Dressy But Messy: The Office Coat Closet Debacle

Men are pigs.

The proverbial phrase that just about sums up all the rude comments, the cat calls, the inappropriate grabbing, and worst of all- the text dumping. But I’m not talking about the figurative pig, I literally mean men are pigs.

It took years and the magical Konmari to finally train my husband to at least want to try to be neater at home. But there are a lot of other men in my life. Not just my sons Finch and Sparrow or my two brothers or 4 brother in laws. Working in finance, and the little niche within affectionately called Wall Street, I’m not exaggerating when I say I work with almost all men. 

They come to work looking nice and spiffy, with their fitted suits- pocket square for flair- their French cuffed shirts with monogrammed cufflinks, their Hermes ties, and Ferragamo shoes. Hair parted and slicked to one side. They are smooth and charming, these colleagues of mine. But don’t be fooled- they’re messier than your sticky fingered toddler! How do I know, you ask? The office coat closet. I may have tackled my closet on the home front, but this situation is even more dire!

We recently upgraded our office space. Our old closet was a tiny hidden door in the wall, and everyone’s coats and blazers had to fight for space, not to mention a flimsy wire hanger on a daily basis. It was an abomination for sure, which is why I was so relieved when I saw the new floor plan for a spacious, open coat room. But it didn’t seem to change anything.

It’s winter, and it’s cold as heck in NYC. Every morning the elevator spits me out, iced coffee in hand, and I head to the coat closet to hang up my jacket and switch from the commuter Uggs to the professional pumps, Mr. Rogers-style. It’s not even 7am, and already a disaster greets me. The hangers are no longer wire, but stainless steel- but there isn’t a single one available!? People have taken liberties to rent real estate in here- extra suits, pants, fleece vests that never get removed taunt me as I search for someplace to unload my gear. There are ties strewn everywhere like spaghetti thrown at the wall. Dry cleaning covered in cheap plastic. The casualties that have fallen off (or angrily thrown off) their hangers dwindle sadly beneath the rack. But that’s not all.

With the abundant room, apparently the coat closet now doubles as our storage closet. The boxes of forgotten files no one will ever think about again have been slowly piling up. Branded notepads that aren’t even big enough to jot down “The quick brown fox jumped over the lazy dog” are stacked in the corner. Different teams have dumped their supplies of sales swag like filtered water bottles and squeezy stress toys in open spaces. 

There is no Konmari at work. There is no cleaning service that would want to undertake this project. I am tempted to hang a passive aggressive sign that says “Maid’s day off, please clean up your mess” like my mom used to do in high school. I get heart palpitations just walking into this chaos twice a day, but there is nothing to do but shake my head and sigh. Let’s just say I’m looking forward to summer.

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