24 March 2008
The dark, seamy side of shredding...
Further to my ongoing attempt to organize the papers in my office, I am aware that there are certain documents that are no longer needed and should be disposed of. Anyone who reads any news these days is aware that PROPER disposal is a MUST unless you want Billy Bob and his mates to buy out Joe's Hog Shop on your credit card (or, as was the case for us, Dr. and Mrs. N buy two tickets on Aeroflot for a flight to Moscow)! I had such a pile of paper to get rid of, I thought perhaps I should burn it in the outdoor kitchen fireplace. So I start putting bits of paper on the grate, "flame" it, let it burn a bit and then add more. Hmmm, taking a very long time to do so decide perhaps the trusty shredder is the way to go after all.
Now, first you have to understand that we are talking a LOT of paper - small town in Texas landfill size pile of paper. Not for sissies. Not for Mondays either, evidently.
Shredding commences. Shredder basket fills up. Cheri takes shredder basket to trash in kitchen. Okay, so a little "debris" is left behind and I'm a little aggravated that even more "debris" floats outside the bin in the kitchen. Clean up as best I can and go back.
More shredding. I let the basket get a bit too full. Pull basket out and a huge "WHOOSH" like snowfall comes out after removal. Onto the floor. Sighing heavily, I decide perhaps I should get a large plastic bag and bring it into the office. But do I leave the FULL shredder basket in the office? Why NO, of course not. Because I have a death wish.
To the utility room to fetch large black garbage bags. Empty shredder basket into bag. Did not properly open black garbage bag before commencing Project Shredder Basket Evacuation. Debris goes everywhere - in the utility room. At this point I'm wondering if there are any local celebrities needing a ticker-tape parade - I could kill two birds with one stone, I'm thinking.
Back to office. Back to shredding. Back to not paying attention and letting basket get too full again (I burned out a motor on one of these things before by letting it get too full). So I gently - I promise you - GENTLY pull the basket out, pulling debris out of the shredder on top and what happens? I accidentally hit the basket on the desk nearby and debris goes flying everywhere. At this point, I'm saying things no Christian woman should know, let alone think or worse, say out loud. Shelby the dog shoots me a disgusted look at the poor example I'm setting.
Finish shredding, tie up bag and discover a hole in the side. So now discover I've been Hansel and Gretel of the Office Fairy Tale and have left my (literal) paper trail - I assume so the paramedics can find me when I collapse do to a serious case of apoplexy.
So what was supposed to be an easy task that I THOUGHT would spur me on to more "good office works" turned into a cleaning nightmare that I am just now recovering from. Recovery took:
1) 2 hours
2) Oreck vacuum with empty bag to start with which is now full
3) Dirt Devil hand held - emptied multiple times
4) One large trash bag - defective at that
5) Much remorse and guilt for swearing
And I still have to clean the ashes out of the fireplace.