Sometimes your worst habits come in handy. Pack rat that I am, when I'm looking for something, I usually know it's there somewhere. The problem is, I can never remember exactly where. I don't know how many hours of my life I've wasted looking for a piece of paper that turns out to be buried in a file box in the garage, or at the bottom of a pile I've already looked through twice.
If something is always in the last place I look, why don't I just look there first?
Now I've been here at the Fortress for almost a year and a half. I have some shaky moments, and I have way more piles of random paperwork than any organized office manager would admit to. What saved me today was the one and only metal filing cabinet, which has been a constant through all these years. That, and the fact that what I was looking for was so old that I remembered it from before my memory started slipping.
At first, when the Boss called, I panicked. Did I remember a particular job we did in 1992? Yes, what about it? I wouldn't happen to have the phone list for that job, would I? What, are you kidding? A phone list from ten years ago? Then it hit me, a lightning bolt from the past. With the phone in one hand, I opened the file drawer with the other, took out the box of loose deposit slips (from bank accounts we haven't had forever), and started pawing through the box underneath that one. The Box of Old Phone Lists.
"Here it is." Even though he'd asked me for it, the Boss couldn't believe I'd found it. "Are you looking at it?" he asked. Yes. "Is the engineer's number on it?" Yes. "Well, I'll be damned." Yes. I mean no. I mean, that's what I like to hear. I've made myself indispensable one more time and saved my job for another day.
Sometimes it pays to be smart, or organized, or intensely dedicated to one's profession. And then there are those of us who are blessed with fluky good fortune. It's sheer laziness that keeps me from going through the mountain of papers that should be shredded. Lucky to be a pack rat. If I could only come up with ways to justify all my other bad habits, I'd be a much more well-adjusted person.