John, as the main breadwinner in the house (okay, the ONLY breadwinner), always has the brightest, biggest office space, something that will "call him into being" and make him feel good, something that’s going to allow him to create things in a big way. And he always, invariably, inevitably, ends up hating his office space. It always ends up as the worst room in the house. You see, John has this problem; I’m tempted to say that it’s a male thing, but I actually have no evidence of that other than my husband, so I can’t really. He has to use every available surface to put things on. Every. Available. Surface. And there are never enough surfaces, so he is constantly expanding the available surfaces that he can use and spreading his work out into the adjoining rooms. Right now, his office has three desks and a buffet that he can put things on, plus he’s squashed the books on various shelves back against rear of the unit, so he can (precariously) balance more things on there, too. Unfortunately, his office comes off our formal living area, which contains another buffet and a large, square dining table. Both of which are now covered in his papers. When I question him as to why he can’t just use filing trays or some kind of filing system like most other people do (i.e. me), he assures me that he has to have all of these papers out where he can see them so that he can deal with everything because he’s got so much to do that things will just get lost if he doesn’t have them out on display.
The thing is, no matter how much work he has on, there always seems to be the same amount of paperwork. And he’s always complaining about how much paperwork there is and how snowed under and overwhelmed he feels. I’ve tried pointing out that spreading things out the way that he does is going to make it seem like a lot of work so maybe he should just put it in small piles and not spread it out so much, but he just poo-poos that idea.
A few weeks ago, he decided that he could no longer work with such a small, cr***y (i.e. normal size) desk and he needed a big, sod-off, old-fashioned timber managers desk, a huge thing, that was going to be big enough to hold everything. I spent a couple of hours going through Gumtree and Google trying to find suitably large items, only to be told that they were ALL too small. Fine. I found a full-size snooker table (12’ x 6’) and suggested he use that. You might laugh at that, but I wasn’t actually being facetious. His office in a previous house adjoined the snooker room, which had a full-size table in it and was just the most useful piece of furniture when it came to wrapping Christmas presents! I just shifted all of John’s papers off it and, voila! The perfect gift-wrapping surface. Okay, I had to vacuum the baize afterwards to get all the sparkly bits that had fallen off the wrapping paper off it, but it was so handy. Most of the year though, it was used as a kind of horizontal filing cabinet that was cleared off if we had visitors who might want a game of snooker. So, you see, a snooker table could be ideal. He dismissed that idea though, telling me not to be ‘silly’.
While he’s waiting for a friend to make him a big, sod-off, timber desk, he’s bought himself a 1.8m sit/stand desk, yet another surface to put things on. He’s cleared most of his papers from out of the lounge, but I suspect that was only because he had a meeting in there yesterday, quite possibly because he didn’t have a clear surface for them to sit at in his office.
Hi! I’m Karen O’Connor, hormonally-challenged, menopausal writer, blogger, self-confessed sarcasm enthusiast, mother of 4, wife of 30 years, destroyer of souls... no, wait, that's just in the mornings...