and gave the desk itself a quick rub-down, and put all my crap away in my drawer. Tidied up the BRD [business requirements] and FSD [functional specs] and TSD [tech spec] documents sprawled all over every available square centimeter (and quite a few arguably unavailable centimeters). Put away my pens and pencils.

And then I sat through my last meeting of the day feeling so clever that I almost mentioned it when the project manager said, "OK, so, does anybody else have anything they'd like to add?"

Yes, yes I do. I cleaned my desk. Like, FOR REAL.

Fortunately, I managed to rein in my self-congratulations. I wouldn't want to make anybody else on the team feel bad for not being as bad-ass as your faithful correspondent.


I'm going to have a mold-free Monday morning at work, people.

That's right. Bad assery: I haz it.

And now, we shall conveniently overlook the state of my home office, because I am all about focusing on the POSITIVE, people…(besides, as long as I can shove aside the stuff enough to let my mouse move freely, I'm fine, right…?)


Anonymous said...

Everyone's going to think you've quit and cleaned out your desk. I take my dirty dishes with me to the bathroom and wash them when I wash my hands. Double-tasking.

Anonymous said...

I'm ever so virtuous - I HAVE to clean them up because of the ants that attack whenever I'm not looking, and because we rent the building out on weekends, so dirty dishes in the sink just won't do. AND, I've taken to cleaning out the fridge on Fridays so that renters don't come across science experiments left in there for weeks. (What the heck is THIS? covered with fuzzy mold?)
Nancy FP