One of my fondest memories of working life was one of my first real jobs in the City. My boss was a Boss with a capital B. An amazing individual with an uncanny capacity of striking fear into the bravest of hearts.
He taught me many things. Amongst them the importance of organisation. I remember a long evening spent at my desk researching something for an upcoming meeting. There were papers everywhere, felt tips scattered across the floor, sweet packets bursting with grinning percy pigs, half a dozen cappuccinos all varying degrees of tepid and a miscellany of other crap that gave my office the appearance of a teenage GCSE cramfest. The only thing missing were heart shaped post-it notes scrawled with "H+ [insert name here]= forever" and hieroglyphics of Red Hot Chili Peppers Lyrics.
It was 9pm. All quiet on the Eastern front. But as luck would have it my boss walks in. He regarded me with a mixture of fatherly concern and mild disapproval. But the disapproval somehow won out.
"Percy Pig, Sir?" I offered. He shook his head pensively.
"My dear girl, are you aware that it's nine o'clock, you've got ink on your face and your office looks like my son's bedroom?". He then proceeded to give me a 10 minute lecture on his days at Sandhurst and the Royal Cavalry Regiment, and how sad it is that my generation doesn't know the first thing about discipline. I sat nodding, having learnt the day before that interrupting nostalgic reminiscences isn't a good idea.
And as he was leaving, he left me with a pearl of wisdom. With the sternest and exasperated of faces he said " and for god's sake, please tidy up that desk" before sadly muttering to himself "dirty desk, dirty mind.. my mother used to say that. You should have seen her office"