Monday, July 30, 2007

File Manager

#274a File Manager

Nice title, don’t you think? Or would “Vice President and Chief File Officer” be better? There’s always “Deputy Director, Filing.” Maybe “File Commander.” Or even “Secretary of Filing.” Oh, but that would make it a Cabinet-level appointment, so File Manager it is.

That’s also what they used to call the part of your computer where you kept data, or information or both. But this is about real files. Paper, in real folders.

A day ago, there were almost one thousand of those folders in this room. No more. Down to a select few hundred, and pretty much in order and pretty much legible.

Still, there’s something sterile about this reworked system of keeping stuff. It just doesn’t feel right.

It’s too obvious. It’s not artistic. It’s pretty, in a way. It might even be useful. But there’s something wrong about it.

There really wasn’t a good reason to do it, except maybe for avoiding real work around the house on a Sunday afternoon. After all, the file cabinet is made from sturdy wood, and only the fourth drawer was bulging to the point that we might have to call in the duct tape.

That bottom drawer has stuff in it that could head for the shredder, but stays there so the cabinet remains balanced. Heavy stuff. Old stuff. Really, really old stuff. But if too much is removed, the cabinet might fall over. So the bottom drawer has become a tribute to the Old Ways. It’s not as full as it was. But it’s not terribly well organized, either.

One must, after all, take these things slowly.

Now, about that shredder: we’ve already gone through one and have doubts about the current model, too. They call it “heavy duty” but don’t be too sure. There’s a ton of old files sitting on the floor awaiting shredding. A true test of its heavy duty-ness. How much will shred before the thing overheats?

But is that a job for a Chief Filing Officer? Probably. Or maybe there should be a Director of Document Destruction, or DDD.

Of course, calling that rubbish pile “documents” is kind of Orwellian or maybe Huxleyan.

The U.S. Constitution is a document. The deed to your house is a document. Your car insurance. Your 1997 tax return. But old rundowns for TV newscasts? Copies of these Wessays? Credit card offers? Hardly.

Then, there are the file folders themselves. The drawers are too wide for the standard “letter” files, so you have to use hanging files. But that’s not efficient, so you stick several regular files inside the hanging files just so they’ll stay in place.

But that obscures the names on the Letter-size files.

The new box of file folders, which says “multicolor” on the cover is only right if you count the fact that the interior of the folders is a slightly lighter hideous shade of red than the outside.

But Sam’s Club was having a sale. No wonder why, either. No one buys that particular kind of folder more than once. Either that, or Sam is color blind.

As will be anyone who uses them.

I'm Wes Richards, my opinions are my own, but you're welcome to them.

(c) 2007 WJR

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