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Can an engineer keep a clean desk?

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DickH
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re: Can an engineer keep a clean desk?
DickH   6/13/2012 7:29:31 PM
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going by the mess, I must be way above genius level

anon9303122
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re: Can an engineer keep a clean desk?
anon9303122   6/13/2012 8:50:13 PM
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Tangible items help inspire. The kinds of eclectic things inhabiting my desk right now. A hermetically sealed 6.3V 400Hz filament transformer. A 400 Hz synchro. An ohmite ceramic rheostat. A handful of proto boards. An AFL27005S thick film hybrid DC/DC converter (Lambda Adv Analog now IR). A plasma ball. A disassembled GPS navigator awaiting a fix. A couple of stud mount diodes (400V, 250A). Plastic box with miscellaneous resistors and capacitors. Some ferrite cores of various sizes and materials. A couple reels of SM caps. A 150 amp current shunt. A Red Lion Controls counter. And that's just what I can see. :-)

Duane Benson
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re: Can an engineer keep a clean desk?
Duane Benson   6/13/2012 10:56:47 PM
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I think a lot of it has to do with filing systems and accessibility. A big flat space where nothing is more than a layer deep is a pretty time efficient filing method. However, it's not very space efficient; hence the messy desk. I'm guessing the desk will take a two week path from clean to messy, with the time increasing or decreasing based on the number and size of tools and parts needed during that time period.

dvandit
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re: Can an engineer keep a clean desk?
dvandit   6/14/2012 6:13:43 PM
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Keeping a clean desk just to have a clean desk is a non-value-add activity, (IMHO). However, if a desk gets messy enough to inhibit design or other activities then the desk/work area should be cleaned up...

neontangerine
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re: Can an engineer keep a clean desk?
neontangerine   6/14/2012 6:20:01 PM
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I once had a sign above my desk; "A clean desk is a sign of a misguided career." Any time I have tried to keep a clean desk I can't find anything. Let it me and I know where to find things. Basically I work best with an archeological filing system - the further back when I last worked on it the deeper in the pile it is. I do keep a "common work" area free and always available though.

zeeglen
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re: Can an engineer keep a clean desk?
zeeglen   6/14/2012 11:56:15 PM
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On the floor under one of my desks and benches is a radar magnetron 6" diameter and 15" high. Had it for years - someday I'm going to add a pole and light bulb socket and turn it into a lamp. :-)

zeeglen
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re: Can an engineer keep a clean desk?
zeeglen   6/14/2012 11:58:08 PM
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I once had a sign above my desk "I'm not a slow designer; I'm not a fast designer - I'm a half-fast designer."

mtimike
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re: Can an engineer keep a clean desk?
mtimike   6/15/2012 4:57:27 PM
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Years ago, while an engineer at IBM I got in some trouble after posting the sign "A Clean Lab is an UNUSED Lab" during a forced lab cleanup for a management walk through. I was upset because I had to disassemble a working test system, and then had to rebuild it from scratch, starting a few minutes after the walk through!

MarvA
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re: Can an engineer keep a clean desk?
MarvA   6/15/2012 6:16:35 PM
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I worked for a company in the 90s that adopted some silly management concept of changing things just for the sake of change because "it would increase productivity". Everybody's office got relocated except mine. I found out years later that a director had said that they would have moved my office also but it would have shut the company down for 6 months. Now that is messiness of legendary proportions. I had an archeological filing system with a slope towards the front of my tables. When stuff started falling off the front of the table I would SELF-IMPOSE a cleanup of sorts.

RSD2
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re: Can an engineer keep a clean desk?
RSD2   6/15/2012 6:47:54 PM
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There was a time (before e-mail) when my in-tray would become so overloaded, that I would take a large envelope - stuff it - and mail it to myself (through internal mail)... It would usually take 2 days to return to me, giving me time to sort out the remainder of the contents in my tray...

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