Selective Order

Are you a chronic pencil sharpener? Do crooked pictures call to you? Do you know where every item on your desk should be? Do you still leave your wet towel on the floor? Then you might be just like me and be one of the millions who suffer from a new affliction I’ve discovered. I call it Selective Order.

The person who suffers from Selective Order believes their life to be orderly. They have no idea that it isn't. They will devote countless hours on one project that they feel needs to be done while putting off less important tasks, like getting ready for work, or packing diaper bags. The person who suffers from Selective Order will spend an hour and a half investigating an odd sound in the kitchen while a pile of dirty dishes sit in the sink. Additionally they will be surprised when no one is impressed when the sound has not only been identified, but stopped.

I spent this last weekend knee deep in cables, wires and rack hardware. I had to rewire one of the dozen server rooms I’m responsible for. This process took me over sixteen hours. Cables and zip ties were flying. I have to confess I love every minute of it. There are points when I’m tired, frustrated just plain beat but in the end I get to take a step back and enjoy something that I have saved from disorder. This morning when I came in I found that I had neglected to turn back on about half the equipment that I rewired yesterday. The users could care less if the cables are new and shiny.

It is very similar at home. There are certain things which must adhere to my order. My office desk has to be arranged just so. Pens on the left, mouse and CD spindle on the right, papers in order and stacked neatly in the corner. All my software ordered by box size. Non-box media in color coded jewel cases according to type of software, but my shoes can be kicked off anywhere I choose.

In the restroom, my hygiene products are all lined up. They are arranged by the order they are applied. I always wash out the sink when I’m done, and then leave by stepping over my dirty sweats that I’ve left lying on the ground. Additionally I’ll take time to remove price stickers off of household items, but go seven days without a shave.

I will work for an entire afternoon re-organizing the garage and my work bench but not even think about mowing the lawn that is so overgrown, neighborhood pets have gone missing in it. It’s been three months since my last haircut but I’ll always find time to fix the mini blinds if there’s a strip that’s out of place. I can’t say I understand it, it’s just the way I’m made.

So if you know someone who suffers from this same affliction just try and understand. They honestly believe that they live their life in an orderly fashion. So if you do have to tell them please, break it to them gently.

16 comments:

kludge said...

This post was a little late today. I type up this entire post, and them I miss clicked and lost it all.

I almost had a nervous breakdown...

Roberta said...

I am just like that! Paper is my obsession. Papers that are stapled or hole-punched crooked are like fingernails on a blackboard. And formatting. I'll spend two hours reformatting a project and not actually get anything done on it. It may take me a while (if it gets done at all) but it'll sure look good!

kludge said...

Roberta-

I'm glad to not be alone. I feel great pride when I remove labels from shampoo bottles without leaving any sticky residue ...

...it's important stuff even if no one else knows it.

Jason said...

I thought Selective Order was supposed to be how humans operated.

Aunt Missy said...

Maybe we are all like that but most people won't admit it. I have the same affliction, my desk is so particular, small paper clips CANNOT be with the large paper clips, but do not try to sit in my car, you might be bitten by what is living there.

Very diligent of you to retype your post!!

kludge said...

Jason-
I know it's how I operate...

...but there are people who are not like this. They also tend to be more articulate, and have better personal grooming habits that me.

kludge said...

Aunt Missy-

I have to say each comment is making me feel much more secure in what I thought were my particular idiosyncrasies.

When it comes to my blog...I'm neurotically orderly. I break out in a cold sweat on days I miss a post.

J Crew said...

Everyone is like that to a certain extent. Good post and nice picture of the cables. Very tidy

Lilith said...

Oh, I do suffer from Selective Order too!! I can't stand a crooked picture, even if I'm not at home... I have all my books by language, genre and colour. But I could spend three hours looking for a shirt.
I had an argument with a flatmate because whenever he cleaned the bathroom, he put my things by size order, and I like them by "use order"...
I'm happy to have a new argument against people who say I'm not a tidy person.

SJ said...

Now I know what to call my "disorder" if you want to call it that - thanks :)

kludge said...

Lilith -

I'm glad to know that everyone else understands this, and I'm here to provide whatever argument ammunition you may need.

KludgeSpot ruining flatmates relations one post at a time! :)

kludge said...

SJ-

Giving it a name mean a shrink can bill you more for therapy sessions...

kludge said...

SJ-

Giving it a name means a shrink can bill you more for therapy sessions...

kludge said...

J Crew-

It's seems you're right about that...

...Thanks I like it when my cables are all shiny and pretty. Data flows more smoothly in color coded cabling...

SJ said...

Hope I don't need therapy - just now I know what to call it -

kludge said...

SJ -

You know, denial isn't just a river in Egypt.