Monday, February 2, 2009

Petty Bothers And Other Reasons For Criminally Insane Behavior

Why is it that when one is agitated, an additional small, niggling irritant can seem to grow completely out of proportion, until it consumes the agitated and everyone else in the vicinity?

I was doing my taxes this evening (for 2007...) and I only had to spend a little time on them, as they were almost done.

Which means I was almost ready to send my scribblings to the accountant (yeah, I put it off even though someone else does them...)

Anyway, I was wrapping up when I had to paper clip some stuff together, and that is when my sanity started to slip away.

I went to my desk. The same desk I work at every day (I work from home).

I opened my upper right drawer, where paper clips are meant to be kept (of course, because I'm left handed).

And I looked at the dark plastic desk divider-partition-tray-holder-of-necessities-and-miscellaneous-crap. And I was displeased at what I saw.

I have two paper clip "boxes". One is just the right size for the large paper clips, referred to by office supply store inmates as "Jumbo". The other is the same size, so it holds regular sized paper clips (in larger number, obviously, since they don't each take up as much space).

But several months ago, I was running very low on the regular ones, so I purchased a pack at some non-office supply store. Safeway, or Fred Meyer, or something.

The container in which they were housed was different, see-through rather than the familiar white and red box, and not made by Acco.

But they were shiny stainless, and seemed to be the same as the ones I had always purchased.

They were not.

These were just enough smaller than standard paper clips to make it harder to, well, to clip papers.

They are cheaper, and have less length on which to gain leverage (which of course makes it easier to place the standard clips on a modest stack of papers).

So I looked at my small paper clips with renewed disdain, picked up one, and tried to clip my important tax papers together to make it appear to my accountant that I had put some thought into my annual (ideally) duty.

And I couldn't seem to get the little clip onto the small stack of papers.

It was (clearly) not because the papers in the stack were too great in number. I had clipped more papers with the substandard clip before.

But this time, the clipped clip just wasn't working with my (taxed) mind and fingers.

I became irritated, then annoyed, and that is when the snowball grew to a mushroom cloud.

I cursed, I spat, I threw things. I threw the phone throught the window. I threw the cat through the gap in my front teeth. I threw up.

I have been using these crappy clips for months, determined to use them up before buying a fresh supply of the good ones, never enjoying the experience, always feeling just a little less pleased about it each time.

These tiny, less endowed, shrunken, dwarf paper clips (not to malign actual dwarfs, or dwarves, no matter how many of them may read this) (such as maybe 7) are only made this way for one reason; cheapness!

Some paper clip company realized that they could manufacture smaller than usual ones, and no one would notice...until the unwitting victim opened the container and began using them (unwitting defines me pretty well).

Immediately, our human sense history and uncanny ability to measure things with our eyes and fingers (okay, women can do, not so well) tells us that we are holding an inferior product. We can look at it, and feel it, and we instantly realize it is not as big as we are used to. It does not have the length, nor the width, nor the heft to which we have become accustomed.

That is to say, it disappoints in its smallness.

It's just a little guy.

And it's shortness and narrowness makes one know, instantly, that with it they will have a mediocre experience.

The big corporation saves big money.

The small paper clip leaves one with dissatisfaction and frustration.


From Left:

Jumbo, Regular, Shorty.


Just wait until I tell you about my stapler.

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