Friday, August 01, 2008

The Profundity of Staples

One of the reasons for this column, for good or ill, is that it gives me a chance to remove some of the post-it notes that are sticking to the inside of my skull. After a while they start piling up and simply need to be put on paper.

I used the last row of staples out of an old box today and I had to go to Office Max to buy another NEW box. Stop and think a minute. How many of you have actually gone through a complete box of staples? Most of the time you lose the box and have to get another one and then you lose that one before it is totally used up. Seriously, how many times have you scoured every junk drawer in the house for that box of staples you just bought? Other times you drop the box on the floor and all those nice neat rows of staples are busted into 5000 individual staples to be swept up and put into the garbage. I repeat; I used the last row of staples in a dusty old box today. I have a certain Monk-like pride in that. All is right with the world.

I can remember that box being available when the kids needed to staple a report for school or when my wife needed it for her church activities and I would find that box sitting on a table next to my borrowed stapler. I would try to keep my cool as I, through gritted teeth, reminded my wife and kids to put it back when they are done because it will get lost if they don’t. Just like their own stapler and box of staples that I bought for them a month ago that now is lost somewhere in the house. I repeat; I used the last row of staples today!

I can compare this to the odometer on my truck which turned 100000 last year. It is such a great number, all zeros. I stopped on the side of the road to just take it in as it happened. I searched for people to pull over and show it to but found none. So I called my wife and explained it as the phenomenal occurrence it was but I don’t think I got it through to her for some reason. It is almost the equivalent of an eclipse or visible comet with it’s rarity, but she didn’t quite grasp it and simple said “okay” and hung up.

My kids now get a kick out of taking one thing off my desk and causing me to go nuts trying to work while it is missing. I worry it might not get put back where it is supposed to be and I really can’t work well until it’s done. They laugh as I try to work because to me it is like trying to type without one of my fingers, or with 20 people in my room talking loud and distracting me. Without a place for everything and everything in it’s place I find the world slightly kittywampus.
I used the last row of staples today. My two hole punches and stapler are in place along with the tape, paper clips, scissors, extra pens, stamps, batteries and, yes, even post-it notes. All is right with the world and my efficiency is through the roof! I find profundity in staples, you may not, but my application to you would be simply this: find your groove.

No comments: