One things that's difficult about working for someone else, is, well-- you work for someone else! You are not the boss. If the boss has crazy ideas or absurd ways of doing things...well, that is the way it is. My boss, who is the owner of the company I work for is not at all old, but he's just old enough to not have grown up with computers, and as a result he works in a very paper-heavy fashion. He prints out emails and documents and files them in file folders. He doesn't understand how an employee could possibly have made any progress on a project unless he sees paper evidence! He prefers old fashioned file folder that are clearly labeled and that have all sorts of paper evidence in them.
If you can't beat 'em, join 'em. After organizing in plain manila folders and having those on my desk for a few weeks, I recently ordered these very cute retro-looking file folders made by galison.com (they arrived today!) and filed my projects and reference materials in them. They help to brighten my office (I'm located inside our store, so I don't get any natural daylight, and the bulbs above me emit a dreary yellow glow.)
I am loving them!
xo Dani Wendy