Fresh Start Friday

Long ago, when I first started my career, I worked for Radisson Hotels International at the Corporate Office, and my boss, Tom Nalley, used to come by every now and again on Friday, and remind us that, “Today is ‘Fresh Start Friday’, so I’d like to have you clean up your workspace before you leave the office for the weekend.”  Most of the time we just blew him off, because we thought he was just really weird.

But now that I’m working for the Minnesota Department of Education, I just wanted to share with you; gentle reader, the amazing level of clutter that occurs in one of the cubicles next to my workspace.

I’ve run into cluttery employees before, like the one when I was as First Bank System who had her cube filled with 45-gallon black plastic bags filled with aluminum cans for recycling (before there were corporate recycling programs); but the level of filth and clutter as evidenced in these photos I took are amazing.  I took these pictures with my phone, did not touch anything in the cubicle, and have not retouched these photos.

Sometimes I wonder why the fallout from this cube doesn’t make me as ill as its occupant routinely is…

First look

In this photo, notice that the garbage can is empty, but that there is at least twice as much paper on top of the office-paper recycling box as inside it.  For the first six-months I worked here, the doorway to the cubicle was partially blocked by four large cardboard boxes.  They moved on when the employee in question moved residences.

Second look

There is no amount of clear work surface to set down anything to work on.  Most of the stuff that could be stored in the overhead is piled up on the work surface.  Count of dirty coffee cups with crap growing in them, four.  Notice the laptop…

Third look

Noticed the damn-near-dead spider plant.  Count of dirty coffee cups with crap growing in them, one.

Fourth look

Count of dirty coffee cups with crap growing in them, eleven.

Final look

Distance shot of the eleven dirty coffee cups, the unused computer and monitor, and the “pharmacy” located in the top drawer…


  • Computers (Two desktops and a laptop): 3
  • Dirty coffee cups: 15
  • Dead Plants:1
  • Biohazard zone: 1
  • Amount of crap hidden in closed overhead bin and drawers: Unknown

It makes you wonder… if there is this much crap in an environment where this person spends eight hours of their day, what must their home environment look like?

I took these photos on 19-Dec-2009, and today, there are three more dirty coffee cups in the collection for a total of 18.

What astounds me is that Management and HR does nothing to cleanup this biohazard.

1 Comment

  1. That’s just freaking nasty… I don’t like leaving a napkin or other dish by my office chair at the end of the day. Furthermore, though I don’t have file cabinets, I do try to put my excess paperwork into boxes and then put those out of site.

    Whew… Good luck surviving that sight.

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