For the past couple of weeks, I’ve been conducting a small experiment at work.  We have  a copy “cubicle” at work.  By stupidly slashing jobs so that every single person in the building is stressed out of their mind aggressive right-sizing, our staff actually shrank to require less floor space for cubicles.  Coincidental with this, our HR department has outgrown their office area and needed a real office – not a cubicle – for one of the HR people that handles the non-administrative people.  So the HR rep took over the copier room, turned it into an office, and moved the copier into a cubicle in the middle of a large, empty area. 

Now this copier is used by something like 30 or 40 people every day.  There’s  a little table in there to work on, lots of paper, bins for documents that need to be shredded, regular recycling bins. 

And a stapler. 

Since I use the stapler quite a bit, I tend to get the task of refilling the thing.  It’s electric, but old, and uses standard staples just like any red Swingline you might see in a movie.  On Thursday, January 22nd, I happened to need to staple something in the late afternoon while I was in the copier cube.  Sure enough the stapler was out of staples.  So I just went back to my desk, uesd my stapler, and thought nothing of it.  The next morning came and went, and I didn’t happen to need the stapler until about 2:00 in the afternoon.  I completely forgot that it had been empty until I got over there, and realized that no one had filled the thing.  Surely, in the course of nearly 5 hours someone would have tried to use that stapler, found it empty, and refilled it.  Yeah right.

For just a fraction of a second, I was aggravated.  Then I decided to run an experiment to see how long it would be before someone besides me filled the stapler up.  As of this afternoon, 8 business days later, it has not been filled.  I’m tempted to let it go to see how long it takes.  Or maybe I’ll just take the stapler to my desk and let people wonder what the hell happened to the damned thing.

There is a point to this story!  The point is that if you’re in management and you stretch your work force too far, you may get people that start obsessing about office appliances.  That can’t be good.


4 Responses to “stapler”

  1. Katebits Says:

    Just don’t start muttering about your stapler like that guy in Office Space! That’s DEFINITELY bad.

  2. Pauldub Says:

    This is hilarious. You are counting the days someone else doesn’t step up and fill the stapler, and there are probably others who are convinced that the lack of staples is simply another step in management’s cost reduction master plan. Next step of course will be to reduce the number of employees that use the stapler!

  3. CJ Says:

    Found your blog on AlphaInventions and enjoyed reading your posts.

    I totally relate to your post here regarding the stapler. I have found similar situations in the office with things such as refilling toilet paper in the restroom, paper in the printer, etc. It isn’t about mgmt making cost reductions, it is pure laziness from my viewpoint. I often wondered if I didn’t fill the toilet paper apparatus, what the hell are they using–the sacred left hand?

  4. stapler update « Red’s Basement Says:

    […] By Red I couldn’t take it anymore.  The damned thing sat there, almost mocking me, every time I made some copies.  Oh, it was funny for a while; pausing to try […]

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