- The Washington Times - Sunday, October 30, 2005

Which one are you?

F orget handwriting analysis. A company that makes file folders says it can tell a lot about your personality from the way you keep your desk. Penda flex of Melville, N.Y., categorizes workers according to their “file style”: faithful filers, pilers or tossers.

Most people, 48 percent, are pilers, the company says. Pilers love chaos and organize by building pillars of papers. Needless to say, they have the messiest desks.

Faithful filers, the next biggest group at 38 percent, do not necessarily have the cleanest desks, but these neatniks make sure there is a place for everything and everything is in its place.

The tidiest bunch, 14 percent, are the tossers. They aren’t happy unless their desktops are bare.

Which type are you?

Well, you might want to read more about each group’s peculiarities before answering. Some aren’t all that flattering.

Take the tossers.

Tossers “deal with details by not dealing with them,” said Sharon Mann, president of Pendaflex’s “I Hate Filing Club.”

Because tossers “don’t have the skills to maintain organization,” they simply get rid of everything, she said.

Tossers, who typically fall in the 18-to-29 age bracket, describe themselves as “low maintenance” and “young at heart.” They tend to have jobs in communications and arts fields, listen to oldies, are partial to cats, unwind by playing hoops and are drawn to big cities for vacation.

They also are the most likely to have “only a high school diploma.”

Pendaflex also takes a few swipes at the most organized workers: the faithful filers.

Although filers describe themselves as easygoing, better adjectives may be “fussy” and “anxious,” said the company, which makes items to keep desks meticulously organized.

“The act of maintaining order in their world and their work space is soothing,” Ms. Mann said.

Filers, who typically hold bachelor’s degrees, like to lounge at the beach with a frozen drink (is Pendaflex implying lazy alcoholics?), prefer birds over dogs and cats (read strange), typically are 60 and older (over the hill?), tend to come from science and technology fields (read geek?) and enjoy listening to R&B; and jazz (hanging out in clubs smoking and drinking).

As for the pilers, the ones whose desks are full of documents in need of order, they are “big-picture people” good at adapting, Pendaflex said.

These self-described “sophisticated workaholics” are dog lovers whose dream vacation is camping or hiking, and they enjoy watching the all-American pastime: baseball.

Pilers tend to be professionals, such as lawyers, doctors and accountants.

They are “intellectuals,” holding the most master’s and doctorate degrees, Pendaflex said.

As it happens, the pilers are the very office workers Pendaflex is courting with its new “PileSmart” line of folders aimed at helping people “pile smarter.”

Hmmm. If you use Pendaflex files to get organized, doesn’t that mean you’ll be one of those fussy, anxious filer types? Pendaflex isn’t saying.

• Distributed by Scripps Howard

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