“I probably do have an obsessive personality, but striving for perfection has served me well.” –Tom Ford
They say you can tell a lot about a woman by looking at the contents of her purse. I suppose the same could be said by looking in someone’s desk drawers. I spend the bulk of my day at work, so it’s natural that what is in and on my desk should reflect who I am. My desk does indeed tell a lot about me. On the top of my desk I have pictures of those who are important to me. I like looking over the top of my computer and seeing the faces of my nieces and nephews. They make me happy. I also have pictures of former students. The students wanted me to have a picture of us together. The fact that they liked me enough to want to be permanently linked to me says a lot. Those picture are on my desk as well.
The inside of my desk is a bit different; however, the inside of my desk REALLY tells the story of who I am. My desk has six drawers. One drawer holds my purse. It’s really only in there because my sister has drilled into my head that if I leave my purse on the floor, I will forever be broke. I’m broke no matter where I put my purse, but I listen because I’m the younger sister. Another drawer holds my snacks. Food is important to me so I always have some near. My colleagues know that so they are often asking for snacks. I like being the keeper of the food not because I want people to be dependent on me but because I like the interaction that always follows when they come and ask for chocolate, dried apricots, or whatever else may be in my drawer. I said I have six drawers. I’ve told you what’s in two of them so that leaves the contents of four to be revealed. I will admit. I am obsessive compulsive. I have too many compulsions to list in this posting. I will save that for another day.
Contents of drawer three, four, five and six? Office supplies. Yes, I said it. Office supplies. I have Sharpies, black ink pens, red ink pens, yellow Post-It Notes, multi-colored Post-It Notes, Binder Clips of assorted sizes, paper clips of assorted sizes, envelopes – business and letter sized, magnetic Binder Clips, two staplers, a three-ring hole punch, note cards, and notepads. I have no real need for all of these office supplies, but I keep them just because I MIGHT need them one day. My new job is in technology. I do a lot of work on the computer. Actually, everything I do is on the computer, iPad, or some other electronic device. I have the office supplies because I get a rush every time I go to Office Max, Office Depot, Walmart, or anywhere else office supplies are sold. I buy, buy, buy just because I like to collect office supplies. I also like to collect First Aid kits, flashlights, and disaster supplies. No real need now but maybe in the future.
What does that tell you about me? It tells you that I like to be prepared. What am I prepared for? Pretty much anything and everything. Why? Just because. I don’t like not knowing the answer to something or not having what I need when I need it. I makes me feel ill-prepared and not at my best. I dislike being unprepared. Years ago, I was the Scoutmaster of a Boy Scout Troop. We went on a ten-mile backpacking trip. My pack weighed seventy pounds. Why? Because I had some of everything in there in case I needed it. Did I need half of what I had? No. Do I regret the extra weight? No, because I would have spent most of the trip wishing I had it. That’s just who I am which works for me because my need to always be prepared means that I don’t do anything half-way. I am always reading because I like having knowledge. I don’t like not knowing. Today, a former colleague commented on the fact that my phone extension is 411. She thinks it’s funny because I am always looking for and giving out information. She’s right. It’s an appropriate descriptor of who I am.
Perhaps next time we can discuss the contents of my purse. Probably not. I’d end up in therapy no doubt. I can’t let too many of my compulsions out there for the world to know. I’ll keep those secrets.