Automation & Motion Control

Slideshow: Messiest Engineering Desks

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Engineering Desks
Tim   10/26/2011 9:22:11 PM
Sometimes a messy desk is truly not appreciated or understood.  I worked a place that had a serious 5 S mentality.  It was common to have disciplinary action taken if your desk was not up to the desired standards.  Sometimes people just don't understand.

Brian Fuller
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Tidy or messy
Brian Fuller   10/26/2011 11:44:54 AM
I couldn't agree more. A messy desk is a sign of genius. I once was asked about this in a job interview, in which the publisher offered a "hypothetical" question about a reporter's messy desk. (His stuff was actually spilling out in the aisle). 

The publisher was a neat freak. I responded that if the piles of notes, press releases and reports didn't impede his ability to break stories, then I was good with it. If people started tripplng over his stuff and hurting themselves, he'd have to tidy up a bit. 


User Rank
williamlweaver   10/26/2011 9:37:33 AM
Sorry, Brian. I must disagree. Wikipedia describes a "desk" as "a furniture form and class of table often used in a work or office setting for reading or writing on or using a computer." Your slideshow is comprised of "Workbenches" - "[a] sturdy table at which manual work is done."

When I look at the "clutter", I see "work in progress" not a mess.  Unless, of course, you are using the Systems Thinking definition that describes a "mess" as a "Complex System of Systems".

If I have hired an engineer and their desk does NOT look like these pictures, then I've made a mistake and hired someone other than an engineer.

K Field
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Messy Desks
K Field   10/26/2011 8:44:12 AM
To the contrary, I get a little freaked out by people with exceedingly tidy work spaces. I once had a co-worker who I suspected must have used a straightedge to align perfectly a stack of papers on his desktop each night. A little OCD do ya think?

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