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Staplers in such sorry shape

There are but two types of staplers in the world – those that malfunction and those that are about to malfunction.

A recent study by the United Nations determined the number of non-working staplers in the world exceeds by a small percentage the number of people currently living in China and India combined.

Every office now has at least a dozen of these non-functioning staplers. Some of them are placed at spots where one ordinarily would expect to find a stapler – near the copy machine, for instance. They look just like staplers. The unwary user of the copy machine makes 146 copies of a 14-page document and carefully collates the pages. He prepares to use the stapler … Gotcha!



So the unwary user takes his 146 copies of his 14-page document, balances them in his arms while attempting to maintaining them in perfect collated fashion and sets off across the office in search of a functioning stapler.

What he doesn’t know is this: Many offices no longer have a functioning stapler. Not a single one.




Some of the staplers ran out of staples. Rather than refill the stapler – an onerous task, which involves walking four or five steps and spending 94 seconds in mindless activity – many office workers simply abandon the stapler where they found it.

Other staplers die the stapler version of clogged arteries – a staple is jammed. No one in the office wants to risk the grave dangers posed by a tiny cut in the finger. We’ve all seen enough of those videos from OSHA to know we shouldn’t take unnecessary risks In the workplace, and so another stapler is left to fool the unwary.

When, we must wonder, was the last significant improvement in stapler technology? Did the folks in the stapler industry fall for that old gag about “the paperless society” and give up hope? Were the leading players in the stapler industry taken over by the makers of paper clips and left to wither away?

Or did the promise of a paperless society fool yet another gullible industry?

John Seelmeyer is editor of The Union.


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