By Diane Ako
We are in the midst of potty training right now with our 25 month old, and I guess I better be careful about not pushing her too hard. In 1908, Freud theorized that children who experience conflicts during toilet training may develop "anal" personality traits, namely those associated with a child's efforts at excretory control: orderliness, stubbornness, a compulsion for control. As adults, people with those qualities are called anal retentive.
I don't know if I had issues when I was two, but I do know I'm a Virgo, and I'm sure that accounts for part of my need for order.
It's probably genetic as well. My dad organizes his 5,000 CD collection not just alphabetically (come on- how pedestrian), but within each artist, he organizes it by type of music (Beethoven's sonatas, quartets, concertos, etc). It'll make more sense when I reveal he's a retired computer programmer. Of course, within each type of classification, that too is alphabetized. Duh, what card-carrying AR person doesn't do that?
My mother is the antithesis of that. She can't organize to save her life. I remember being a very young child and trying to organize her coupons and other stuff. So, it's just my personality.
I'm excellent at creating systems and procedures. The minute I got on the morning show and realized we had live guests to contend with, I immediately started making a list of directions and other FAQs for people. I refine the document with each discovery of a flaw. It's crazy to some, but I see it as efficient.
Some guests don't even read it (aaargh! Virgo nightmare!) but some do. Dawn Sakamoto at Watermark Publishing said, "This sheet is SUUUUUUUPER helpful. I love it. Thanks VERY much. "
I have a counterpart in the building. Miles works in a different department. The other day, after seeing how I label everything I own (including the USB cables - hey, come on. I own four cameras!) our morning technician Mark categorized me as "the Miles of News."
Most of you have your HR guy. We have our AR guy! At least he has a better excuse. He's in engineering, where you really need attention to details.
I laughed about this with Miles, who labels just about everything he touches, too. For instance, Miles stocks up the soap in the kitchen and bathrooms. It has the Miles Touch: "Do Not Discard - Refillable." I saw the label maker in the office supply room the other day and thought what a cruel joke it would be to hide it from him.
To prove my point, I then e mailed him my guest document, which has expanded to six pages, including photos (in case you no like read) and screen captures. He wrote back, "Tears, Diane, tears of happiness flowing down my face knowing that there are others who are AR like me. There is a need in this world for people like us. We are the ones who make things cleaner, better, neater, easier to find, easier to do, and we must stick together and stick up for one another even during times of ridicule. AR people unite. Hee, hee."
I totally do the same kinds of things! We had a great time comparing all the silly things we do.
How I love Miles. And he's not even a Virgo.
I thought about having a party for all the AR folks we know, but for sure, it'll have to be BYOL: bring your own labelmaker.