This is a mantra I constantly repeat to myself, both at work and at home. Felix Unger, of Odd Couple fame, wanted to shoot a documentary about his roommate Oscar Madison and title it Mondo Filth. Were someone to do this about my desk, Mondo Clutter would be the perfect title for it.
At work, this is less true than normal. I transcribed like a man possessed Friday, and was able to finish shortly before lunch. The doctor wasn't one of my favorites, but he's articulate enough that I usually have no trouble transcribing, once he finishes repeating himself and interrupting himself. That left the second half of the day without any specific jobs or responsibilities, so I cleaned up my pod somewhat. I was able to throw out a backlog of no-longer-relevant paperwork, file away some personal papers, and get the desk to the point where I was able to use a rag and a spray cleaner on the surface.
But that never lasts. "Out of sight, out of mind" is something you usually hear in connection with long-distance romance, but that is a truism when it comes to my trying to locate things. Unless it's all on the surface of my desk, no matter how far buried it is, I'm likely to lose track of a book, document, or disk.
My ideal desk is a Tingle table. I first saw one when I worked at the IRS' Regional Processing Center in Covington, Kentucky in 1995, before electronic filing became more the rule than the exception. (When you mailed your Federal income tax form to Cincinnati, Ohio 45999, this is where it would end up.) A Tingle table (named for its inventor; I thought that it had a rather kinky-sex sound to it at first) had numerous compartments, slots, and drawers to separate incoming documents and enclosures when people mailed in their tax returns. Failing that, I would love to own one of the 19th-century rolltop desks which featured dozens of small pigeonholes, much like the stations for letter-sorting by hand where I spent many a predawn hour. (I saw a multi-pigeonholed desk for sale when I lived in Franklinton. The $2000 asking price was all that prevented me from taking it home.)