I know, I know. As someone who lays claim to the job title of Executive Assistant in my nine to five, this comes as a surprise (and if you’re my boss, probably a bitter disappointment). But hear me out: being a disorganized slob in life isn’t all bad, and in fact I’ve come to the conclusion that being a highly organized, professional type has some significant disadvantages:
1) It makes you ANAL. As in, anally retentive and hung up on the details at the expense of the big picture. The kind of person who, if they were working on the Titanic, would be fine-tuning the arrangement of the deckchairs. The kind of person who likes to smugly inform you that, whatever you’re doing, there was an interdepartmental memo distributed yesterday that forbids you from doing it.
2) It makes you BORING. Everyone knows that the greatest artists of the world are hedonistic degenerates whose biggest feat of organisation is propping themselves up at the bar so they don’t fall over. Do you think Van Gogh spent his Sundays vacuuming and rearranging his sock drawer? Of course he didn’t. He was too busy painting ‘Sunflowers’ and going mad to worry about such dull trivia.
3) It makes you SCARY. Please understand that not everyone wants to be a hyper-efficient machine like you. Just because you can remember every email you sent or received in the last two years, and work back-to-back 16 hour days of meetings, power lunches and constant travel while remaining fresh and chipper, does not mean you are entitled to act shocked when others can’t keep up with you. You freak.
As a dyed-in-the-wool disorganised person, I constantly rail against the requirements of my administrative job to be neat, organized and efficient. In a perfect world, I’d be drinking red wine and having rambling conversations about everything in a jazz bar inBrooklyn. I’d be doing volunteer work with Tibetan monks in Dharamsala,India. I’d be painting huge canvases, building giant sculptures, and dancing around bonfires at night with my outrageous artist friends.
But right here, in the real world, it’s all about finishing this memo for my boss and preparing the agenda for next week’s meeting. It’s about setting up some appointments in Outlook, and when I get bored with that maybe updating few spreadsheets, or tidying up the stationery cupboard. Once in a while I’ll go a little bit crazy and try a new font in my email signature, or make some tweaks to the filing system. But mostly I like to fly below the radar. You see, no one I work with has figured out yet that I’m a messy, sloppy, airheaded, creative type, and that I just don’t do organized.
I’d kind of like to keep it that way.