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I work in an office downtown and my boss won’t get rid of any paperwork, regardless of how outdated or useless it is. When I place items in the trash or recycle bin, I find them back on my desk in the morning. The office is stacked full of useless paperwork dating back into the 1980s, as well as additional storage rooms down the hall and off-site “libraries.” Sometimes I get so frustrated with him and his clutter that I intentionally shuffle and disturb his outdated stacks of paperwork, just to see how long it will be until he notices it in the chaos. Once I even dumped two full glasses of water on some of his useless files, just to let out some stress. God, that felt good! Was that wrong? I’m having urges to piss on it, to be honest. Maybe then he’ll have to get rid of it because of the smell.

Help me!

The Practical Cogitator says: So your boss is a pack rat? You keep finding items back on your desk? Perhaps the items aren’t as useless as you might think. Or perhaps your boss would like you to file them down the hall in the appropriate storage rooms. Maybe your boss is trying to send you a message.Additionally, your boss might know a few things that you don’t. There are documents that employers are required to retain, some for as long as five to 10 years. It seems to me that it might be easier, and surely more sanitary, for you to follow your boss’s filing example than to be urinating all over your office.

The Gay Perspective: Well, seeing as he is your boss, this would seem to be his call. And as I do not know what kind of business this is, I cannot really offer any opinion about the usefulness of seemingly outdated papers. To a historian or archivist, these papers would be considered the history of this man’s business—potentially a valuable and irreplaceable resource, the usefulness of which (if any) may not be known for years to come. I do agree that the appropriate site for this archive is not on your desk, however. You mentioned off-site libraries. This would seem to be an appropriate storage solution. Box up materials in acid-free storage boxes, label them with the date, and request that materials that are no longer of current use be sent to archives. Explain to your boss that while you understand the wisdom of an appropriate archival program, you need an uncluttered work space.

The Straight Skinny: You want to keep you office clean. Your solution (and who’s to question your logic?) is to pee all over your desk. It sounds like a great plan. I’m glad you don’t work in a restaurant.

Ruthless says: Clearly you are a neat freak and control freak (the bit about pissing aside), so it is unlikely you will be able to heed my advice, but here it is. Infestation. Ants, cockroaches, whatever you can get your hands on, let loose in your boss’s office. He or she will have to clean up the paperwork in order to exterminate. Maybe he or she will concede—not knowing the true source—that there may have been an underlying mess that was covered by the clutter, attracting the pests. Maybe he or she will try to be neater to avoid going through an infestation/extermination in the future. This is unlikely to work for long on the first try, so I suggest keeping a few of your pests of choice. You may need to breed some more in the future.

Dr. Sigmund Fraud says: My sense is that all the paperwork, while annoying and seemingly pointless to you, is not the real issue. No. Let’s focus on the exact wording of your question. You say you “dumped two full glasses of water on some of his useless files, just to let out some stress.” Let’s consider this. There are many ways you could have ruined his files, but you chose to pour water on them. Two full glasses. This gave you a sense of release, you say. Interesting. Then, you contemplate escalating your retaliation by what? That’s right. By pissing on them. You, my friend, have a urine fetish. And that’s okay. You simply have a primitive instinct to mark your territory and display dominance over your boss. I hear it all the time. The thing that’s important for you to understand is that you will never have dominance over your boss. You could drink the entire water cooler, cross your legs under the desk all day, wait for him or her to go home, waddle over to the offending files, unzip, and let go for five minutes straight—and you know what? He or she will still be your boss. And those files will probably wind up back on your desk.

And remember, your job as a forensics tester is important. So try to have a little more patience.

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