The Messy Desk

Ah-ha Moment

As a new supervisor, Joan was determined she would have a positive impact on all her employees. She began her assignment by visiting each of her employees individually and chatting about their backgrounds and career aspirations.

When she had her first meeting with Mike she noticed his office was extremely messy. Knowing some people are able to find things quickly she put him to the test. She asked for someone’s phone number and watched as Mike searched through stacks of paper looking for the company directory. Then she asked him about a big project he had completed the previous week. Again he had to search through drawers and stacks of folders delicately leaning against the wall before eventually coming across the project folder.

Joan was determined to help Mike become more proficient at finding things in his office. She stopped by the bookstore on her home and purchased a book about organizing office space. The next morning she tried to deliver the book to him but he was not in his office.

Deciding to simply leave the book on his desk she laid the book on one of Mike’s delicately balanced stacks. It immediately fell over onto the floor. Not feeling right about leaving the mess, she went to the back of the desk and, looking under it, she gasped at what she saw.

What did she see that was so ghastly? Scroll down for the answer.

ANSWER: There on the floor was the same book, a bookmark sticking from the top indicated the last supervisor had given it to him.

The lesson: Sometimes a messy desk symbolizes disorganization. But it is not necessarily a time killer if you know what's where.