For years, there has been an unsightly mass of human hair on the ground near my desk trash can, and for years, I have denied that it was mine. I justified its existence by saying that when the janitor sweeps the room, all the hair from the whole room gets pushed there, and it just always gets left behind. But I know it’s mine.
It’s existence reminds me of how long I’ve been here. Each one of those hairs was shaken off of my head and landed on my desk, then onto the floor, then into a dusty heap by the trash. Slowly over the course of years, a little every day, until I finally noticed it. It’s symbolic of everything else that I’ve been neglecting.
This dust pile of hair reminds me that problems are made in small increments. Bit by bit, one fiber at a time.
There are better methods for passing the time than commenting on the slow accumulation of filth. Usually time management is a repetitive schedule of conformist behaviors. We are all creatures of habit. Laundry, trash, gas station, dishes, bills, groceries, repeat.
People usually pass the time with a routine. Sticking to the routine makes everyday chores easier to handle. You won’t forget, if you make a habit of doing it every week. On a long enough timeline, the chores become a continuous low-impact activity. No matter where you live or what you do for a living, there will be chores. The hair pile caught me off guard because I had never considered that the cleanliness of the office floor was one of my chores. Unlike groceries, or gasoline, or taking out the trash, work is an ongoing effort. Not a weekly activity, but a ‘everyday all day’ action.
I’m at work 5-days a week. And at work, I spend a lot of time idly desk-bound. So its fair to say that I spend a lot of time being a lump. In fact, I spend more time in this chair, than I do on anything else in the world. More than sleep, or hobbies, or leisure. Work is called ‘work’ because it all involves a similar level of repetitive boredom. The un-stimulating atmosphere dulls your senses until a decade passes, and the only thing that has changed about your office is the clump of hair by the trash can.