Some, I guess most, days at work are fairly uneventful. I deal with the usual onslaught of germs from people who don’t wash their hands properly – or at all – and are generally careless about what they touch and how they spread the germs around. As I have noted previously, I handle this with my arsenal of wet wipes, alcohol in a spray bottle, gloves, etc.
Then there are days like this one. One of my superiors comes to my desk with a box of files, a banker’s box, one that would logically be placed on the floor, especially considering that my desk is covered with paperwork and other files. But no. Before I can blink, he has plopped this huge box on my desk, right on top of a slew of papers. My heart sinks! The dismay is visible on my face. He thinks I am upset about the amount of work I was just given. “It’s not as bad as it looks,” he says. “It is so much worse than you will ever know,” I say in my head.
What is so horrible about a box on my desk? The bottom of that box was in contact with the floor before it was on my desk. The boss keeps these boxes on the floor in his office where he organizes the files that go in them. And what is wrong with that? The floor. The dreaded floor. Have you ever looked at the underside of your shoe? All manner of filth is picked up and carried around on shoes. Have you ever noticed how quickly a light-colored carpet becomes dingy and then downright dirty? Floors and carpets can be cleaned, but let’s face it – vacuuming does not sanitize. And how often are carpets shampooed? No matter – shampooing doesn’t sanitize either. Even if a carpet is steam cleaned, how long does it last? Only until the next foot steps on it. Most people think this is crazy. I see the proof; to me it is logical.
So, a nasty box is placed on top of all my semi-clean paperwork. I am devastated. My whole afternoon is ruined, and panic sets in. What am I going to do with all those papers? To keep my job, I have to think fast. I move the box to the floor – where it belongs! Then I survey the damage. What parts of which papers did the box actually touch? The only thing to do is carefully separate them into stacks. I pull out the ones from the bottom and put them aside since I am fairly certain that none of the corners were touched. I determine that there are a couple of papers that were right on top that are unimportant and can be thrown away. That helps tremendously! It means that the ones underneath them are only contaminated on corners here and there. I grab them one by one by the clean parts and meticulously fold them, not touching the scary areas, and I stuff them into envelopes.
I am actually a little proud at how quickly I dealt with the crisis. I think I had all the offending paperwork cleared from my desk in an hour. Then, of course, I had to clean the area where they and the box had been with seven alcohol-soaked napkins. Another crisis over. When will the next one come?