How Neat is Your Desk?

Over the years at SBRC I was amused by speculating how well my colleagues were able to manage data; that is, did the neatness of their office have anything to do with their ability to access data?

I will compare two extreme cases: Jim Young and Ed Russell (with apologies to both).

Consider Jim’s office: Labooks carefully organized chronologically on his bookshelf; no papers stacked anywhere. How did he get anything done?. But of course he did.

As an example, I once walked into his office and asked Jim, “Do you remember that conversation we had last year about such and such?” Jim turned to his bookcase, paused for a moment and pulled down a volume and opened it to read: “Still and I had a conversation about such and such and proceeded to talk about the details.

Now consider Ed’s office: Papers stacked everywhere; no place to sit. I asked Ed about some obscure physics question, to which he responded by scratching his chin and reaching out to a seemingly randomly stacked pile of papers, pulled out one that addressed exactly my question.

Conclusion: Appearances are deceiving.

Still Chase.   January 14, 2017

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