Pinings: Office space
by Sherry Hughes firstname.lastname@example.org
There is a coworker in our office who seems to have a problem throwing things away. He saves every piece of mail, it seems, and magazine or flyer that comes across his desk. It’s very messy (piled high with stuff) and the area around his desk is the same way, with boxes everywhere.
He’s a great guy and always looks well-groomed (my mother’s words, not mine), so we are all confused about his habit of saving things. One of my colleagues calls it a “hoarding instinct” and says it’s a sickness. (She says she saw a show about it on “Oprah.”)
The question we have is, should we say anything to him? Is there something wrong with him?
Our boss hasn’t been much help. She says we should leave him alone if he’s doing his work.
The Office Ladies
I’m not sure what your concern is. If he’s a great guy and does a good job, what does his “stuff” have to do with you? If he was saving pizza cartons or yogurt cups over there, I’d share your concern. But if it’s just a matter of stacks of paper or mail, and it’s not creating a safety hazard, I’d ignore it.
If you have some kind of safety committee at work or a person who works on compliance for OSHA standards, you might talk with that person about what kind of problem this is. But unless something drastic happens – someone trips on a box near his desk and does a face plant in front of the entire staff, or a rat comes crawling out of the rubble -- you might need turn a blind eye to this person’s proclivities.
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