27 Feb 2008
Pet Peeve #2 will take us to the office.
Have you ever worked in an office setting? Ever take over for somebody else? Ever been frustrated at the level of organization in your office? Well, there's a reason people are so disorganized. It's the paper clip's fault.
Let me tell you about that little device that has taken office organization into the last century. Wikipedia tells us that the paper clip was invented in the U.S. in 1867. I always thought it was invented by a Norwegian in 1899, but they address that claim as well. Paper clips grip without tearing, combining two or more sheets of paper into a neat little pile. That's a good thing. The problem is, when storing files these same paper clips catch each other or can get pushed off their respective papers. This leaves future office occupiers in doubt as to which papers were supposed to be paper-clipped in the first place. Have you ever been bombarded by the omni-clip? I've had documents forwarded to me with as many as 7 paper clips on them.
But that's not even my pet peeve. My pet peeve is that people use paper clips for permanent storage. Paper clips are great temporary solutions for document organization. But if you're done with the project, go ahead and staple (or at least binder clip, or three-hole punch and put in a binder) the documents so they don't get mixed up with other stuff!
Leave us your paper clip horror stories below.
(I recall a Simpsons episode in which the Simpsons use a paper clip to attach a rider to a Congressional bill in order to reroute airport traffic away from their home. The chair of the meeting reads the agenda item (something to the effect of), "And now to act on the Food Subsidies for Abandoned Orphans...and Airport Rerouting Bill. Hmmm...well, it's paper-clipped! All in favor? Approved!")