Yesterday's guest blog from Angela P. 'Mrs. Repman' Cody got me
thinking about her many traits and qualities. Most, of course, are highly
admirable (and, that was a paid political announcement).
But one, in fact, runs contrary to conventional wisdom about men and women.
Angie, you see, is a piler.
By that I mean, she tends to, shall we say, accumulate things that I would toss
away faster than Lindsay Lohan can get into trouble. Some might also label
Angie's piling ways as hoarding and, based upon the number of empty garbage
bags that routinely rocket out of our kitchen drawers when opened, I'd tend to
Angie also likes to hang onto ancient artifacts from our adult kids' childhood,
defending her actions by noting, “Hey, their kids' kids will need them one day.”
I'm hard pressed to think Chris, Jr., will aspire to one day lay claim to Aunt
Catharine's badly battered, circa 1991 desk. But, whatever.
Angie's piling ways are not dissimilar from yet another member of the distaff
side with whom I've worked for well over a decade. I've found that, she, too,
is a quasi-horder. In fact, I distinctly recall walking into her office on more
than one occasion, sitting down in a chair across the desk from her's and being
unable to see her due to piles upon piles of dead client folders blocking my
Let the record show, however, that this executive has changed her ways since
relocating to new space on a new floor and is now the very picture of
Despite the findings of a 2005 survey of office workers by long-time Peppercom client
Steelcase, I don't think sloppiness is gender-specific. And, I've
sure met many women who defy the neatness trend Steelcase spotted. In fact,
highly placed sources within our New York office have revealed that the person
who has daily left dirty dishes behind in our pristine kitchen is, in fact,
female. So there.
Before concluding, though, I must share a brief anecdote about the ultimate
filer: my former, alpha male boss at Brouillard Communications.
This guy put the A in anal retentive. He was so obsessed with neatness and
order that he insisted our brow-beaten secretaries equip conference room tables
with agency-branded writing tablets and agency-branded number two pencils that
HAD to be finely sharpened, turned logo side up and be of the number two,
S.A.T. test variety.
I remember the ruckus he created when our unsuspecting office manager placed a
new order for pencils and mistakenly selected a hodgepodge of numbers one, two
and three pencils, respectively. The CEO went positively postal, and screamed, “Brouillard
has always been a number two pencil agency, and will remain so as long as I'm
at the helm. Cancel that order and get me nothing BUT number two pencils! And
deduct any extra costs from your next paycheck." I kid you not.
By the way, this guy's life motto was: 'Organization is liberation.' Again, I
kid you not.
So, what about you? Are you a piler or a filer? And, does being too neat or too
messy impact one's image and reputation? I'd go on, but I need to polish my
Blackberry keyboard and buff the screen.