If Cleanliness is Close to Godliness, What is Disorganization?

Encounters with the Messy Kind
Working with the public, you see a lot of things. And I don’t mean things in the general sense of the term. I mean the innards of people’s lives.

As a cashier, I have seen hundreds of change-purses dumped in front of me with just as many coins spilling out of them. I have seen searches for rogue dimes that have felt similar in length and duration as the quest for the fountain of youth. I have caught glimpses of photos of grandchildren, birth certificates, passports, and other documents that seem too important to keep stuffed in a purse, or an old pill container, or a bra.

But what I marvel at most is when I am standing patiently before a customer while he or she flips through their rolodex (am I dating myself here?) of credit cards and post-it notes and business cards and pieces of irrelevant paper only to discover that we do not accept Discover. And so they dive back into their den of disorganization.

And so I ask you, how do we live such disorganized lives?

Drop it Like it’s a Hot Mess

I am, undoubtedly, not a saint in this category. I do not look upon my customers with the disdain of a Puritan on the likes of Hester Prynne. In fact, as I search for my first job, I am wondering if it is not a more efficient test to simply ask me for my wallet and not for my resume. Will my employer find instead that I am an unfit candidate because of the slovenly way I keep my money crinkled and folded, which will effectively give him/her an idea about how I will keep my office space? I shudder to think how people might judge me when I reach into my newly washed jeans in line at Starbucks and shout, “HEY LOOK! I FOUND 5 DOLLARS! LOOK HOW CLEAN IT IS!”

So, is this a pedestrian/driver predicament? That is, when we are a pedestrian, we become angry at the audacity of drivers. When we are drivers, we heat about the ignorance of pedestrians. In a similar vein, do we think it is cute and quirky when we dump our change, and mutter that we “must have another quarter in here somewhere,” and yet find it absolutely maddening when little old ladies do it in front of us when there is a line down the sidewalk?

First Purse Impressions

And really, is “creative clutter” real? Most importantly, are there really people out there who are organized in every other part of their life, besides their personal effects? Are there people whose disorganization, and perhaps dysfunction, stays neatly in their purse and does not spill out into their personal/professional life?

It’s hard to say. Perhaps first purse impressions are not a litmus test for personal efficiency. At any rate, I shouldn’t judge someone in the split second when I am ringing up their purchases for they are frazzled, as they subtract in their heads the amount of hard-earned money they will be giving up for less and less product. Maybe I should take pity on them.

But if I see one more person shoot a strained rubber band halfway across the room that once held their most precious belongings together and curse their shoddy “wallet” and rant about their inability to find anything when they need it, my faith in humanity might fall permanently into the bottom of my bag where it may never be seen again.

Are YOU disorganized? Does it work for you? Does disorganization bother you? Tell me in the comments!

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