Half a croissant, on a plate, with a sign in front of it saying '50c'
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FIFO In-tray

Because people putting less urgent stuff on top is annoying
  [vote for,

So you have an In-tray on your desk or in your cubicle. You invite your fellow office-mates to simply put things in the tray if it needs to be done, and you'll get to it. But this system is terribly flawed! If you don't get through the whole stack before more things are added, whatever is on the bottom will be left unattended to (potentially forever or until you're fired, whichever comes first). Enter the FIFO In-tray! Things to be done are put in wallets made of card (slightly bigger than A3 and folded in half around the work-to-be-done) and placed at the top of the tray, with the spine facing the front of the tray. A button is located at the front of the tray which, when pressed, causes rubber wheels to dispense the wallet from the BOTTOM of the stack of work-to-do. The tray has walls to hold the stack in an orderly way, with a slot at the bottom for the next wallet to be dispensed through. The type of card is chosen so that two wallets will slide on each other and not stick, which would cause two to be dispensed at once.
emjay, Dec 21 2006


       This is an overlooked problem. Thanks for pointing it out. Do you have a high powered version, since I think that there is a glacier running down one side of my in-tray? And if I look carefully, yes, there it is: distinct traces of carbonisation at the bottom.   

       I'm actually in the middle of a much needed office dung-out. Two days already, and I'm only a fraction of the way through. Would you believe 20 bin bags so far from a 4x5m office? But look, under all of that is a desk! It looks quite new, since it has hardly ever seen dust, UV and so on. (I'm just having a coffee while I contemplate which bit to tackle, next).   

       But, back to your idea, if the intray folders were on their sides, then FIFO could be left to right. Of course, that means the documents have to be loaded in the right order, and not just unceremoniously dumped onto the top.
Ling, Dec 21 2006

       Any solution to the LIFO/FIFO Hurtings get my vote +.
twitch, Dec 21 2006

       Does anyone actually use such a paper-based system nowadays?;-)   

       [emjay] - the solution to your problem is communication. Don't invite people to add tasks to your work stack without first discussing it with you and agreeing a priority and/or a completion date.
webfishrune, Dec 21 2006

       I have to agree with webfishrune, although I don't work in an office I deal with waitstaff who need thier food urgently.   

       We use communication to decide which table is to get thier food first, not which order ticket was printed first.
Chefboyrbored, Dec 21 2006

       <off subject> i've just attended my first job. seems i'll have a cubicle as my friend 4h/day a while from now. how do you cope with it anyway? </os>
sweet, Dec 21 2006

       Kind of baked. My in-tray at home has a small cutout on the front edge which makes it easy to pull out the bottom sheet first.
spidermother, Dec 23 2006


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