View Full Version : My coworkers' files are a mess!

5-5-11, 5:21pm
As some of you might remember, I'm in international shipping on the import side. We're a good team in my department, and we help each other with files when needed.

Anyway, I think we you might also remember I'm also a minimalist, both at home and work. My files have only the necessary items same witj my desk. The files of my coworkers, on the other hand, are sure signs of paper hoarders. Not just one copy of any particulat document, but 3-6 copies of the identical thing. No reason for it. Mind you, these docs are also in our email or saved electronically in our system (depends on file).

I worked on for files for one of the paper hoarders this afternoon. I admitted to my boss that I feel the need to go home and declutter aftet working on the files of one person! Boss admires my minimalism and said she understood (constant battle to get some people to keep less people).

Had to vent. Feel much better!cow-hi

Had to use the cow smilie since it's so much fun! :D

5-5-11, 8:49pm
People think differently. S/he apparently files differently too!

5-5-11, 8:53pm
People think differently. S/he apparently files differently too!

Boss trying to break the paper keepers of keeping so much! I once pulled out all the multiple duplicate copies of stuff in a file and it reduced the size of the file by half! Waste a lot of time trying to find what you need when there are duplicate copies of stuff spread throughout a file.

Anne Lee
5-6-11, 7:27am
For some people, keeping the same thing just in case is much easier than trying to decided if this is needed, even if the same document is sitting right in front of them. It doesn't make sense, I know, but usually these decisions are made from a default setting which may or may not be rationale. Sometimes, those default settings are set by a strange combo of hardwiring gone awry and reactions to bad experiences.

5-6-11, 10:08am
Just wondering if she cleans out your files too. Shouldn't this be an issue that the boss deals with?

5-6-11, 10:11am
Boss trying to break the paper keepers of keeping so much!

Then let the boss do that.

It sounds rather catty to "Admitted to my boss that I feel the need to go home and declutter aftet working on the files of one person."

iris lily
5-6-11, 10:29am
At work I have a way to deal with those papers that are in the "doubt that I'll need them but I'll hang on to them for a while" status, and that is--I throw them under my desk. No one sees that messy pile. Periodically, about 3x or 4x a year, I pick up the entire batch and put it in the trash. My office is always neat and tidy and doesn't have crap sitting around except for my secret slush pile under my desk, ha ha.

See, I keep minimal things and everything that I deem of permanent status gets filed immediately. But I certainly don't keep multiple paper copies although I do confess to keeping certain employee records on paper even if they exist in electronic form. It's so much easier for me to pull out the file of Jane Doe and read a paper file of all relevant issues.

5-6-11, 10:35am
For some bizarre reason, I sometimes imagine what my co-workers would think if I died and left my office and computer in their current state. Dealing with too many dead relatives in the past I think. I really need to do some office cleaning so this thread was a good reminder.

5-6-11, 11:09am
My desk was always a disaster at work but I could find everything and had no time to do a huge cleanup. I got my work done and no one ever complained. Perhaps your coworkers are the same way. It in no way reflects that state of my house, which is always tidy and uncluttered. I personally would be really annoyed if someone else tried to organize my papers - I would probably not be able to find anything for a month.

5-6-11, 11:45am
I don't clean out the files. But I am helping out and am simply amazed at the amount of absolutely unneeded crap in these files. One file per shipment.

Thing is the person who opens them is not only person who goes into them.

5-7-11, 10:57am
We're about 10 months into switching to a paperless file system (it'll take a full year to have all current files paperless). I suppose it'll be the same now with paperless files, but I was always amazed with the paper files that the correspondence section in most people's files will contain a printout of each iteration of an email chain. My files tended to be much smaller because I'd wait until the back and forth of emails on a topic was done and then print the last one, which would have all the back and forth just once.

5-7-11, 1:44pm
I feel the same way about how some of my colleagues organise their space/paperwork. As much as I feel compelled to dive in and organise everything when they're not looking, I just try to remember that it's all down to personal preference. If they're not bothered by it and it works for them without detriment to anyone else's functioning, it's fine.