HR Strange But True!
November 01, 2001

Piling it on

Ray Kostin has neglected to clean off his desk - for the past 43 years.

At Rittenhouse Lumber, the business he owns in Springfield Township, Penn., Kostin has actually had to keep two desks, after the first became so piled-high with papers that he had to move on to another.

He agreed to measure both messes for the Philadelphia Inquirer, starting with the smallest. Extending a tape across the main pile, he frowned. "Well," he said sheepishly, "it looks like it's 6 feet." It was 5 feet front to back and 16 inches high.

Back in the inner office - where, he jokes, he brings dignitaries to impress them - the pile atop the desk there measured 8 feet by 3 feet by 20 inches. When he needs a desktop there, he pulls out a drawer and puts a board on it.

Together, the papers take up 80 cubic feet. For comparison, the Inquirer notes that a cord of wood is 128 cubic feet.

By the way, Kostin also has file cabinets - a few drawers of which are kept pulled out so papers can be stacked atop. And then there are the shelves, including one heaped with papers partially obscuring a sign that reads, "A clean desk is the sign of a sick mind."

"They built that shelf up there to straighten things out," Kostin said. "Now look at it."

Source: Philadelphia Inquirer

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