Remember Bernie Rooney, the office clutter-cutter whose firm's work at Rockville-based Contel ASC was detailed in Washington Business last May? Well, it turns out, Rooney is human, too.

He is loathe to admit it, but his very organized, manageable "Pending" tray of paperwork recently turned into a three-headed monster: an administrative pending/to-be-done tray, an ongoing pending/in-progress tray, and a pending/not-current or necessary at-this-time tray. The right configuration, he quickly adds, is "In," "Out," and "Pending" with very little, if anything, ever left in "Pending."

Rooney confessed that the mess arose when he and his colleagues went on vacation. But while other messy people might let the stacks grow, he got them cleaned out. "You should see my wastebasket," he said.

That figures for a man who has created pending trays for he and his wife at home, and who used to clean the basement for his mother in 15 minutes. She thought that was great, but his brother couldn't stand him. Since he was neat in the first place, Rooney's average cleanup time on the room they shared as boys was a mere five minutes.