Wednesday, 2 November 2011

In which I suffer a split personality

I’m coming to the conclusion I have something of a split personality. It came to me as, in a rush, I shrugged on a pair of jeans one morning this week and scrambled out the front door.

Because, as so often happens on a Monday, the jeans I’d so hastily grabbed from the drying rack in the spare bedroom weren’t entirely dry, having been put through the wash at the last possible minute the night before. And, in my determination to get out of the door and to the station before the train left, it took the time between putting them on, hurtling down the stairs, grabbing a sandwich and a couple of satsumas from the fridge and chucking them in my bag, scrabbling round in the hall and then dashing back upstairs to find the right black shoeboots, putting said shoeboots on, throwing on a jacket and scarf, dashing to the station and getting on the train before I realised I was enveloped in a faint sense of damp.

Depressingly, if I’m honest, it wasn’t an event that’s completely out of character – at least, in my personal life.

At work, by contrast, I’m the model of organisation. My life is ruled by lists – weekly, daily, by client, by impending meeting, by priority, by the hour. There’s vast white space on the desk, and the stationery is tidied away in one of those little pen pots. Notes are meticulously kept, in several colours, in a very large notebook, and emails are carefully flagged in different colours, and filed by client and project. I have all necessary email addresses and phone numbers, and if I don’t, I know who I have to talk to in order to get them. I have the ability to tell you exactly what time is it in New York at the drop of a hat, as well as the dialling codes for France and Switzerland, and I am alarmingly punctual for meetings

At home? Not so much. It’s possibly not that much of a surprise. I clearly I use all my capacities for organisation whilst I’m at work, leaving no wiggle room to be able to manage my life admin satisfactorily the rest of the time.

Which is why I do things like wear damp jeans to work. Or have three answerphone messages sitting on the home phone for weeks at a time. Or have a study desk entirely covered entirely with old post, electrical cables from long-dead laptops and ratty old t-shirts with holes that haven’t yet made it to the bin, but no room to actually do things like, y’know, work.

Or fall over the cat whilst baking and end up with a floor covered in cranberry and vanilla blondies. Or neglect to take out the cash to pay the cleaner, necessitating late-night trips in jogging bottoms and flip flops to the newsagent to buy an entirely unnecessary Freddo, merely for the cashback. Or lose one’s glasses and not find them in time to go to the cinema, thus watching films in prescription sunglasses.

Or put the shopping away so absently-mindedly that one discovers some hours later that there’s a packet of vine tomatoes on the bathroom shelf, but a box of tampons next to the lettuce in the fridge. Or have various things in the fridge past their use-by date, leaving you to serve your boyfriend manky coffee with his croissants and Observer (I know, I know. I’m working on him. I’ve at least got him to read The Times on a Saturday). Or not have a spare top in the office for emergencies (read: unexpected stays at said boyfriend’s), resulting in your wearing the same outfit two days in a row, but on the second day accessorised with an expensive – man’s – scarf that aforementioned said boyfriend picked up at a press day.

Still, I should be grateful really. With such a capacity for my total lack of satisfactory life admin, I should thank the lucky stars things do get done at work – and that at home, there’s nothing too much worse than damp jeans to worry about.


Please Don't Eat With Your Mouth Open said...

"necessitating late-night trips in jogging bottoms and flip flops to the newsagent to buy an entirely unnecessary Freddo"

Blonde, no Freddo is ever unnecessary. Even the ones bought just for cashback.

I caught myself marching upstairs with a thing of milk meant for the fridge the other week. Can't be a highly capable person all the time. *sigh*

Blonde said...

You know, that is an exceptionally good way of looking at it. I'm glad other people misplace their refridgerables too.

Amy said...

I'm very glad it's not just me who does this. My personal life and tasks and a huge messy nightmare, so much so that I've had to resort to a to-do list app on my phone just so that I can function. It's usually full of things like "put washing in"/"hang washing up", "make doctor's appointment for repeat script" or "send that very important e-mail"

In a job, I am the complete opposite. When I did my internship I was complimented on my "librarian-like organisational skills". I told my mum this and she spat her coffee out laughing.

PerlNumquist said...

I used to think it was a genetic thing: One phenotype exists with the ability to be organised, one scattier, messier but in general more fun to be with. I perceive many relations to be like this: A pile maker and a pile clearer.
But then I started working with the Germans and it dawned on me that it is unlikely that a whole bunch of genetically organised people should congregate in the middle of Europe, north of a congenitally disorganised bunch with nicer weather. Perhaps there is a degree of disposition, but more intriguingly, perhaps being organised can be learned. Imagine that! Oh, how much I could get done if I didnt live in such a mental and material muddle! But tripping over the cat is just bad luck. Even an organised person can do that. Unless it is a stuffed cat in which case it should jolly-well have been put back in its proper place!

nuttycow said...

"Or have a study desk entirely covered entirely with old post, electrical cables from long-dead laptops"

I was just this morning looking at my desk and thinking "what the hell is on the desk?" and, sure enough, it's old post, electrical cables and etc etc etc.

I think I'd like to be organised but, actually, I just fail. Having said that, tear me away from my diary and I'd be lost as Jo's pint of milk (do you think this could become a new saying?)

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