Tuesday, February 28, 2006

The pitfalls of filing

Life isn't quite this boring, but for lack of a better topic and fear of rupturing something in my already congested brain, I've decided to dedicate this post to Neil's Carnival of the Mundane.

There can be a certain zen-like vibe you get from mundane office tasks. The rhythmic monotony of stapling papers or labeling envelopes can lull your brain into a meditative state that some might even call rejuvenating. At the very least it require very little in the way of brain power and gives you time to think or carry on that trashy conversation with that co-worker you never see. Filing, however, is like a dreaded trip to the dentist. I loathe filing with every fiber in my polarfleece jacket. The only task worse than filing is the creation of new files. If you have ever seen the old comic strips with the character hidden among the stacks of papers on their desk, you've gotten a glimpse at what my desk can become. It's not the alphabetizing associated with filing that irks me. I'm pretty tight with the alphabet. I abhor the ambiguity associated with filing. What is paper X should be filed in file B but also makes sense in file H? Do you put a opy in B and H; just B or H; or do you create file Q to house files that work in both B and H? The only logical use for paper files, in my mind, is part of larger bonfire. Paper files are, in fact, antiquated. Why keep all of that paper around when everything can be scanned into a computer these days and logged as part of a much vaster electronic network. You can even back everything up on a supplementary hard drive. But, no, heaven forbid we move fully into this century and embrace technology. Instead, I ordered pink file folders in the hope this would jazz up the process. Now they sit at the end of my desk mocking me with their cheerfulness. My distaste for torture and my belief that I would be violating some sort of Geneva Human Rights pact even prevents me from passing this task along to interns or other staff. For the moment, I will continue to hide these growing stacks of paper until I can stomach the pink.


  1. I agree about filing. I just stopped making the labels how everyone wanted them because often the file (of the job) gets thrown away once not awarded. Pink is a good idea though...but I wouldn't worry about passing them on to the inters...they probably need things to do.

  2. Doesn't it worry you deep down that no one will ever see these files again? It's sort of like Schrodinger's Cat. As long as no one looks in the box, all is well. Once they do....