Tuesday, December 14, 2010

The Secretary Files: My Nemesis

There is only one thing I truly hate about my job. It has nothing at all to do with the people I work with. It’s not the paperwork or the phones ringing off the hook. It’s a very simple and basic piece of equipment that shouldn’t have to be given a second thought. It is a staple puller. It is the worst staple puller in the history of the world. Lamentably, it is my staple puller.

Upon first glance it seems ordinary enough. Don’t let its unassuming appearance fool you. It deceives you. It’s manipulating you right now. Just try to pick it up and use it. It will leave you in ruins.

Figure A. This is how a normal staple puller is supposed to close. When you clamp the little claws underneath a staple needing to be removed, it will easily and cleanly pull the staple out, causing little to no damage to the document or the staple puller user.

Figure B. This is how The Worst Staple Puller in the World closes. The claws still clamp the staple, but they twist and maim the staple, jamming it between the claws, causing one to have to pull and pry them apart, all while tearing gaping holes in the document and pinching the daylights out of the user.

Figure C. This is an example of a poor unsuspecting piece of paper, ravaged by TWSPITW.

Figure D. This is a picture of a wound sustained by the primary user (me). It’s a blood blister received while attempting to free a staple from TWSPITW’s jaws. It’s been there for weeks with no signs of healing.

You may well ask, “Why don’t you get yourself a new staple puller?” How high-maintenance would it sound to ask the other secretary, who orders office supplies, to get me a new staple puller? “Um, hi. My staple puller’s performance is unsatisfactory. Would you please order me another one?” I can’t do that! Then you ask, “Well, why don’t you just use the functional staple puller pictured in Figure A?” That’s a communal staple puller that lives by the copy machine. It’s a different color than mine. If I tried to switch them, someone would notice and be mad when mine destroyed their papers. Then I’d be embarrassed.

And the truth is, TWSPITW doesn’t malfunction all the time. It’ll work just fine for a couple of days, lulling me into a false sense of security. Then, BAM! My successful-staple-removal walls come crashing down around me.

The Worst Staple Puller in the World leaves me churning in its devilish wake, a broken woman.