An Office Max Education

A Real Conversation in Office Max Today

ME: holding up my stapler to Chuck, an adolescent office supply expert who takes his job entirely too seriously “Hi, I need to buy some staples.”

CHUCK: “What kind of staples?”

ME: looking from Chuck to my stapler incredulously “the kind you staple things with. Ya know….papers, not body parts.”

CHUCK: laughing sarcastically at the know-nothing standing in front of him “It’s just not that simple. You see, your average office staples come in two varieties: standard and high performance.”

ME: laughing loudly at what I perceive as a joke “High performance?! That’s a good one, Chuckie. But they’re for an office stapler, not a Ferarri.”

CHUCK: slightly annoyed, but grateful for the rare opportunity to share his expertise “You obviously don’t realize that high performance staples offer an average of 75 percent fewer misfires than your average standard staple. I wouldn’t think of using anything else in my stapler.”

ME: pausing, dumb struck “You’re actually serious. There really are “high performance staples?” And to think, all these years I had no idea.”

CHUCK: “Let’s just take a look at your stapler and see if its system requirements are listed underneath….WOW, you have a Swingline Optima 70 High Capacity!!!! I’ve never actually held one of these bad boys before. running his fingers across the grip like a Price Is Right model The Swingline Optima 70 uses only S.F. -4 Premium High Performance staples, the highest of high performance staples. I’ll have to unlock the safe.”

ME: viewing my average, no frills stapler in a new light “I had no idea.”

For an entire year now, I’ve been working with the Luvaglio of staplers, binding together dozens of papers a day and then carelessly dropping the gem back onto my desk, without so much as a curtsy. I’ve also been guilty of occasionally throwing it at my boss’s head when he got out of line. What if it’d gotten broken…or scratched? The Horror!

It reminds me of the time I tried to order a Bud Light from Steven Tyler at a Yankees game, and the time my friend Grant introduced me to our state senator and accidentally called him the name of a well-known pedophile. You just can’t apologize enough for that kind of faux pas.

CHUCK: anxiously returning with two other star struck employees and a box of S.F.-4 Premium High Performance staples “Is it okay if Joey and Tasha check out your Swingline Optima 70? I couldn’t very well keep it to myself, having to ask for the safe key and all.”

ME: “Uhm, sure, but be VERY careful…and wash your hands first.”

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