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Kardamom's avatar

Do you know any extremely disorganized people?

Asked by Kardamom (31732points) October 17th, 2017 from iPhone

There is a new woman at work. She is very nice, but she is very disorganized. I’ve known her for about 6 months, but in the last month, because I’ve gotten to know her a bit better, I’ve realized how disorganized she is.

We all have to fill out a timecard on the computer. Instead of doing it every day, which is what I do, she waits a few days and then asks us what dates we worked. I told her that I log in all my hours and dates into my phone. She said she had her dates and times on her computer at home, which didn’t make a lot of sense, because you can’t access the work computer at home.

One day she said that she forgot to bring a fork in her lunch box, so I gave her an extra plastic fork that I had in my bag. A few days later, I got both her and another co-worker a cute, inexpensive set of plastic cutlery with a fork, knife and spoon, that they could keep in their lunch boxes. The next day at lunchtime, this woman was dismayed that she couldn’t find her cutlery set. Then she remembered that she left the set in her car.

The next day, she was late coming back from lunch. She had to buy lunch at the expensive cafe down the road, because she had forgotten her lunch at home. She had said earlier in the week that she needed to start bringing her lunch instead of eating out, because of the expense. I bring my lunch every day. That was part of the reason I got her the cutlery set (and it was cute).

The next day she was late for work. She lives about 20 miles closer to work than I do. I was on time. I said if she wanted, I could text her when I was leaving my house, then she could head to work at the same time, then she would be on time every day. She said that she would just leave earlier the next day. The next day she was late again.

Last week she said she was working on a project at home that she needed to finish before a deadline date. Me and another woman who work on the same type of outside project told her that if she needed any assistance, we’d be happy to join her to get her project done. She said she was going to work on it every day after work, and finish up a few days before the deadline. She didn’t and missed the deadline. She felt terrible and my friend and I felt terrible for her.

This woman is very nice, but seems to have no organizational skills, and she suffers consequences because of it.

Have you known people like this? Are you one of these people? If you were the disorganized person, how did you fix your situation?

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9 Answers

JLeslie's avatar

I don’t know anyone to that extreme, but I myself am not extremely organized. However, I am much more organized at work than at home.

I had to learn to be organized in adulthood. I don’t think I ever saw my mom put something in a file at home. I remember visiting my dad’s workplace once as a young teen and being shocked his desk was organized. This was not how I knew my dad to be.

Initially, I worked in retail, and I just had to show up, sell, and jot down people’s names and make lists for phone calls. I didn’t have to be at work until 9:40, or some days much later, another very appealing part of the job for me. Eventually, my career required more organization and earlier hours, and I was late probably at least once a week. It’s worth saying I was extremely effective at my job.

When I became a buyer I became much much more organized at work, I had to be. I loved the job, which made it easier to do all of the work.

Then, I started working from home, and eventually I hired a professional organizer, and it helped a ton. I learned so much.

I pretty much dread putting things “away” which is a huge part of organizing, but I do like thing put away and tidy, so I force myself. My biggest problem is creating places to put things, that was the biggest piece of knowledge I gained from the professional organizer.

I miss deadlines when I know it doesn’t really matter if I miss it. When it does matter I work in the project way before, I am not a procrastinator when it really matters. I’m not sure if procrastination is the same as disorganization? I never thought of it that way.

The US is basically set up for early birds, and if you aren’t one, your life often sucks really badly 5 days a week for at least part of the day. I’m not sure if being late to a morning job is being disorganized, or being miserable? Sometimes being late is cultural, it can be a lot of things. What I learned was the secret to being on time is you have to be early, it’s the only way to guarantee on time.

Being organized is mostly a learned behavior I think, and anyone can learn to be better at it, but it’s not obvious how to be organized to a lot of people.

snowberry's avatar

As a child, my son was extremely disorganized. But he’s figured it out and he is one of the cleanest most organized people I know now!

canidmajor's avatar

Yes, me. But all my work was done well, and nobody died. I know it bothers some people (on whom, incidentally, it has very little effect) but I see no reason to put the time and effort into changing myself because of some kind of social mandate to conform.

marinelife's avatar

I’m sorry, but this feels very judgy to me. You have said that you haven’t known her very long. How do you know that she doesn’t struggle with ADHD, diagnosed or undiagnosed? It kind of sounds like that from the behavior that you describe. It often goes undiagnosed in women.

Kardamom's avatar

OK @marinelife, she isn’t disorganized. Is everybody who “appears” to be disorganized suffer from some sort of condition?

She may or may not have a “condition” but the symptoms are still disorganization.

This question is not asking about undiagnosed illness, it is only asking if you know anybody who has the “symptoms” (if we must call it that) of disorganization.

snowberry's avatar

I once had who must have thought I was very disorganized or something. He had a large part time and full-time staff, and posted everybody’s assigned work hours one month at a time. I explained to him repeatedly that I could not read the chart he put up on the wall. It was very confusing to read, and I could not sort out what my hours were going to be for the next month. I asked him to help me and he refused. I asked coworkers to help me as well and nobody could be bothered.

The upshot of it is that I repeatedly failed to show for work or came in late. My boss labeled me as “not punctual” and I eventually quit rather than get fired.The last straw was when he labeled me as “not punctual” so I eventually quit rather than get fired. He was a real jerk!

Kardamom's avatar

@snowberry. Did other people have a difficult time figuring out that boss’ scheduling?

I’m very glad that my current boss has a very efficent way of writing it out. She has everybody’s name on the list for each work day. Then has a line through the name of each of the people who are not working on that day. That calendar is up in our common area so you can look at it each day to check, just in case you forgot to write it down.

snowberry's avatar

@Kardamom Nobody that I met there seemed to have a problem with that schedule, and the boss thought my complaint was weird. But to my memory, the schedule was permanently attached to the wall, about the size of a poster, and the print was small, and the names were close together. My name was about halfway down the list. I had to follow my line across the schedule to check for the days I worked, not deviating up or down. I found it disorienting and frustrating.

Maybe I am wired differently than many other people. Anyway, I’ve never had a problem with showing up on time since, but I’ve never had to deal with something like this again either.

Dutchess_III's avatar

Sounds like some sort of passive aggressive thing. Being disorganized is one way of controlling your world.

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