Are you a desk clearer (DC) or a leaning tower of Pisa (LTP)? Most of us are full of good intentions to leave our desks clear on a Friday evening, but then just as we're about to walk out the door there is an influx of emails and papers from the irritating lot who are one step ahead of us in the desk clearing stakes. We're then left with the prospect of a Monday morning paper pile up like the leaning tower of Pisa. Are the DC's really better off than us?
The DC's obviously have the edge in the smug stakes and the Monday morning work morale, but there may be some hidden benefits for the LTP's.
It's all a question of cleanliness. After everyone's rushed off for a Friday night sundowner, enter stage left, the office cleaners. Armed with spray guns and hand grenades packed with the most toxic of chemicals, they are equipped to kill even the toughest microbes stone dead. The cleaners love the DC's. They can easily waltz in and whip around their immaculate desks, wafting and spraying to their heart's content, without fear of damaging or disrupting the paperwork. The LTP's on the other hand, bug them big time, with their overflowing bins, twisted computer cables and desks that look like they are under the control of a personalised hurricane. The poor old cleaners don't even have a millimetre of space on which to place their cloth, let alone freedom to go ballistic with their spray guns and cleaning bombs.
To clean, or not to clean, that is the question -
Obviously nobody wants flu, colds and winter D & V bugs replicating on the office chairs over the weekend, but there is a theory that our modern day living is so obsessed with creating a 'sterile' environment that we are destroying the natural goodness of our mini office habitat. Studies show that the average home has over 8,000 different species of bacteria in it and there are more bacteria cells than human ones in and on a human body. Most of these bacteria are beneficial and from birth we are picking up these helpful bacteria through the things we touch, breathe and eat. Most cleaning substances are indiscriminate and will blast away every microbe, leaving a clean slate - a nice open invitation for the good, the bad and the ugly bacteria to rush in and squat the vacant premises. Bang goes the Bacteroides fragilis, your best mate that stimulates your immune system, and in comes a nasty enterobacter with lots of dodgy friends. The fact that the cleaners cannot blast the LTP desks with microbe killing chemicals, may actually give them a healthy advantage.
What the world really needs is an intelligent cleaning system that kills the bad guys and leaves the good guys alone. Or a system that naturally replaces the good bacteria in the same way that probiotics replace the gut flora after antibiotic treatment. Enter stage right, the probiotic cleaner. Equipped with their yoghurt smelling sprays, gels and powders, the probiotic cleaners waft their way around the office on a Friday evening, mumbling disapprovingly at the wobbly tower of papers on the LTP's desk.