Tuesday, 7 April 2009

The Menopausal Guide to Office Management

My office. The clue is right up there in front of the noun. MY. Office. It is mine. It's the one place I sometimes feel how I used to feel when I was a grown up and went out to work. It's the one place that I can come and tap away to my heart's content and, if I'm lucky I'm left alone to do just that. Because it is my office. It is sacrosanct and it is MINE.

Except nobody else seems to understand that. And instead of "leaving me be" in my own rather restricted space, DH & The Joshua seem to use my office (MY office) as a general repository for anything and everything that they don't quite know what to do with. The assumption is that I will know what to do, so little heaps of menacing detritus are left for my urgent attention:

A half-completed glove puppet. The sewing basket placed strategically by the half-completed glove puppet in the hope that the nice Mummy will complete it in time to be handed in at the start of next term. Town guides from various European cities. Hotel brochures from various European cities. Receipts for coffees or food. At least 17 car 'phone chargers - which 'phone they belong to long since forgotten. Any cables that anyone comes across end up in a pile on my office floor. You name it - all inanimate inhuman life is here.

Along with all the rather more organised files that I keep to do with work. (I don't mind those ... I put them there and I use them).

And on Sunday afternoon, I'd had enough.

I'm not entirely sure what came over me. One minute I was sitting down politely drinking a cup of tea that DH had made for me and the next I was wailing like a banshee, trying to find something that had been lost under a sea of other people's nonsense - in MY office.

Piles of papers, booklets, leaflets, brochures - armfuls of them were hurled into the dining room. Anything whose ownership was blatant was rapidly repatriated to the person who'd left it there. No delicate little throws either. Great raging lobs of paperwork flying through the air. With an accompanying soundtrack: "I give you a folder to put bl**dy receipts in". "No, I take that back - I give you two folders to put receipts in". "Yes, darling, I'm thrilled that you keep getting positive praise forms at school but you're meant to keep them in your school folder, in your rucksack which SHOULD BE IN YOUR BEDROOM". And on. And on.

If the owners of the accumulated oddments attempted to move out of the line of fire, I developed a nice line in the running and shouting overarm. They didn't escape.

And then it was over. I could see my office floor again, I could see cabinet tops and a desk that I hadn't seen in months and I was calm.

And everyone has gone back to remembering that this is MY office. Just for a little while.

And The Joshua told DH that he thought it would be very nice for Mummy to go for four days to one of those places where they put mud on your face.

And I would feel guilty. I probably should feel guilty. But, oh - it's just so good to be in MY office again.


  1. Thats funny I have read this on a daty set aside to tidy my own office .

    I too have the travel guides and its a duping ground for everything without a home of its own.

    My wife moved a lot of files off her sewing box the other day moaning about the state of my office and yet its her sewing box that should be elsewhere !

    Im with you ,your office is yours .

    Your blog made me laugh especially today of all days .

    Enjoyed it ,will read somemore

  2. It sounds all too similar a story. At present I can't get into MY office as it has been taken over by two hobbits and one friend all playing club penguin or similar on various computers or laptops.

    I am about to be very bad mummy and MAKE them go outside to play in the sun at which point I will recover MY office and attempt to shut myself in and get some work done.

    Perhaps a padlock on the office door is in order?

  3. Well done, Karen!

    Unfortunately, I can't blame anybody else for the state of my office: DH has his own room where he covers all available surfaces with little heaps of paper and miscellaneous objects, marking his territory. The children leave a couple of toys in my office every day which I remove every night in an act of self-preservation: if I didn't, all their toys would soon be in there and my office would become their playroom. But the downside of this rather laudable state of affairs is that the mess on my desk is MY OWN mess, and nobody else's. And no amount of telling myself off for being untidy and disorganised has made the least bit of difference so far ... *SIGH*

  4. I am renowned for my moments of madness associated with mess in MY office. Also see same behaviour centred around MY sittingroom, MY kitchen and THEIR bedroom. I guess the last is unfair but when I get going (which is a rare occurrence) I am on warp speed 7. Which is v fast and scary.

    I like piles. Of paperwork. But only if it is mine and is marinating for the requisite amount of time before being dealt with. This is why my divorce has taken so long. I just don't send the paperwork in. Particularly Form E. It just sounds menacing!

    Glad to hear that Twinny is employing twinnytactics. Pop another Prozac, pour a G&T and keep throwing. England are down a bowler at the mo.......

  5. We've recently moved from London to Sussex. I knew where everything should be in the old house; now I have to establish a new spot for everything. And it's uphill work!

  6. Chris,

    I'm sure you'll find room for everything ... just try not to put everything in your wife's "room"!