My new manager wanted to give me some background reading to do today. So we went to the place on the fileserver where all the documents are stored, so that he could “show me around”. Naturally, we found loads of documents, but all of them were either obsolete or out of date. We never found the file he was looking for, and in the end I had to borrow a printed copy from someone’s desk.
We both wasted 15 minutes because the workplace (in this case, the filestore) was untidy. House-keeping is never a waste of time…
On reflection, this is probably a case of broken windows. One person leaves a folder untidy, and that gives implicit permission for everyone else to do the same. Because everyone can see that no-one cares.